IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Should Central Banks Raise their Inflation Targets? Some Relevant Issues

Listed author(s):
  • Bennett T. McCallum

Should central banks, because of the zero-lower-bound problem, raise their inflation-rate targets? Several arguments are relevant. (1) In the absence of the ZLB, the optimal steady-state inflation rate, according to standard New Keynesian reasoning, lies between the Friedman-rule value of deflation at the steady-state real interest rate and the Calvo-model value of zero, with calibration indicating a larger weight on the latter. (2) An attractive modification of the Calvo pricing equation would, however, imply that the weight on the second of these values should be zero. (3) There may be some scope for activist monetary policy to be effective even when the one-period interest rate is at the ZLB; but there is professional disagreement on this matter. (4) Present institutional arrangements are not immutable. In particular, elimination of traditional currency is feasible (even arguably attractive) and would remove the ZLB constraint on policy. (5) Increasing target inflation for the purpose of avoiding occasional ZLB difficulties would tend to undermine the rationale for central bank independence and would constitute an additional movement away from policy recognition of the economic necessity for intertemporal discipline.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w17005.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 17005.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: May 2011
Publication status: published as Bennett T. McCallum, 2011. "Should central banks raise their inflation targets? Some relevant issues," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 2Q, pages 111-131.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17005
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal:
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as
in new window


  1. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
  2. Buiter, Willem H., 2009. "Negative nominal interest rates: Three ways to overcome the zero lower bound," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 213-238, December.
  3. Martin Feldstein, 2010. "What Powers for the Federal Reserve?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 134-145, March.
  4. Svensson, Lars-E-O, 2001. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 19(S1), pages 277-312, February.
  5. 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.
  6. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The zero-interest-rate bound and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1071-1101, July.
  7. Michael Woodford, 2008. "How Important Is Money in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1561-1598, December.
  8. John C. Williams, 2009. "Heeding Daedalus: Optimal Inflation and the Zero Lower Bound," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 40(2 (Fall)), pages 1-49.
  9. Marvin Goodfriend, 2000. "Overcoming the zero bound on interest rate policy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 1007-1057.
  10. McCallum, Bennett T., 2008. "Reconsideration of the P-bar model of gradual price adjustment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1480-1493, November.
  11. McGough, Bruce & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Williams, John C., 2005. "Using a long-term interest rate as the monetary policy instrument," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 855-879, July.
  12. Douglas Laxton & Dirk V Muir & Michael Kumhof & Susanna Mursula & Charles Freedman, 2009. "Fiscal Stimulus to the Rescue? Short-Run Benefits and Potential Long-Run Costs of Fiscal Deficits," IMF Working Papers 09/255, .
  13. Rudiger Dornbusch, 1980. "Exchange Rate Economics: Where Do We Stand?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 11(1, Tenth ), pages 143-206.
  14. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  15. Andres, Javier & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Nelson, Edward, 2005. "Sticky-price models and the natural rate hypothesis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 1025-1053, July.
  16. Alan S. Blinder, 2010. "How Central Should the Central Bank Be?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(1), pages 123-133, March.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  18. Roberto M. Billi, 2007. "Optimal inflation for the U.S," Research Working Paper RWP 07-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  19. Beveridge, Stephen & Nelson, Charles R., 1981. "A new approach to decomposition of economic time series into permanent and transitory components with particular attention to measurement of the `business cycle'," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 151-174.
  20. Goodfriend, Marvin, 2011. "Central banking in the credit turmoil: An assessment of Federal Reserve practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-12, January.
  21. Leland B. Yeager, 1983. "Stable Money and Free-Market Currencies," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 3(1), pages 305-333, Spring.
  22. Woodford, Michael, 2005. "Comment on: "Using a long-term interest rate as the monetary policy instrument"," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 881-887, July.
  23. Goodfriend, Marvin & McCallum, Bennett T., 2007. "Banking and interest rates in monetary policy analysis: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1480-1507, July.
  24. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Theoretical analysis regarding a zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 870-935.
  25. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Helicopter Money: Irredeemable Fiat Money and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2010. "The Optimal Rate of Inflation," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 13, pages 653-722 Elsevier.
  27. David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
  28. Greenfield, Robert L & Yeager, Leland B, 1983. "A Laissez-Faire Approach to Monetary Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(3), pages 302-315, August.
  29. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  30. Peter J. Wallison, 2010. "Government Housing Policy and the Financial Crisis," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 30(2), pages 397-406, Spring.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17005. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.