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Interest rate versus money supply instruments: on the implementation of Markov-perfect optimal monetary policy


  • Michael Dotsey
  • Andreas Hornstein


Currently there is a growing literature exploring the features of optimal monetary policy in New Keynesian models under both commitment and discretion. With respect to time consistent policy, the literature focuses on solving for allocations. Recently, however, King and Wolman (2004) have examined implementation issues involved under time consistent policy when the monetary authority chooses nominal money balances. Surprisingly, they find that equilibria are no longer unique under a money stock regime. Indeed, there exist multiple steady states. Dotsey and Hornstein find that King and Wolman's conclusion of non-uniqueness of Markov-perfect equilibria is sensitive to the instrument of choice. If, instead, the monetary authority chooses the nominal interest rate rather than nominal money balances, there exists a unique Markov-perfect steady state and point-in-time equilibria are unique as well. Thus, in King and Wolman's language, monetary policy is implementable using an interest rate instrument while it is not implementable using a money stock instrument.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael Dotsey & Andreas Hornstein, 2007. "Interest rate versus money supply instruments: on the implementation of Markov-perfect optimal monetary policy," Working Papers 07-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:07-27

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    1. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2004. "Monetary Discretion, Pricing Complementarity, and Dynamic Multiple Equilibria," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(4), pages 1513-1553.
    2. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity and dynamic multiple equilibria," Working Paper Series 343, European Central Bank.
    3. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-254, April.
    4. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000384, UCLA Department of Economics.
    5. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
    6. Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "A primer on optimal monetary policy with staggered price-setting," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 27-52.
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    Markov processes ; Monetary policy ; Money supply;

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