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Should central banks be more aggressive?

Simple models of monetary policy often imply optimal policy behavior that is considerably more aggressive than what is commonly observed. This paper argues that such counterfactual implications are due to model restrictions and a failure to account for multiplicative parameter uncertainty, rather than to policymakers being too cautious in their implementation of policy. Comparing a restricted and an unrestricted version of the same empirical model, the unrestricted version leads to less volatility in optimal policy, and, taking parameter uncertainty into account, to policy paths very close to actual Federal Reserve policy.

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Paper provided by Stockholm School of Economics in its series SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance with number 309.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 08 Mar 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:hastef:0309
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The Economic Research Institute, Stockholm School of Economics, P.O. Box 6501, 113 83 Stockholm, Sweden

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  1. Svensson, L-E-O, 1997. "Inflation Targeting : Some Extensions," Papers 625, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Olivier Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1997. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 51-72, Winter.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  4. Ellingsen, Tore & Söderström, Ulf, 1998. "Monetary Policy and Market Interest Rates," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 242, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 08 Mar 1999.
  5. Charles Goodhart, 1998. "Central Bankers and Uncertainty," FMG Special Papers sp106, Financial Markets Group.
  6. Arturo Extrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "Dynamic inconsistencies: counterfactual implications of a class of rational expectations models," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  8. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Working Papers 6512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stanley Fischer, 1996. "Why are central banks pursuing long-run price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 7-34.
  10. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & Brian F. Madigan, 1997. "Monetary Policy When Interest Rates Are Bounded At Zero," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 573-585, November.
  11. Brian P. Sack, 1998. "Does the Fed act gradually? a VAR analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Volker W. Wieland, 1998. "Monetary policy and uncertainty about the natural unemployment rate," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-22, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Sims, Christopher A, 1998. "Comment on Glenn Rudebusch's "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?"," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 933-41, November.
  14. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1987. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 335-348, May.
  15. Athanasios Orphanides & Volker W. Wieland, 1998. "Price stability and monetary policy effectiveness when nominal interest rates are bounded at zero," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  17. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Monetary Policy Shocks: What Have We Learned and to What End?," NBER Working Papers 6400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  19. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  20. McCallum, Bennett T., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice: two critical points : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 215-220, December.
  21. Craine, Roger, 1979. "Optimal monetary policy with uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 59-83, February.
  22. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Schaling, E. & Verhagen, W.H., 1998. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates and Inflation Forecast Targeting," Discussion Paper 1998-85, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  23. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1998. "Policy rules and targets: framing the central banker's problem," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Jun, pages 1-14.
  24. Myles Callan & Eric Ghysels & Norman R. Swanson, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules with Model and Data Uncertainty," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-40, CIRANO.
  25. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1995. "The Phillips curve is alive and well," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Mar, pages 41-56.
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