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Central bank transparency and nonlinear learning dynamics

  • Stefano Eusepi

Central bank communication plays an important role in shaping market participants' expectations. This paper studies a simple nonlinear model of monetary policy in which agents have incomplete information about the economic environment. It shows that agents' learning and the dynamics of the economy are heavily affected by central bank transparency about its policy rule. A central bank that does not communicate its rule can induce "learning equilibria" in which the economy alternates between periods of deflation coupled with low output and periods of high economic activity with excessive inflation. More generally, initial beliefs that are arbitrarily close to the inflation target equilibrium can result in complex economic dynamics, resulting in welfare-reducing fluctuations. On the contrary, central bank communication of policy rules helps stabilize expectations around the inflation target equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 342.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:342
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  1. James B. Bullard & In-Koo Cho, 2003. "Escapist policy rules," Working Papers 2002-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Policy Interaction, Expectations and the Liquidity Trap," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-33, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 06 Jul 2004.
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  4. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
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  9. Evans , George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2007. "Expectations, learning and monetary policy: an overview of recent research," Research Discussion Papers 32/2007, Bank of Finland.
  10. Bruce Preston, 2003. "Learning about monetary policy rules when long-horizon expectations matter," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Theoretical Analysis Regarding a Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 7677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Eusepi, Stefano & Preston, Bruce, 2007. "Central bank communication and expectations stabilization," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue March, pages 1-43.
  13. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Jess Benhabib & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 167-186, March.
  14. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 1999. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Bullard James, 1994. "Learning Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 468-485, December.
  16. Eusepi, Stefano, 2007. "Learnability and monetary policy: A global perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1115-1131, May.
  17. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," NBER Working Papers 10195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Policy Options in a Liquidity Trap," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 76-79, May.
  19. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Backward-Looking Interest-Rate Rules, Interest-Rate Smoothing, and Macroeconomic Instability," PIER Working Paper Archive 03-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 14 Feb 2003.
  20. James B. Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
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