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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. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Stefania Albanesi & V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2003. "Expectation traps and monetary policy," Staff Report 319, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. 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.
  4. Rochet, Jean-Charles & Vives, Xavier, 2004. "Coordination Failures and the Lender of Last Resort : Was Bagehot Right After All?," IDEI Working Papers 294, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  5. Goodfriend, Marvin & King, Robert G., 2005. "The incredible Volcker disinflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 981-1015, July.
  6. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2004. "Monetary Discretion, Pricing Complementarity, and Dynamic Multiple Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1513-1553, November.
  7. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  8. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," Working Paper 0004, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  11. Roc Armenter & Martin Bodenstein, 2006. "Does the time inconsistency problem make flexible exchange rates look worse than you think?," International Finance Discussion Papers 865, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. 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.
  13. Marcet, A. & Nicolini, J.P., 1997. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," Papers 9721, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  14. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 1999. "Coordination Risk and the Price of Debt," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1241R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Feb 2002.
  15. 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.
  16. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
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