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Inflation Range Targets with Hard Edges

A number of inflation targeting central banks operate under provisions that allow for increased flexibility when faced with large supply shocks. These so-called escape clauses, however, are usually hard to interpret and discretionary in nature. This paper argues that a practical and more viable option is to specify a hard edged target range. Within the range, the central bank enjoys complete independence. Should, however, a large supply shock force inflation outside the range, the government may overrule the bank unless it adjusts its policy to address the government's concerns. Such an arrangement has the advantage of being easily understood and non-discretionary. Furthermore, it is shown that the bandwidth of the target range is inversely related to the degree of flexibility of the inflation targeting regime and thus, provides an easy way for the central bank to communicate its preferences to the public. The paper also discusses various determinants of the optimal design of the target range.

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File URL: http://econ.hunter.cuny.edu/wp-content/uploads/sites/6/RePEc/papers/HunterEconWP423.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 423.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:423
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  1. 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.
  2. Susan Athey & Andrew Atkeson & Patrick J. Kehoe, 2005. "The Optimal Degree of Discretion in Monetary Policy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1431-1475, September.
  3. Laurence M. Ball & Niamh Sheridan, 2004. "Does Inflation Targeting Matter?," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 249-282 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "A Price Target for U.S. Monetary Policy? Lessons from the Experience with Money Growth Targets," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 77-146.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
  6. Christopher J. Erceg, 2002. "The Choice of an Inflation Target Range in a Small Open Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 85-89, May.
  7. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2009. "Monetary Policy Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262513374, January.
  8. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-286, March.
  9. King, Mervyn, 1997. "Changes in UK monetary policy: Rules and discretion in practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 81-97, June.
  10. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  11. Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2007. "Does Inflation Targeting Make a Difference?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 9, pages 291-372 Central Bank of Chile.
  12. Robert P. Flood & Peter Isard, 1988. "Monetary Policy Strategies," NBER Working Papers 2770, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1996. "Models of currency crises with self-fulfilling features," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 1037-1047, April.
  14. 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.
  15. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  16. JoAnne Morris & Tonny Lybek, 2004. "Central Bank Governance; A Survey of Boards and Management," IMF Working Papers 04/226, International Monetary Fund.
  17. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," 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 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
  18. Robert Amano & Richard Black & Marcel Kasumovich, 1997. "A Band-Aid Solution to Inflation Targeting," Staff Working Papers 97-11, Bank of Canada.
  19. Frederic S. Mishkin & Niklas J. Westelius, 2008. "Inflation Band Targeting and Optimal Inflation Contracts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(4), pages 557-582, June.
  20. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
  21. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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