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Strategic Complementarities and Optimal Monetary Policy

  • Andrew T. Levin
  • J. David Lopez-Salido
  • Tack Yun

In this paper, we show that strategic complementarities–such as firm-specific factors or quasikinked demand–have crucial implications for the design of monetary policy and for the welfare costs of output and inflation variability. Recent research has mainly used log-linear approximations to analyze the role of these mechanisms in amplifying the real effects of monetary shocks. In contrast, our analysis explicitly considers the nonlinear properties of these mechanisms that are relevant for characterizing the deterministic steady state as well as the second-order approximation of social welfare in the stochastic economy. We demonstrate that firm-specific factors and quasi-kinked demand curves yield markedly different implications for the welfare costs of steady-state inflation and inflation volatility, and we show that these considerations have dramatic consequences in assessing the relative price distortions associated with the Great Inflation of 1965-1979.

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1355.

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Length: 44 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1355
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  1. David E. Altig & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2010. "Firm-specific capital, nominal rigidities and the business cycle," International Finance Discussion Papers 990, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  9. Argia M. Sbordone, 2001. "Prices and Unit Labor Costs: A New Test of Price Stickiness," Departmental Working Papers 199822, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
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  13. Michael Dotsey & Robert G. King, 2005. "Pricing, production, and persistence," Working Papers 05-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Robert King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "What Should the Monetary Authority Do When Prices Are Sticky?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 349-404 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2005. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model: Expanded Version," NBER Working Papers 11417, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Stepahnie Schmitt-Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2007. "Optimal Inflation Stabilization in a Medium-Scale Macroeconomic Model," 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 5, pages 125-186 Central Bank of Chile.
  19. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
  20. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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  22. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Miles S. Kimball & Michael Woodford, 1994. "The quantitative analysis of the basic neomonetarist model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1241-1289.
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  25. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  26. David Lopez-Salido & Andrew T. Levin, 2004. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Endogenous Capital Accumulation," 2004 Meeting Papers 826, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  27. Huang, Kevin X. D. & Liu, Zheng, 2001. "Production chains and general equilibrium aggregate dynamics," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 437-462, October.
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