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Escaping Expectation Traps: How Much Commitment is Required?

  • Christoph Himmels
  • Tatiana Kirsanova

In this paper we study the degree of precommitment that is required to eliminate multiplicity of policy equilibria, which arise if the policy maker acts under pure discretion. We apply a framework developed by Schaumburg and Tambalotti (2007) and Debortoli and Nunes (2010) to a standard New Keynesian model with government debt. We demonstrate the existence of expectation traps under limited commitment and identify the minimum degree of commitment which is needed to escape from these traps. We find that the degree of precommitment which is sufficient to generate uniqueness of the Pareto-preferred equilibrium requires the policy maker to stay in office for a period of two to five years. This is consistent with monetary policy arrangements in many developed countries.

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File URL: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/medialibrary/economics/discussionpapers/EDP-1220.pdf
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Paper provided by Economics, The University of Manchester in its series The School of Economics Discussion Paper Series with number 1220.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:man:sespap:1220
Contact details of provider: Postal: Manchester M13 9PL
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Web page: http://www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/economics/

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  1. Andrew Blake & Tatiana Kirsanova, 2008. "Discretionary Policy and Multiple Equilibria in LQ RE Models," Discussion Papers 0813, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
  2. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 2004. "Monetary discretion, pricing complementarity, and dynamic multiple equilibria," Working Paper 04-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  3. Ernst Schaumburg & Andrea Tambalotti, 2003. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Staff Reports 171, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  8. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Optimal Fiscal and Monetary Policy Under Sticky Prices," Departmental Working Papers 200105, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  9. Eric M. Leeper & Michael Plante & Nora Traum, 2009. "Dynamics Of Fiscal Financing In The United States," Caepr Working Papers 2009-012, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  10. Stefania Albanesi & V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano, 2002. "Expectation Traps and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8912, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Backus, David & Driffill, John, 1986. "The Consistency of Optimal Policy in Stochastic Rational Expectations Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 124, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Lockwood, Ben & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 1994. "Insider Power, Unemployment Dynamics and Multiple Inflation Equilibria," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(241), pages 59-77, February.
  14. Luca Sessa & Libero Monteforte & Lorenzo Forni, 2007. "The general equilibrium effects of fiscal policy: estimates for the euro area," 2007 Meeting Papers 352, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy under imperfect competition," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 183-209, June.
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  19. Anderson, Evan W. & McGrattan, Ellen R. & Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1996. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-252 Elsevier.
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  25. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521441964 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Coenen, Günter & Straub, Roland, 2005. "Does government spending crowd in private consumption? Theory and empirical evidence for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0513, European Central Bank.
  27. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
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