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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. Alexander L. Wolman, 2003. "Real implications of the zero bound on nominal interest rates," Working Paper 03-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  2. Shiller, Robert J. & Perron, Pierre, 1985. "Testing the random walk hypothesis : Power versus frequency of observation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 381-386.
  3. Stephen Murchison, 2010. "Price-Level Targeting and Relative-Price Shocks," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2010(Summer), pages 11-21.
  4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1997, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," NBER Working Papers 7261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Serena Ng & Pierre Perron, 2001. "LAG Length Selection and the Construction of Unit Root Tests with Good Size and Power," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1519-1554, November.
  8. Svensson, Lars E O, 1996. "Price-level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1510, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Perron, P, 1988. "The Great Crash, The Oil Price Shock And The Unit Root Hypothesis," Papers 338, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  10. Vladimir Klyuev & Heesun Kiem & Ondra Kamenik & Douglas Laxton, 2008. "Why is Canada's Price Level so Predictable?," IMF Working Papers 08/25, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
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