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Should central banks be more aggressive?

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  • Söderström, Ulf

    (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Should central banks be more aggressive?," Working Paper Series 84, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0084
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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 933-941, November.
    2. Coenen Günter & Orphanides Athanasios & Wieland Volker, 2004. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, February.
    3. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148, Elsevier.
    4. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    5. Volker Wieland, "undated". "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
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    14. 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.
    15. 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.
    16. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. 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.
    20. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1998. "Policy rules and targets: framing the central banker's problem," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 4(Jun), pages 1-14.
    21. 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.).
    22. Myles Callan & Eric Ghysels & Norman R. Swanson, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules with Model and Data Uncertainty," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-40, CIRANO.
    23. 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.
    24. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2001. "Price Stability as a Target for Monetary Policy: Defining and Maintaining Price Stability," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Deutsche Bundesbank (ed.), The Monetary Transmission Process, chapter 2, pages 60-111, Palgrave Macmillan.
    2. J. Tetlow, Robert & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: Does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 911-949, June.
    3. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2003. "Taylor Rules and Interest Rate Smoothing in the US and EMU," Macroeconomics 0303002, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2006. "Monetary Policy Inertia: Fact or Fiction?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.
    5. Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Svensson, Lars E. O., 2002. "Eurosystem monetary targeting: Lessons from U.S. data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(3), pages 417-442, March.
    6. Carlo A. Favero, "undated". "Parameters´ Instability, Model Uncertainty and Optimal Monetary Policy," Working Papers 196, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
    7. Gino Cateau, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Model and Data-Parameter Uncertainty," Staff Working Papers 05-6, Bank of Canada.
    8. Nessen, Marianne, 2002. "Targeting inflation over the short, medium and long term," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 313-329, September.
    9. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2002. "Squeezing the Interest Rate Smoothing Weight with a Hybrid Expectations Model," Macroeconomics 0211006, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Troy Davig & Jeffrey R. Gerlach, 2006. "State-Dependent Stock Market Reactions to Monetary Policy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal monetary policy; parameter uncertainty; interest rate smoothing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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