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Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy: Policy Rules in Practice

  • Michael Woodford

Forecast targeting is an innovation in central banking that represents an important step toward more rule-based policymaking, even if it is not an attempt to follow a policy rule of any of the types that have received primary attention in the theoretical literature on optimal monetary policy. This paper discusses the extent to which forecast targeting can be considered an example of a policy rule, and the conditions under which it would represent a desirable rule, with a view to suggesting improvements in the approaches currently used by forecast-targeting central banks. Particular attention is given to the intertemporal consistency of forecast-targeting procedures, the assumptions about future policy that should be used in constructing the forecasts used in such procedures, the horizon with which the target criterion should be concerned, the relevance of forecasts other than the inflation forecast, and the degree of robustness of a desirable target criterion for monetary policy to changing circumstances.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13716.

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Date of creation: Dec 2007
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Publication status: published as Michael Woodford, 2007. "The Case for Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13716
Note: ME
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  1. Kaushik Mitra & Seppo Honkapohja, 2004. "Performance of Inflation Targeting Based On Constant Interest Rate Projections," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/15, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Jul 2004.
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  7. Charles A.E. Goodhart, 2001. "Monetary transmission lags and the formulation of the policy decision on interest rates," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 165-186.
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  9. 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.
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  12. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Taylor, John B, 1993. "The Use of the New Macroeconometrics for Policy Formulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 300-305, May.
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  17. Jansson, Per & Vredin, Anders, 2003. "Forecast-Based Monetary Policy: The Case of Sweden," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 349-80, Winter.
  18. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The Interest Rate Conditioning Assumption," FMG Discussion Papers dp547, Financial Markets Group.
  19. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
  21. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Inflation Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. King, Mervyn, 1997. "Changes in UK monetary policy: Rules and discretion in practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 81-97, June.
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  24. 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 473-91, June.
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  26. Leitemo, Kai, 2003. " Targeting Inflation by Constant-Interest-Rate Forecasts," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 609-26, August.
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