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A Prudent Central Banker

  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J.

This paper studies monetary policy in an economy where the central banker's preferences are asymmetric around optimal inflation. In particular, positive deviations from the optimum can be weighted more, or less, severely than negative deviations in the policy maker's loss function. It is shown that under asymmetric preferences, uncertainty can induce a prudent behavior on the part of the central banker. Since the prudence motive can be large enough to override the inflation bias, optimal monetary policy could be implemented even in the absence of rules, reputation, or contractual mechanisms. For certain parameter values, a deflationary bias can arise in equilibrium.

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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2001-07.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2001-07
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  1. Svensson, Lars E O, 1997. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 98-114, March.
  2. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  3. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-20, December.
  4. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  5. Ruge-Murcia, F.J., 2001. "Inflation Targeting Under Asymmetric Preferences," Cahiers de recherche 2001-04, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  6. Peter F. Christoffersen & Francis X. Diebold, . "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," CARESS Working Papres 97-20, University of Pennsylvania Center for Analytic Research and Economics in the Social Sciences.
  7. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  8. Gul, Faruk, 1991. "A Theory of Disappointment Aversion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 667-86, May.
  9. Beetsma, R.M.W.J. & Jensen, H., 1996. "Inflation targets and contracts with uncertain central banker preferences," Discussion Paper 1996-93, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5075, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ruge-Murcia, F.J., 1998. "Uncovering Financial Markets Beliefs About Inflation Targets," Cahiers de recherche 9803, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  13. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Caballero, Ricardo J., 1990. "Consumption puzzles and precautionary savings," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 113-136, January.
  15. Epstein, Larry G & Zin, Stanley E, 1989. "Substitution, Risk Aversion, and the Temporal Behavior of Consumption and Asset Returns: A Theoretical Framework," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(4), pages 937-69, July.
  16. Muscatelli, V Anton, 1999. "Inflation Contracts and Inflation Targets under Uncertainty: Why We Might Need Conservative Central Bankers," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 66(262), pages 241-54, May.
  17. 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.
  18. Granger, C.W.J. & Pesaran, H., 1996. "A Decision_Theoretic Approach to Forecast Evaluation," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9618, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
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