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Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity, and dynamic multiple equilibria

Listed author(s):
  • Robert G. King
  • Alexander L. Wolman

A discretionary policymaker responds to the state of the economy each period. Private agents' current behavior determines the future state based on expectations of future policy. Discretionary policy thus can lead to dynamic complementarity between private agents and a policymaker, which in turn can generate multiple equilibria. Working in a simple new Keynesian model with two-period staggered pricing — in which equilibrium is unique under commitment — we illustrate this interaction: if firms expect a high future money supply, (i) they will set a high current price and (ii) the future monetary authority will accommodate with a higher money supply, so as not to distort relative prices. We show that there are two point-in-time equilibria under discretion and we construct a related stochastic sunspot equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond in its series Working Paper with number 04-05.

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Date of creation: 2004
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedrwp:04-05
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  1. Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy," Working Paper 00-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  3. 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.
  4. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Aubhik Khan & Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2001. "The pitfalls of monetary discretion," Working Paper 01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  6. Huberto M. Ennis & Todd Keister, 2003. "Government Policy and the Probability of Coordination Failures," Working Papers 0301, Centro de Investigacion Economica, ITAM.
  7. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Jose-Victor Rios-Rull & Per Krusell, 1999. "On the Size of U.S. Government: Political Economy in the Neoclassical Growth Model," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1156-1181, December.
  9. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-666, September.
  10. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
  12. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
  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 473-491, June.
  15. Ireland, Peter N., 1997. "Sustainable monetary policies," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 87-108, November.
  16. Glomm, Gerhard & Ravikumar, B., 1996. "Endogenous public policy and multiple equilibria," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 653-662, April.
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