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Imperfect Transparency and Shifts in the Central Bank's Output Gap Target

In the New Keynesian framework, the public's expectation about the future path of monetary policy is an important determinant of current economic conditions. This paper examines the impact of unobservable shifts in the central bank's output gap target on inflation and output dynamics. I show that when the degree of persistence of a shock is private information of the central bank, and policy is discretionary in nature, it is optimal for the central bank not to reveal the future expected path of the output gap target. Perfect transparency unambiguously increases inflation and output volatility and thus lowers welfare.

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File URL: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/RePEc/papers/HunterEconWP415.pdf
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Paper provided by Hunter College Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College with number 415.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision: 2008
Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:415
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  2. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Petra M. Geraats, 2007. "The Mystique of Central Bank Speak," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(1), pages 37-80, March.
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  8. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," NBER Working Papers 6452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Svensson, Lars & Faust, Jon, 1999. "The Equilibrium Degree of Transparency and Control in Monetary Policy," Seminar Papers 669, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  10. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The interest rate conditioning assumption," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  11. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  12. Westelius, Niklas J., 2005. "Discretionary monetary policy and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 477-496, March.
  13. Andrew Blake, 2001. "A Timeless Perspective on Optimality in Forward-Looking Rational Expectations Models," NIESR Discussion Papers 188, National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
  14. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lars E.O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator Variables for Optimal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7953, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gerlach-Kristen, Petra, 2006. "Monetary policy committees and interest rate setting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 487-507, February.
  17. Alex Cukierman, 2002. "Are contemporary central banks transparent about economic models and objectives and what difference does it make?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 15-36.
  18. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2004. "Indicator variables for optimal policy under asymmetric information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 661-690, January.
  19. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Timeless perspective vs. discretionary monetary policy in forward-looking models," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 43-56.
  20. Aoki, Kosuke, 2002. "Optimal Commitment Policy Under Noisy Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
  22. Athanasios Orphanides & Richard D. Porter & David L. Reifschneider & Robert J. Tetlow & Frederico Finan, 1999. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank, 2003. "Uncertain potential output: implications for monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1611-1638, July.
  24. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The Interest Rate Conditioning Assumption," FMG Discussion Papers dp547, Financial Markets Group.
  25. Dotsey, Michael & Hornstein, Andreas, 2003. "Should a monetary policymaker look at money?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 547-579, April.
  26. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Walsh, Carl E, 2003. " Accountability, Transparency, and Inflation Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(5), pages 829-849, October.
  28. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
  29. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  30. Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation targeting and optimal monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 15-42.
  31. Seth B. Carpenter, 2004. "Transparency and monetary policy: what does the academic literature tell policymakers?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-35, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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