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Should central banks be more aggressive?

  • Söderström, Ulf

    ()

    (Research Department, Central Bank of Sweden)

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 Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden) in its series Working Paper Series with number 84.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 1999
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:rbnkwp:0084
Contact details of provider: Postal: Sveriges Riksbank, SE-103 37 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: 08 - 787 00 00
Fax: 08-21 05 31
Web page: http://www.riksbank.com/
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  1. Rudebusch, G.D. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Papers 637, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/05, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1987. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 335-348, May.
  4. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," Economics Series 10, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. " Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(3), pages 337-61, September.
  6. 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.
  7. Coenen, Günter & Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Price stability and monetary policy effectiveness when nominal interest rates are bounded at zero," Working Paper Series 0231, European Central Bank.
  8. Myles Callan & Eric Ghysels & Norman R. Swanson, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules with Model and Data Uncertainty," CIRANO Working Papers 98s-40, CIRANO.
  9. 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.
  10. Charles Goodhart, 1998. "Central Bankers and Uncertainty," FMG Special Papers sp106, Financial Markets Group.
  11. 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.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  13. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  17. 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.
  18. Blanchard, O & Katz, L, 1996. "What We Know and Do Not Know about the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Working papers 96-29, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  20. Craine, Roger, 1979. "Optimal monetary policy with uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 59-83, February.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  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. Brian 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.).
  25. 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.
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