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Determinacy, Learnability, and Monetary Policy Inertia

We document that monetary policy inertia can help alleviate problems of indeterminacy and non-existence of stationary equilibrium observed for some commonly-studied monetary policy rules. We also find that inertia promotes learnability of equilibrium. The context is a simple, forward-looking model of the macroeconomy widely used in the rapidly expanding literature in this area. We conclude that this might be an important reason why central banks in the industrialized economies display considerable inertia when adjusting monetary policy in response to changing economic conditions.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London in its series Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics with number 04/14.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2004
Date of revision: Jul 2004
Handle: RePEc:hol:holodi:0414
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  1. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 537-577, November.
  2. Honkapohja, S. & Evans, G.W., 2000. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," University of Helsinki, Department of Economics 481, Department of Economics.
  3. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(0), pages 1-35, Supplemen.
  4. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2003. "Backward-Looking Interest Rate Rules, Interest Rate Smoothing and Macroeconomic Instability," CEPR Discussion Papers 3928, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  9. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-22, December.
  10. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1991. "The Lucas Critique, Policy Invariance and Multiple Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 321-332.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Charles T. Carlstrom & Timothy S. Fuerst, 2000. "Forward-looking versus backward-looking Taylor rules," Working Paper 0009, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  13. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  14. Bennett T. McCallum, 1981. "On Non-Uniqueness in Rational Expectations Models: An Attempt at Perspective," NBER Working Papers 0684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Hall, R.E. & Mankiw, N.G., 1993. "Nominal Income Targeting," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1650, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  20. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  22. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1999. "Learning dynamics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 449-542 Elsevier.
  23. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  25. Roger E. A. Farmer, 1999. "Macroeconomics of Self-fulfilling Prophecies, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262062038, June.
  26. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-39, March.
  27. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1996. "Monetary Policy as a Process of Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 689-702, September.
  28. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
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