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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 in?ation targeting across countries and, for Canada and the UK, imply that the characterization of in?ation 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 in?ation with (explicit) price-level targeting are likely to be small.

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Paper provided by Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 16-2009.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mtl:montec:16-2009
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  1. 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.
  2. Stephen Murchison, 2010. "Price-Level Targeting and Relative-Price Shocks," Bank of Canada Review, Bank of Canada, vol. 2010(Summer), pages 11-21.
  3. Perron, Pierre, 1989. "The Great Crash, the Oil Price Shock, and the Unit Root Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(6), pages 1361-1401, November.
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 67(0), pages 1-35, Supplemen.
  8. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
  9. 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.
  10. Laurence Ball & N Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2003. "Monetary Policy for Inattentive Economies," Economics Working Paper Archive 491, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  11. Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Shapiro, Matthew D., 2007. "Monetary policy when potential output is uncertain: Understanding the growth gamble of the 1990s," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1132-1162, May.
  12. Jón Steinsson, 2000. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Economics wp11, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
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