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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. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2001. "Coordination risk and the price of debt," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 25046, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Marcet, Albert & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 1875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," Working Paper Series 0343, European Central Bank.
  4. 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.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher Gust, 2000. "The expectations trap hypothesis," Working Paper 0004, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  6. Jean-Charles Rochet & Xavier Vives, 2002. "Coordination failures and the lender of last resort: was Bagehot right after all?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24928, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. 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.
  8. Morris, S & Song Shin, H, 1996. "Unique Equilibrium in a Model of Self-Fulfilling Currency Attacks," Economics Papers 126, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  9. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  10. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, . "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 198, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  12. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  16. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 11562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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