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Do Inflation-Targeting Central Banks Implicitly Target the Price Level?

  • RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J.

This paper reports graphical and statistical evidence that the inflation targeting regimes in Canada and the UK - but not in Australia, New Zealand, or Sweden - actually resemble price-level targeting. In particular, the price level closely tracks the path implied by the inflation target, and the time-series predictions of the "bygones-are-bygones" version of inflation targeting are rejected by the data in favor of those implied by price-level targeting. These results indicate heterogeneity in the actual application of inflation targeting across countries and, for Canada and the UK, imply that the characterization of inflation targeting as a policy where shocks are accommodated is at odds with the data. Moreover, up to extent that their current policies already resemble price-level targeting, the welfare gains of replacing inflation with (explicit) price-level targeting are likely to be small.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/1866/4000
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Paper provided by Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 2009-15.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montde:2009-15
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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  2. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  3. Ball, Laurence & Gregory Mankiw, N. & Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Monetary policy for inattentive economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 703-725, May.
  4. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  5. Ondra Kamenik & Heesun Kiem & Vladimir Klyuev & Douglas Laxton, 2013. "Why Is Canada's Price Level So Predictable?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(1), pages 71-85, 02.
  6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2006. "Monetary Policy When Potential Output is Uncertain: Understanding the Growth Gamble of the 1990s," NBER Working Papers 12268, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
  8. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
  9. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 1997. "Lag Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 369, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 01 Sep 2000.
  10. Pierre Perron & Robert J. Shiller, 1984. "Testing the Random Walk Hypothesis: Power Versus Frequency of Observation," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 732, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  11. Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1152, Society for Computational Economics.
  12. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. "Price-Level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 277-95, August.
  13. Stephen Murchison, 2010. "Price-Level Targeting and Relative-Price Shocks," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2010(Summer), pages 11-21.
  14. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
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