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Inflation targeting: what inflation rate to target?

  • Kevin X. D. Huang
  • Zheng Liu

In an economy with nominal rigidities in both an intermediate good sector and a finished good sector, and thus with a natural distinction between CPI and PPI inflation rates, a benevolent central bank faces a tradeoff between stabilizing the two measures of inflation: a final output gap, and unique to our model, a real marginal cost gap in the intermediate sector, so that optimal monetary policy is second-best. We discuss how to implement the optimal policy with minimal information requirement and evaluate the robustness of these simple rules when the central bank may not know the exact sources of shocks or nominal rigidities. A main finding is that a simple hybrid rule under which the short-term interest rate responds to CPI inflation and PPI inflation results in a welfare level close to the optimum, whereas policy rules that ignore PPI inflation or PPI sector shocks can result in significant welfare losses.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 04-6.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:04-6
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  1. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
  2. Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  3. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "Openness, imperfect exchange rate pass-through and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0128, European Central Bank.
  4. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  5. Todd E. Clark, 1999. "The Responses Of Prices At Different Stages Of Production To Monetary Policy Shocks," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 420-433, August.
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  8. Kevin X.D. Huang & Zheng Liu & Louis Phaneuf, 2004. "Why Does the Cyclical Behavior of Real Wages Change Over Time?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 836-856, September.
  9. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
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  12. Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 861-886.
  13. Aoki, Kosuke, 2001. "Optimal monetary policy responses to relative-price changes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 55-80, August.
  14. Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2004. "Optimal monetary policy in a currency area," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 293-320, July.
  15. Frederic S. Mishkin & Adam S. Posen, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: Lessons from Four Countries," NBER Working Papers 6126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Estimation and control of an optimization-based model with sticky prices and wages," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1181-1215, May.
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  20. Huang, Kevin X. D. & Liu, Zheng, 2001. "Production chains and general equilibrium aggregate dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 437-462, October.
  21. Nelson, Edward, 2002. "Comment on: A simple framework for international monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(5), pages 905-912, July.
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