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Inflation Determination with Taylor Rules: Is New Keynesian Analysis Critically Flawed?

  • Bennett T. McCallum

Cochrane (2007) has strongly questioned the basic economic logic of current mainstream monetary policy analysis, arguing that the standard notion --that "determinacy" of a rational expectations (RE) equilibrium suffices to imply that stable inflation behavior will be generated -- is incorrect. This is because New Keynesian (NK) models are typically consistent with the existence of RE paths with explosive inflation rates (in addition to one or more stable paths) that normally do not imply explosions in real variables relevant for transversality conditions. Consequently, the usual logic does not imply the absence of explosive inflation. That result does not, however, justify negative conclusions about NK analysis. For there is a different criterion that is logically satisfactory for the purpose at hand. This is the requirement that, to be plausible, a RE solution must satisfy the property of least-squares learnability. Adoption of this criterion, which should be attractive to analysts concerned with actual monetary policy, serves to justify in principle the bulk of current mainstream analysis.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14534.

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Date of creation: Dec 2008
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Publication status: published as McCallum, Bennett T., 2009. "Inflation determination with Taylor rules: Is new-Keynesian analysis critically flawed?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1101-1108, November.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14534
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Gray, Jo Anna, 1984. "Dynamic Instability in Rational Expectations Models: An Attempt to Clarify," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 25(1), pages 93-122, February.
  2. Seppo Honkapohja & Kaushik Mitra, . "Are Non-Fundamental Equilibria Learnable in Models of Monetary Policy?," Discussion Papers 01/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
  3. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1998. "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 23-44, January.
  4. Marvin Goodfriend, 2007. "How the World Achieved Consensus on Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 47-68, Fall.
  5. 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.
  6. James Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  7. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Monetary Policy Analysis in Models Without Money," NBER Working Papers 8174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1982. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," NBER Working Papers 0855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Bennett McCallum, . "Multiple-Solution Indeterminacies in Monetary Policy Analysis," GSIA Working Papers 2003-E77, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  10. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  11. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  12. Taylor, John B., 1998. "The Robustness and Efficiency of Monetary Policy Rules as Guidelines for Interest Rate Setting by the European Central Bank," Seminar Papers 649, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  13. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Determinacy and Identification with Taylor Rules," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 565 - 615.
  14. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1999. "Learning dynamics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 449-542 Elsevier.
  15. McCallum, Bennett T., 2007. "E-stability vis-a-vis determinacy results for a broad class of linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1376-1391, April.
  16. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
  17. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  18. 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.
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