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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. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Inflation Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9939, 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," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
  3. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  4. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Reis, Ricardo, 2002. "Sticky Information Versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," Scholarly Articles 3415324, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
  8. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 5797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  10. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  11. 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.
  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. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000384, UCLA Department of Economics.
  14. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  15. Jansson, Per & Vredin, Anders, 2003. "Forecast-Based Monetary Policy: The Case of Sweden," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 349-80, Winter.
  16. 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.
  17. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The Interest Rate Conditioning Assumption," FMG Discussion Papers dp547, Financial Markets Group.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  21. Charles Goodhart, 2005. "The interest rate conditioning assumption," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24666, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  22. Taylor, John B, 1998. "Applying Academic Research on Monetary Policy Rules: An Exercise in Translational Economics," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 66(0), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. Jan F. Qvigstad, 2006. "When does an interest rate path “look good”? Criteria for an appropriate future interest rate path," Working Paper 2006/05, Norges Bank.
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