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Optimal Monetary Policy When Agents Are Learning

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  • Krisztina Molnár
  • Sergio Santoro

Abstract

Most studies of optimal monetary policy under learning rely on optimality conditions derived for the case when agents have rational expectations. In this paper, we derive optimal monetary policy in an economy where the Central Bank knows, and makes active use of, the learning algorithm agents follow in forming their expectations. In this setup, monetary policy can influence future expectations through its e ect on learning dynamics, introducing an additional tradeo between inflation and output gap stabilization. Specifically, the optimal interest rate rule reacts more aggressively to out-of-equilibrium inflation expectations and noisy cost-push shocks than would be optimal under rational expectations: the Central Bank exploits its ability to "drive" future expectations closer to equilibrium. This optimal policy closely resembles optimal policy when the Central Bank can commit and agents have rational expectations. Monetary policy should be more aggressive in containing inflationary expectations when private agents pay more attention to recent data. In particular, when beliefs are updated according to recursive least squares, the optimal policy is time-varying: after a structural break the Central Bank should be more aggressive and relax the degree of aggressiveness in subsequent periods. The policy recommendation is robust: under our policy the welfare loss if the private sector actually has rational expectations is much smaller than if the Central Bank mistakenly assumes rational expectations whereas in fact agents are learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Krisztina Molnár & Sergio Santoro, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy When Agents Are Learning," IEHAS Discussion Papers 0601, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, revised 15 Mar 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:has:discpr:0601
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    Cited by:

    1. Gaël Giraud & Nguenamadji Orntangar, 2011. "Monetary policy under finite speed of trades and myopia," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00609824, HAL.
    2. Martin Melecký & Diego Rodríguez Palenzuela & Ulf Söderström, 2009. "Inflation Target Transparency and the Macroeconomy," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 10, pages 371-411 Central Bank of Chile.
    3. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2011. "Internal rationality, imperfect market knowledge and asset prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 1224-1252.
    4. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 2, pages 027-076 Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Muto, Ichiro, 2013. "Productivity growth, transparency, and monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 329-344.
    6. Bask, Mikael & Proaño, Christian R., 2016. "Optimal monetary policy under learning and structural uncertainty in a New Keynesian model with a cost channel and inflation inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 112-126.
    7. Young-Bae Kim & Paul Levine & Emanuela Lotti, 2010. "Migration, Skill Composition And Growth," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, pages 5-19.
    8. Nobili, Andrea & Zollino, Francesco, 2017. "A structural model for the housing and credit market in Italy," Journal of Housing Economics, Elsevier, pages 73-87.
    9. Favaretto, Federico & Masciandaro, Donato, 2016. "Doves, hawks and pigeons: Behavioral monetary policy and interest rate inertia," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 50-58.
    10. Eusepi, Stefano & Giannoni, Marc & Preston, Bruce, 2012. "Long-Term Debt Pricing and Monetary Policy Transmission under Imperfect Knowledge," CEPR Discussion Papers 8845, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Michele Berardi, 2009. "Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous and Misspecified Expectations," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(1), pages 79-100, February.
    12. Mele, Antonio & Molnar, Krisztina & Santoro, Sergio, 2014. "On the perils of stabilizing prices when agents are learning," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 1/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    13. Caprioli, Francesco, 2015. "Optimal fiscal policy under learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 101-124.
    14. André, Marine Charlotte & Dai, Meixing, 2017. "Is central bank conservatism desirable under learning?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 281-296.
    15. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
    16. Ali, Syed Zahid & Anwar, Sajid, 2017. "Exchange rate pass through, cost channel to monetary policy transmission, adaptive learning, and the price puzzle," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 69-82.
    17. Michele Berard, 2006. "Monetary policy with heterogeneous and misspecified expectations," The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series 0637, Economics, The University of Manchester.
    18. Favaretto, Federico & Masciandaro, Donato, 2016. "Doves, hawks and pigeons: Behavioral monetary policy and interest rate inertia," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, pages 50-58.
    19. Christian Matthes, 2015. "Figuring Out the Fed—Beliefs about Policymakers and Gains from Transparency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 1-29, February.
    20. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2009. "Internal Rationality and Asset Prices," CEPR Discussion Papers 7498, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Christian Jensen, 2006. "Expectations, Learning, and Discretionary Policymaking," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Monetary Policy; Learning; Rational Expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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