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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. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-33, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Eusepi, Stefano, 2007. "Learnability and monetary policy: A global perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1115-1131, May.
  3. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  4. Jess Behabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2003. "Backward-Looking Interest-Rate Rules, Interest-Rate Smoothing, and Macroeconomic Instability," NBER Working Papers 9558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "The perils of Taylor Rules," Departmental Working Papers 199831, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  7. Evans , George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2007. "Expectations, learning and monetary policy: an overview of recent research," Research Discussion Papers 32/2007, Bank of Finland.
  8. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2010. "Central Bank Communication and Expectations Stabilization," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 235-71, July.
  9. Marcet, Albert & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 1998. "Recurrent Hyperinflations and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 1875, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Bruce Preston, 2003. "Learning about monetary policy rules when long-horizon expectations matter," Working Paper 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Benhabib, J. & Schmitt-Grohe, S. & Uribe, M., 1999. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Working Papers 99-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. George W. Evans & Eran Guse & Seppo Honkapohja, 2007. "Liquidity Traps, Learning and Stagnation," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2007-9, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 05 Jun 2007.
  15. 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.
  16. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1995. "Local Convergence of Recursive Learning to Steady States and Cycles in Stochastic Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 195-206, January.
  17. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja , Seppo, 2003. "Policy interaction, expectations and the liquidity trap," Research Discussion Papers 22/2003, Bank of Finland.
  18. James Bullard & In-Koo Cho, 2003. "Escapist policy rules," Working Papers 2002-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  19. 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.
  20. Bullard James, 1994. "Learning Equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 468-485, December.
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