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Managing Disinflation under Uncertainty

  • Mewael F. Tesfaselassie
  • Eric Schaling

In this paper we analyze disinflation policy when a central bank has imperfect information about private sector inflation expectations but learns about them from economic outcomes, which are in part the result of the disinflation policy. The form of uncertainty is manifested as uncertainty about the effect of past disinflation policy on current output gap. Thus current as well as past policy actions matter for output gap determination. We derive the optimal policy under learning (DOP) and compare it two limiting cases---certainty equivalence policy (CEP) and cautionary policy (CP). It turns out that under the DOP inflation stay between the levels implied by the CEP and the CP. A novel result is that this holds irrespective of the initial level of inflation. Moreover, while at high levels of inherited inflation the DOP moves closer to the CEP, at low levels of inherited inflation the DOP resembles the CP

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1429.

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Length: 22 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1429
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  1. Volker Wieland, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Bomfim, Antulio N & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 2000. "Opportunistic and Deliberate Disinflation under Imperfect Credibility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 707-21, November.
  3. Tesfaselassie, M.F. & Schaling, E. & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2006. "Learning About the Term Structure and Optimal Rules for Inflation Targeting," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2006-058-F&A, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  4. Volker Wieland, 1996. "Learning by doing and the value of optimal experimentation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  6. Lars E.O. Svensson & Noah M. Williams, 2007. "Bayesian and Adaptive Optimal Policy under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 13414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. repec:dgr:kubcen:200688 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. James Yetman, 2000. "Probing Potential Output: Monetary Policy, Credibility And Optimal Learning Under Uncertainty," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 181, Society for Computational Economics.
  9. Beck, Gunter W. & Wieland, Volker, 2002. "Learning and control in a changing economic environment," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(9-10), pages 1359-1377, August.
  10. Schaling, Eric, 2003. "Learning, inflation expectations and optimal monetary policy," Research Discussion Papers 20/2003, Bank of Finland.
  11. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Benefits from U.S. monetary policy experimentation in the days of Samuelson and Solow and Lucas," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Ellison, Martin, 2003. "The Learning Cost of Interest Rate Reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 4135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1991. "Learning, Experimentation and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1991018, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  14. Balvers, Ronald J & Cosimano, Thomas F, 1994. "Inflation Variability and Gradualist Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 721-38, October.
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  17. Eric Schaling & Marco Hoeberichts, 2010. "Why Speed Doesn’t Kill: Learning to Believe in Disinflation," De Economist, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 23-42, April.
  18. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1988. "The Fate of Systems with "Adaptive" Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 168-72, May.
  19. Pu Chen & Carl Chiarella & Peter Flaschel & Willi Semmler, 2006. "Keynesian Macrodynamics and the Phillips Curve. An Estimated Baseline Macromodel for the U.S. Economy," Working Paper Series 147, Finance Discipline Group, UTS Business School, University of Technology, Sydney.
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