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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. John H. Cochrane, 2007. "Determinacy and Identification with Taylor Rules," NBER Working Papers 13409, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2013. "Inflation Targeting in a St. Louis Model of the 21st Century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 543-574.
  9. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.
  10. 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.
  11. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, . "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 51, Society for Computational Economics.
  12. Kaushik Mitra & Seppo Honkapohja, 2004. "Are Non-Fundamental Equilibria Learnable in Models of Monetary Policy?," Royal Holloway, University of London: Discussion Papers in Economics 04/13, Department of Economics, Royal Holloway University of London, revised Jul 2004.
  13. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  14. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Monetary Policy Analysis in Models Without Money," NBER Working Papers 8174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Marvin Goodfriend, 2007. "How the World Achieved Consensus on Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 13580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  17. McCallum, Bennett T., 2003. "Multiple-solution indeterminacies in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1153-1175, July.
  18. 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.
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