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Optimal Target Criteria for Stabilization Policy

  • Marc P. Giannoni
  • Michael Woodford

This paper considers a general class of nonlinear rational-expectations models in which policymakers seek to maximize an objective function that may be household expected utility. We show how to derive a target criterion that is: (i) consistent with the model's structural equations, (ii) strong enough to imply a unique equilibrium, and (iii) optimal, in the sense that a commitment to adjust the policy instrument at all dates so as to satisfy the target criterion maximizes the objective function. The proposed optimal target criterion is a linear equation that must be satisfied by the projected paths of certain economically relevant "target variables". It takes the same form at all times and generally involves only a small number of target variables, regardless of the size and complexity of the model. While the projected path of the economy requires information about the current state, the target criterion itself can be stated without reference to a complete description of the state of the world. We illustrate the application of the method to a nonlinear DSGE model with staggered price-setting, in which the objective of policy is to maximize household expected utility.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15757.

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Date of creation: Feb 2010
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15757
Note: ME
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  1. Michael Woodford, 2007. "Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy: Policy Rules in Practice," NBER Working Papers 13716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation stabilization and welfare: The case of a distorted steady state," Discussion Papers 0405-04, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2008. "Linear-Quadratic Approximation of Optimal Policy Problems," Discussion Papers 0809-01, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  4. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
  5. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," NBER Working Papers 9419, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521441964 is not listed on IDEAS
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