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Robust learning stability with operational monetary policy rules

  • Evans , George W

    (University of Oregon and University of St. Andrews)

  • Honkapohja, Seppo


    (Bank of Finland and University of Cambridge)

We consider the robust stability of a rational expectations equilibrium, which we define as stability under discounted (constant gain) least-squares learning, for a range of gain parameters. We find that for operational forms of policy rules, ie rules that do not depend on contemporaneous values of endogenous aggregate variables, many interest-rate rules do not exhibit robust stability. We consider a variety of interest-rate rules, including instrument rules, optimal reaction functions under discretion or commitment, and rules that approximate optimal policy under commitment. For some reaction functions we allow for an interest-rate stabilization motive in the policy objective. The expectations-based rules proposed in Evans and Honkapohja (2003, 2006) deliver robust learning stability. In contrast, many proposed alternatives become unstable under learning even at small values of the gain parameter.

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Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 31/2007.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 13 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:2007_031
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
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  1. Sergey Slobodyan & Anna Bogomolova & Dmitri Kolyuzhnov, 2006. "Stochastic Gradient versus Recursive Least Squares Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 446, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," CDMA Working Paper Series 200802, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  3. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Research Discussion Papers 29/2002, Bank of Finland.
  4. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Working Papers 050607, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 3434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
  8. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," NBER Working Papers 7261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Honkapohja, S. & Evans, G.W., 2000. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 481, Department of Economics.
  10. Duffy, John & Xiao, Wei, 2004. "The value of interest rate stabilization polices when agents are learning," Working Papers 2004-02, University of New Orleans, Department of Economics and Finance.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2003. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/40, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  12. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1998. "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 23-44, January.
  13. Evans, G.W. & Guesnerie, R., 1992. "Rationalizability, Strong Rationality and Expectational Stability," DELTA Working Papers 92-03, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  14. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja & Noah Williams, 2010. "Generalized Stochastic Gradient Learning," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 51(1), pages 237-262, 02.
  15. Milani, Fabio, 2014. "Learning and time-varying macroeconomic volatility," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 94-114.
  16. Wiliam Branch & George W. Evans, 2005. "A Simple Recursive Forecasting Model," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2005-3, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 01 Feb 2005.
  17. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  18. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Learning and Macroeconomics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 421-451, 05.
  19. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 2001. "Timeless Perspective Vs Discretionary Monetary Policy in Forward-Looking Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 2752, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  22. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
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