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The Case for a Long-Run Inflation Target of Four Percent

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  • Laurence M. Ball

Abstract

Many central banks target an inflation rate near two percent. This essay argues that policymakers would do better to target four percent inflation. A four percent target would ease the constraints on monetary policy arising from the zero bound on interest rates, with the result that economic downturns would be less severe. This benefit would come at minimal cost, because four percent inflation does not harm an economy significantly.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence M. Ball, 2014. "The Case for a Long-Run Inflation Target of Four Percent," IMF Working Papers 14/92, International Monetary Fund.
  • Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:14/92
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Mankiw, N Gregory, 2001. "The Inexorable and Mysterious Tradeoff between Inflation and Unemployment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(471), pages 45-61, May.
    2. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1371-1406.
    3. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Johannes Wieland, 2012. "The Optimal Inflation Rate in New Keynesian Models: Should Central Banks Raise Their Inflation Targets in Light of the Zero Lower Bound?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(4), pages 1371-1406.
    4. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2009. "The Fed's monetary policy response to the current crisis," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue may22.
    5. Barnes, Michelle L. & Gumbau-Brisa, FabiĆ  & Lie, Denny & Olivei, Giovanni P., 2011. "Estimation of Forward-Looking Relationships in Closed Form: An Application to the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Working Papers 2011-05, University of Sydney, School of Economics.
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