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Discretionary Monetary Policy and Inflation Persistence

Rational expectations models of staggered price/wage contracts have failed to replicate the observed persistence in inflation and unemployment during disinflation periods. The current literature on this persistency puzzle has focused on augmenting the nominal contract model with imperfect credibility and learning. In this paper, I re-examine the persistency puzzle by focusing on the discretionary nature of monetary policy. I show that when the central bank is allowed to re-optimize a quadratic loss function each period, imperfect credibility and learning, even in the absence of staggered contracts, can generate a significant amount of inflation persistence and employment losses during a disinflationary period.

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Paper provided by Hunter College Department of Economics in its series Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College with number 424.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:htr:hcecon:424
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  1. Taylor, John B., 1999. "Staggered price and wage setting in macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 15, pages 1009-1050 Elsevier.
  2. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1993. "Inflation persistence," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  4. Ball, Laurence, 1994. "Credible Disinflation with Staggered Price-Setting," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 282-89, March.
  5. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 415, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Ireland, Peter N., 1995. "Optimal disinflationary paths," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1429-1448, November.
  7. Laurence Ball, 1993. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Working Papers 4306, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Edmund Phelps, 1978. "Disinflation without recession: Adaptive guideposts and monetary policy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 114(4), pages 783-809, December.
  10. 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 473-91, June.
  11. 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.
  12. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 1997. "Monetary policy regimes and beliefs," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 118, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  13. John B. Taylor, 1982. "Union Wage Settlements During a Disinflation," NBER Working Papers 0985, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Chan G. Huh & Kevin J. Lansing, 1997. "Expectations, credibility, and disinflation in a small macroeconomic model," Working Paper 9713, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  15. Ball, Laurence, 1995. "Disinflation with imperfect credibility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 5-23, February.
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