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Estimation of monetary policy preferences in a forward-looking model : a Bayesian approach

  • Pelin Ilbas


    (Center for Economic Studies, Catholic University of Leuven)

In this paper we adopt a Bayesian approach towards the estimation of the monetary policy preference parameters in a general equilibrium framework. We start from the model presented by Smets and Wouters (2003) for the euro area where, in the original set up, monetary policy behaviour is described by an empirical Taylor rule. We abandon this way of representing monetary policy behaviour and assume, instead, that monetary policy authorities optimize an intertemporal quadratic loss function under commitment. We consider two alternative specifications for the loss function. The first specification includes inflation, output gap and difference in the interest rate as target variables. The second loss function includes an additional wage inflation target. The weights assigned to the target variables in the loss functions, i.e. the preferences of monetary policy, are estimated jointly with the structural parameters in the model. The results imply that inflation variability remains the main concern of optimal monetary policy. In addition, interest rate smoothing and the output gap appear to be, to a lesser extent, important target variables as well. Comparing the marginal likelihood of the original Smets and Wouters (2003) model to our specification with optimal monetary policy indicates that the latter performs only slightly worse. Since we are faced with the time-inconsistency problem under commitment, we initialize our estimates by considering a presample period of 40 quarters. This allows us to approach, empirically, the timeless perspective framework.

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Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 129.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:200803-12
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  1. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2000. "Timeless Perspectives vs. Discretionary Monetary Policy In Forward-Looking Models," NBER Working Papers 7915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," NBER Working Papers 6790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 113-172.
  5. Timothy Kam & Kirdan Lees & Philip Liu, 2006. "Uncovering The Hit-List For Small Inflation Targeters: A Bayesian Structural Analysis," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2006-473, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
  6. Richard Dennis, 2001. "The policy preferences of the U.S. Federal Reserve," Working Paper Series 2001-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Söderlind, Paul, 1998. "Solution and Estimation of RE Macromodels with Optimal Policy," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 256, Stockholm School of Economics.
  8. Alexei Onatski & Noah Williams, 2004. "Empirical and policy performance of a forward-looking monetary model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  9. Ehrmann, Michael & Smets, Frank, 2001. "Uncertain potential output: implications for monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0059, European Central Bank.
  10. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  11. Bauwens, Luc & Lubrano, Michel & Richard, Jean-Francois, 2000. "Bayesian Inference in Dynamic Econometric Models," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198773139, December.
  12. Florian Pelgrin & Michel Juillard, 2005. "Computing optimal policy functions in a timeless perspective: An application," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 271, Society for Computational Economics.
  13. Söderström, Ulf & Söderlind, Paul & Vredin, Anders, 2002. "New-Keynesian Models and Monetary Policy: A Reexamination of the Stylized Facts," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 511, Stockholm School of Economics, revised 15 Aug 2003.
  14. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
  15. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  18. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  19. Richard Dennis, 2001. "Solving for Optimal Simple Rules in Rational Expectations Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 30, Society for Computational Economics.
  20. Jensen, Christian & McCallum, Bennett T., 2002. "The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-168, October.
  21. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2005. "Bayesian New Neoclassical Synthesis (NNS) Models: Modern Tools for Central Banks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(2-3), pages 422-433, 04/05.
  22. Ozlale, Umit, 2003. "Price stability vs. output stability: tales of federal reserve administrations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1595-1610, July.
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