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Learning by disinflating

  • Barnett, Alina


    (Bank of England)

  • Ellison, Martin


    (Department of Economics, University of Oxford, and Bank of Finland)

Disinflationary episodes are a valuable source of information for economic agents trying to learn about the economy. In this paper we are particularly interested in how policymakers can themselves learn by disinflating. The approach differs from the existing literature, which typically focuses on the learning of private agents during a disinflation. We build a model where both the policymaker and private agents learn, and ask what happens if the policymaker has to disinflate to satisfy a new central bank mandate specifying greater emphasis on inflation stabilisation. In this case, our results show that inflation may fall dramatically before it gradually rises to its new long run level. The potential for inflation to undershoot its long run level during a disinflationary episode suggests that caution should be exercised when assessing the success of any change in the policymaker’s mandate.

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Paper provided by Bank of Finland in its series Research Discussion Papers with number 10/2012.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 30 Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:bofrdp:2012_010
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bank of Finland, P.O. Box 160, FI-00101 Helsinki, Finland
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  1. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 1997. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs," Working Papers 97002, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Jan 1997.
  3. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin & Ryan Michaels, 2007. "Three great American disinflations," International Finance Discussion Papers 898, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Guido Ascari & Tiziano Ropele, 2012. "Sacrifice Ratio in a Medium‐Scale New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 457-467, 03.
  5. Lynne Evans & Anamaria Nicolae, 2010. "The Output Effect of a Transition to Price Stability When Velocity Is Time Varying," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(5), pages 859-878, 08.
  6. Nicolae, Anamaria & Nolan, Charles, 2006. "The Impact of Imperfect Credibility in a Transition to Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(1), pages 47-66, February.
  7. Bruce McGough, 2006. "Shocking Escapes," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 507-528, 04.
  8. Peter Tillmann, 2009. "The Fed’s perceived Phillips curve: Evidence from individual FOMC forecasts," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200946, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  9. Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone & Timothy Cogley, 2011. "Optimal Disinflation Under Learning," 2011 Meeting Papers 74, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. In-Koo Cho & Kenneth Kasa, 2003. "Learning Dynamics and Endogenous Currency Crises," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 132, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 2005. "The Incredible Volcker Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 11562, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. In-Koo Cho & Noah Williams & Thomas J. Sargent, 2002. "Escaping Nash Inflation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 1-40.
  13. Martin Ellison & Tony Yates, 2007. "Escaping Volatile Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 981-993, 06.
  14. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2004. "Shocks and government beliefs: the rise and fall of American inflation," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  15. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  16. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Benefits from U.S. monetary policy experimentation in the days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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