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Price Stability as a Target for Monetary Policy: Defining and Maintaining Price Stability

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  • Svensson, Lars

    () (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)

Abstract

This paper discusses how price stability can be defined and how price stability can be maintained in practice. Some lessons for the Eurosystem are also considered. With regard to defining price stability, the choice between price-level stability and low (including zero) inflation and the decisions about the price index, the quantitative target and the role of output stabilization are examined. With regard to maintaining price stability, three main alternatives are considered, namely a commitment to a simple instrument rule (like a Taylor rule), forecast targeting (like inflaiton-forecast targeting) and intermediate targeting (like money-growth targeting). A simple instrument rule does not provide an substitute for a systematic framework of monetary policy decisions. Such a framework is instead provided by forecast targeting. Forecast targeting can incorporate judgemental adjustments, extra-model information, and different indicators (including indicators of "risk to price stability"). By extending mean forecast targeting to distribution forecast targeting, nonlinearity, nonadditive uncertainty and model uncertainty can be incorporated. Eurosystem arguments in favour of its money-growth indicator and against inflation-forecast targeting are scrutinized and found unconvincing.

Suggested Citation

  • Svensson, Lars, 1999. "Price Stability as a Target for Monetary Policy: Defining and Maintaining Price Stability," Seminar Papers 673, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iiessp:0673
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    Cited by:

    1. Noah Williams & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2005. "Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 108, Society for Computational Economics.
    2. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Monetary policy issues for the Eurosystem," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 79-136, December.
    3. Buiter, Willem H., 2004. "The Elusive Welfare Economics of Price Stability As A Monetary Policy Objective: Should New Keynesian Central Bankers Persue Price Stability," CEPR Discussion Papers 4730, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Buiter, Willem H., 2006. "The elusive welfare economics of price stability as a monetary policy objective: why New Keynesian central bankers should validate core inflation," Working Paper Series 609, European Central Bank.
    5. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2002. "Monetary policy and real stabilization," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 261-312.
    6. Gordon Wilkinson, 2011. "The Behaviour of Consumer Prices Across Provinces," Discussion Papers 11-2, Bank of Canada.
    7. Gerlach, Stefan & Svensson, Lars E. O., 2003. "Money and inflation in the euro area: A case for monetary indicators?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1649-1672, November.
    8. Lavan Mahadeva & Alex Muscatelli, 2005. "National Accounts Revisions and Output Gap Estimates in a Model of Monetary Policy with Data Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 14, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
    9. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 691-720, April.
    10. David Longworth & Brian O´Reilly, 2002. "The Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanism and Policy Rules in Canada," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 13, pages 357-392 Central Bank of Chile.
    11. Viñals, José, 2001. "Monetary Policy Issues in a Low Inflation Environment," CEPR Discussion Papers 2945, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Wynne, Mark A., 2008. "How should central banks define price stability?," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 08, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    13. Matthews, Kent & Meenagh, David & Minford, Patrick & Webb, Bruce, 2006. "Monetary Regimes: Is There a Trade-Off Between Consumption and Employment Variability?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5609, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. Alsterlind, Jan & Markowski, Alek & Nilsson, Kristian, 2004. "Modelling the Foreign Sector in a Macroeconometric Model of Sweden," Working Papers 88, National Institute of Economic Research.
    15. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Optimal Policy with Low-Probability Extreme Events," NBER Working Papers 10196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Le, Vo Phuong Mai & Minford, Patrick, 2007. "Optimising Indexation Arrangements under Calvo Contracts and their Implications for Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 6325, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    20. Stan du Plessis, 2014. "Targeting core inflation in emerging market economies," Working Papers 23/2014, Stellenbosch University, Department of Economics.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation targeting; intermediate targeting; monetary targeting; Eurosystem;

    JEL classification:

    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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