IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/12277.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Stability First: Reflections Inspired by Otmar Issing's Success as the ECB's Chief Economist

Author

Listed:
  • Vitor Gaspar
  • Anil K. Kashyap

Abstract

In this paper, we review Otmar Issing's career as the ECB's inaugural chief economist and we document many notable successes. We try to infer some general principles that contributed to these successes and draw some lessons. In doing so, we review the evidence using Woodford%u2019s (2003) recent revival of the Wicksellian approach to monetary policy making. Suitably interpreted the baseline model can rationalize Issing%u2019s three guiding principles for successful policymaking. This baseline model, however, fails to account for the important role that monetary and financial analysis played in the conduct of policy during Issing%u2019s tenure. We propose an extension of the model to account for financial developments and show that this extended model substantially improves our understanding of ECB practice. We conclude by listing six open questions, relevant for the future of central banking in Europe that Issing may want to consider in case leisure allows.

Suggested Citation

  • Vitor Gaspar & Anil K. Kashyap, 2006. "Stability First: Reflections Inspired by Otmar Issing's Success as the ECB's Chief Economist," NBER Working Papers 12277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12277
    Note: ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w12277.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2005. "Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(6), pages 1185-1236, December.
    2. Peter J. Klenow & Oleksiy Kryvtsov, 2008. "State-Dependent or Time-Dependent Pricing: Does it Matter for Recent U.S. Inflation?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 863-904.
    3. Kenneth Rogoff, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-1189.
    4. Fabiani, S. & Druant, M. & Hernando, I. & Kwapil, C. & Landau, B. & Loupias, C. & Martins, F. & Mathä, T. & Sabbatini, R. & Stahl, H. & Stockman, A., 2005. "The Pricing Behaviour of Firms in the Euro Area: New Survey Evidence," Working papers 135, Banque de France.
    5. Fabio Moneta, 2005. "Does the Yield Spread Predict Recessions in the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 263-301, August.
    6. Issing, Otmar, 2005. "The ECB and the euro--the first 6 years: A view from the ECB," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 27(4), pages 405-420, June.
    7. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2003. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 691-720, April.
    8. Issing, Otmar, 2001. "The Single Monetary Policy of the European Central Bank: One Size Fits All," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 441-462, Winter.
    9. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Marvin Goodfriend, 2004. "Monetary policy in the new neoclassical synthesis : a primer," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 21-45.
    11. 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.
    12. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1972. "Money, Debt, and Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(5), pages 951-977, Sept.-Oct.
    13. Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The future of monetary aggregates in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1029-1059, July.
    14. Mark Gertler & John Leahy, 2008. "A Phillips Curve with an Ss Foundation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 116(3), pages 533-572, June.
    15. Olivier Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2007. "Real Wage Rigidities and the New Keynesian Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 35-65, February.
    16. Dynan, Karen E. & Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2006. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 123-150, January.
    17. Robert J. Shiller, 1997. "Public Resistance to Indexation: A Puzzle," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 28(1), pages 159-228.
    18. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
    19. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    20. Issing, Otmar, 2001. "The euro--the experience of the past 2 years," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-20.
    21. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
    22. Blanchard, Olivier Jean, 1990. "Why does money affect output? A survey," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: B. M. Friedman & F. H. Hahn (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 15, pages 779-835 Elsevier.
    23. Luis J. Álvarez & Emmanuel Dhyne & Marco Hoeberichts & Claudia Kwapil & Hervé Le Bihan & Patrick Lünnemann & Fernando Martins & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Philip Vermeulen & Jouko Vilmunen, 2006. "Sticky Prices in the Euro Area: A Summary of New Micro-Evidence," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 575-584, 04-05.
    24. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Lianfa Li, 2008. "Do Capital Adequacy Requirements Matter For Monetary Policy?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 643-659, October.
    25. Maurice Obstfeld., 1998. "EMU: Ready, or Not?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C98-101, University of California at Berkeley.
    26. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-162, May.
    27. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    28. Issing, Otmar, 2000. "The ECB's Monetary Policy: Experience After the First Year," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 22(3), pages 325-343, May.
    29. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    30. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The Case for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    31. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
    32. Otmar Issing, 1999. "The Eurosystem: Transparent andAccountable or 'Willem in Euroland'," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(3), pages 503-519, September.
    33. Silvia Fabiani & Martine Druant & Ignacio Hernando & Claudia Kwapil & Bettina Landau & Claire Loupias & Fernando Martins & Thomas Mathä & Roberto Sabbatini & Harald Stahl & Ad Stokman, 2006. "What Firms' Surveys Tell Us about Price-Setting Behavior in the Euro Area," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(3), September.
    34. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    35. Issing, Otmar, 1997. "Monetary targeting in Germany: The stability of monetary policy and of the monetary system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-79, June.
    36. Castelnuovo, Efrem & Nicoletti-Altimari, Sergio & Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego, 2003. "Definition of price stability, range and point inflation targets: the anchoring of long-term inflation expectations," Working Paper Series 273, European Central Bank.
    37. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy become more Efficient? a Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 408-433, April.
    38. Gaspar, Vitor & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel & Sicilia, Jorge, 2001. "The ECB Monetary Policy Strategy and the Money Market," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 6(4), pages 325-342, October.
    39. Thomas M. Humphrey, 1997. "Fisher and Wicksell on the quantity theory," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 71-90.
    40. Vestin, David, 2000. "Price-level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting in a Forward-looking Model," Working Paper Series 106, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    41. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    42. Lawrence J. Christiano & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Money Growth Monitoring and the Taylor Rule," NBER Working Papers 8539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    43. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
    44. 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 473-491, June.
    45. Abbigail J. Chiodo & Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "A case study of a currency crisis: the Russian default of 1998," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 7-18.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 2008. "How Central Bankers See It: The First Decade of ECB Policy and Beyond," NBER Working Papers 14489, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Lucas Papademos, 2012. "Panel Session II remarks, The Great Inflation: Lessons for Central Banks," NBER Chapters,in: The Great Inflation: The Rebirth of Modern Central Banking, pages 503-511 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 2010. "How Central Bankers See It: The First Decade of European Central Bank Policy and Beyond," NBER Chapters,in: Europe and the Euro, pages 327-374 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12277. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: () or (Joanne Lustig). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.