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Can U.S. monetary policy fall (again) into an expectation trap?

  • Roc Armenter
  • Martin Bodenstein

We provide a tractable model to study monetary policy under discretion. We restrict our analysis to Markov equilibria. We find that for all parametrizations with an equilibrium inflation rate of about 2 percent, there is a second equilibrium with an inflation rate just above 10 percent. Thus, the model can simultaneously account for the low and high inflation episodes in the United States. We carefully characterize the set of Markov equilibria along the parameter space and find our results to be robust, suggesting that expectation traps are more than just a theoretical curiosity.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 229.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:229
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  1. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  2. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Stefania Albanesi & V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Macroeconomics 0201004, EconWPA.
  4. Altonji, Joseph G, 1986. "Intertemporal Substitution in Labor Supply: Evidence from Micro Data," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(3), pages S176-S215, June.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher J. Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 21-39.
  6. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 2004. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 133-153, February.
  7. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectations, traps and discretion," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  10. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/22, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  11. Marcet, Albert & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 1875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Domeij, David & Floden, Martin, 2001. "The labor-supply elasticity and borrowing constraints: Why estimates are biased," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 480, Stockholm School of Economics.
  13. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vives, Xavier, 2002. "Coordination failures and the lender of last resort : was Bagehot right after all?," HWWA Discussion Papers 184, Hamburg Institute of International Economics (HWWA).
  14. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," Boston University - Department of Economics - Macroeconomics Working Papers Series WP2005-007, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  15. Morris, Stephen & Shin, Hyun Song, 1998. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 587-97, June.
  16. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Roc Armenter & Martin Bodenstein, 2005. "Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?," Staff Reports 230, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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