IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/gla/glaewp/2013_08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

How Optimal is US Monetary Policy?

Author

Listed:
  • Xiaoshan Chen
  • Tatiana Kirsanova
  • Campbell Leith

Abstract

Most of the literature estimating DSGE models for monetary policy analysis assume that policy follows a simple rule. In this paper we allow policy to be described by various forms of optimal policy - commitment, discretion and quasi-commitment. We find that, even after allowing for Markov switching in shock variances, the inflation target and/or rule parameters, the data preferred description of policy is that the US Fed operates under discretion with a marked increase in conservatism after the 1970s. Parameter estimates are similar to those obtained under simple rules, except that the degree of habits is significantly lower and the prevalence of cost-push shocks greater. Moreover, we find that the greatest welfare gains from the ‘Great Moderation’ arose from the reduction in the variances in shocks hitting the economy, rather than increased inflation aversion. However, much of the high inflation of the 1970s could have been avoided had policy makers been able to commit, even without adopting stronger anti-inflation objectives. More recently the Fed appears to have temporarily relaxed policy following the 1987 stock market crash, and has lost, without regaining, its post-Volcker conservatism following the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiaoshan Chen & Tatiana Kirsanova & Campbell Leith, 2013. "How Optimal is US Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 2013_08, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  • Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2013_08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.gla.ac.uk/media/media_274001_en.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    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. Frank Schorfheide, 2011. "Estimation and Evaluation of DSGE Models: Progress and Challenges," NBER Working Papers 16781, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Campbell Leith & Ioana Moldovan & Raffaele Rossi, 2012. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a New Keynesian Model with Habits in Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(3), pages 416-435, July.
    4. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models—Rejoinder," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 211-219.
    5. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2007. "Optimal simple and implementable monetary and fiscal rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1702-1725, September.
    6. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
    7. Iskrev, Nikolay, 2010. "Local identification in DSGE models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 189-202, March.
    8. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
    9. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    10. Xiaoshan Chen & Ronald Macdonald, 2012. "Realized and Optimal Monetary Policy Rules in an Estimated Markov‐Switching DSGE Model of the United Kingdom," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(6), pages 1091-1116, September.
    11. Gary Koop & M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron P. Smith, 2013. "On Identification of Bayesian DSGE Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 300-314, July.
    12. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2011. "Monetary regime switches and unstable objectives," International Finance Discussion Papers 1036, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Evren Caglar & Jagjit S. Chadha & Katsuyuki Shibayama, 2011. "Bayesian Estimation of DSGE models: Is the Workhorse Model Identified?," Studies in Economics 1125, School of Economics, University of Kent.
    14. Lars Svensson & Noah Williams, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting," NBER Working Papers 11733, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Peter N. Ireland, 2007. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1851-1882, December.
    16. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-239, March.
    17. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2004. "Implications of habit formation for optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 305-325, March.
    18. Troy Davig & Taeyoung Doh, 2014. "Monetary Policy Regime Shifts and Inflation Persistence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 862-875, December.
    19. Ivana Komunjer & Serena Ng, 2011. "Dynamic Identification of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1995-2032, November.
    20. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252242x, January.
    21. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
    22. Castelnuovo, Efrem, 2012. "Policy Switch And The Great Moderation: The Role Of Equilibrium Selection," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 16(03), pages 449-471, June.
    23. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
    24. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    25. Sims, Christopher A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2008. "Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 255-274, October.
    26. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
    27. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    28. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2011. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2150-2166.
    29. Philip Liu & Haroon Mumtaz, 2011. "Evolving Macroeconomic Dynamics in a Small Open Economy: An Estimated Markov Switching DSGE Model for the UK," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(7), pages 1443-1474, October.
    30. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "Editorial in "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12"," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 1-6 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Himmels, Christoph & Kirsanova, Tatiana, 2013. "Escaping expectation traps: How much commitment is required?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 649-665.
    32. Pelin Ilbas, 2008. "Estimation of monetary policy preferences in a forward-looking model : a Bayesian approach," Working Paper Research 129, National Bank of Belgium.
    33. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
    34. Eo, Yunjong, 2008. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models with Regime Switching," MPRA Paper 13910, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 11 Feb 2009.
    35. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
    36. Tatiana Kirsanova & Stephanus le Roux, 2013. "Commitment vs. Discretion in the UK: An Empirical Investigation of the Monetary and Fiscal Policy Regime," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(4), pages 99-152, December.
    37. Favero, Carlo A & Rovelli, Riccardo, 2003. " Macroeconomic Stability and the Preferences of the Fed: A Formal Analysis, 1961-98," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 545-556, August.
    38. Francesco Bianchi, 2013. "Regime Switches, Agents' Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 463-490.
    39. Luca Benati & Paolo Surico, 2009. "VAR Analysis and the Great Moderation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1636-1652, September.
    40. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
    41. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 113-172.
    42. Gregory E. Givens, 2012. "Estimating Central Bank Preferences under Commitment and Discretion," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44(6), pages 1033-1061, September.
    43. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    44. J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
    45. Malin Adolfson & Stefan Laséen & Jesper Lindé & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2011. "Optimal Monetary Policy in an Operational Medium‐Sized DSGE Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(7), pages 1287-1331, October.
    46. Ireland, Peter N., 2001. "Sticky-price models of the business cycle: Specification and stability," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-18, February.
    47. Levine, Paul & McAdam, Peter & Pearlman, Joseph, 2008. "Quantifying and sustaining welfare gains from monetary commitment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(7), pages 1253-1276, October.
    48. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
    49. James D. Hamilton & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2007. "Normalization in Econometrics," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 221-252.
    50. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    51. Pelin lbas, 2010. "Estimation of Monetary Policy Preferences in a Forward-Looking Model: A Bayesian Approach," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 6(3), pages 169-209, September.
    52. Ozlale, Umit, 2003. "Price stability vs. output stability: tales of federal reserve administrations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1595-1610, July.
    53. Soderlind, Paul, 1999. "Solution and estimation of RE macromodels with optimal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 813-823, April.
    54. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
    55. Blake, Andrew P. & Zampolli, Fabrizio, 2011. "Optimal policy in Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1626-1651, October.
    56. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg, 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bern97-1, April.
    57. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
    58. Schaumburg, Ernst & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2007. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 302-324, March.
    59. Leith, Campbell & Malley, Jim, 2005. "Estimated general equilibrium models for the evaluation of monetary policy in the US and Europe," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(8), pages 2137-2159, November.
    60. 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.
    61. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2009. "Understanding Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1849-1867, September.
    62. Campbell Leith & Ioana Moldovan & Raffaele Rossi, 2012. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a New Keynesian Model with Habits in Consumption," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(3), pages 416-435, July.
    63. Kim, Chang-Jin, 1994. "Dynamic linear models with Markov-switching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 1-22.
    64. Simon Wren-Lewis & Fabian Eser, 2009. "When is Monetary Policy All we Need?," Economics Series Working Papers 430, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    65. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
    66. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "A Bayesian Look at New Open Economy Macroeconomics," Economics Working Paper Archive 521, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    67. Debortoli, Davide & Nunes, Ricardo, 2010. "Fiscal policy under loose commitment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(3), pages 1005-1032, May.
    68. Davide Debortoli & Aeimit Lakdawala, 2016. "How Credible Is the Federal Reserve? A Structural Estimation of Policy Re-optimizations," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 42-76, July.
    69. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
    70. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Microfounded Social Welfare Functions
      by Mainly Macro in Mainly Macro on 2013-05-04 15:12:00
    2. 'Microfounded Social Welfare Functions'
      by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2013-05-04 14:44:30

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Leith, Campbell & Liu, Ding, 2016. "The inflation bias under Calvo and Rotemberg pricing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 283-297.
    2. repec:wly:jmoncb:v:49:y:2017:i:2-3:p:393-415 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Rannenberg, Ansgar & Schreiber, Sven, 2014. "New Keynesian versus old Keynesian government spending multipliers: A comment," Discussion Papers 2014/6, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
    4. Jakob Palek, 2015. "The Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy Mix in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201506, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    5. Palek, Jakob, 2015. "The Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy Mix in a Financially Heterogeneous Monetary Union," Annual Conference 2015 (Muenster): Economic Development - Theory and Policy 113047, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    6. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Ansgar Rannenberg & Sven Schreiber, 2017. "Reassessing the Impact of the US Fiscal Stimulus: The Role of the Monetary Policy Stance," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 10(4), pages 12-31, April.
    7. Jakob Palek & Benjamin Schwanebeck, 2015. "Optimal Monetary and Macroprudential Policy in a Currency Union," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201522, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    8. Ragna Alstadheim & Øistein Røisland, 2017. "When Preferences for a Stable Interest Rate Become Self‐Defeating," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 49(2-3), pages 393-415, March.
    9. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:95-115 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bai, Yuting & Kirsanova, Tatiana & Leith, Campbell, 2017. "Nominal targeting in an economy with government debt," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 103-125.
    11. Jochen Michaelis & Jakob Palek, 2014. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Union: Implications of a Country-specific Cost Channel," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201444, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    12. Juan Paez-Farrell, 2015. "Taylor rules, central bank preferences and inflation targeting," Working Papers 2015023, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian Estimation; Interest Rate Rules; Optimal Monetary Policy; Great Mod- eration; Commitment; Discretion;

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2013_08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Tedi Racheva). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dpglauk.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.