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Testing Commitment Models of Monetary Policy: Evidence from OECD Economies

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  • Doyle, Matthew
  • Falk, Barry L.

Abstract

Inflation rates in a number of OECD follow a common trend over the past four decades: inflation starts out low in the 1960s, rises for a time before peaking in the 1970s or early 1980s, and then falls back to initial levels. This similarity in the behavior of trend inflation suggests that any explanation of long run inflation trends ought to apply across OECD countries. Ireland (1999) shows that a simple time inconsistency model of monetary policy, modified to allow for a time-varying NAIRU, can explain long run trends in U.S. inflation. In this paper we show that this result cannot serve as an explanation of the common trend in OECD inflation, as it fits the data only in the U.S.. We investigate two important variants of the hypothesis: i) that time inconsistency was an important component of central bank behavior in earlier decades, but has become less significant in recent years, and ii) that time inconsistency problems drive U.S. inflation, which affects inflation rates in other countries as a result of central bankers' attempts to manage nominal exchange rate movements vis a vis the U.S. dollar. We find that the first hypothesis fits the data no better than the baseline model. We find some support for the international spillovers version of the model, but the behavior of non-U.S. central bankers with respect to domestic unemployment rates is not well described by the time inconsistency mechanism.

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  • Doyle, Matthew & Falk, Barry L., 2004. "Testing Commitment Models of Monetary Policy: Evidence from OECD Economies," Staff General Research Papers Archive 11995, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:11995
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Haug, Alfred A. & King, Ian P., 2011. "Empirical evidence on inflation and unemployment in the long run," MPRA Paper 33409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Sudhanshu Kumar & Naveen Srinivasan & Muthiah Ramachandran, 2012. "A time-varying parameter model of inflation in India," Indian Growth and Development Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 25-50, April.
    3. Doyle, Matthew & Falk, Barry, 2010. "Do asymmetric central bank preferences help explain observed inflation outcomes?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 527-540, June.
    4. Bohn, Frank, 2013. "Grand corruption instead of commitment? Reconsidering time-inconsistency of monetary policy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 478-490.
    5. Matthew Doyle & Jean-Paul Lam, 2010. "Is the New Keynesian Explanation of the Great Dis-Inflation Consistent with the Cross Country Data?," Working Papers 1010, University of Waterloo, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.
    6. Naveen Srinivasan & Pratik Mitra, 2014. "The European unemployment problem: its cause and cure," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 57-73, August.
    7. Julio Cesar Albuquerque Bastos & Helder Ferreira de Mendonça & Gabriel Montes, 2014. "Time-inconsistency problem: less common than we think," Journal of Economic Studies, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 41(5), pages 708-720, September.
    8. Divino, José Angelo, 2009. "Monetary Policy Rules Across OECD Countries," Revista Brasileira de Economia - RBE, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil), vol. 63(1), April.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy; inflation; time incosistency;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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