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Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information

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  • Robert J. Barro

Abstract

Previous models of rules versus discretion are extended to include uncertainty about the policymaker's "type." When people observe low inflation, they raise the possibility that the policymaker is committed to low inflation (type 1). This enhancement of reputation gives the uncommitted policymaker (type 2) an incentive to masquerade as the committed type. In the equilibrium the policymaker of type 1 delivers surprisingly low inflation -- with corresponding costs to the economy -- over an extended interval. The type 2 person mimics this outcome for awhile, but shift seventually to high inflation. This high inflation is surprising initially, but subsequently becomes anticipated.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Barro, 1986. "Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy with Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 1794, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1794
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    1. James W. Friedman, 1971. "A Non-cooperative Equilibrium for Supergames," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(1), pages 1-12.
    2. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1983. "Inflationary Finance under Discretion and Rules," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 16(1), pages 1-16, February.
    4. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
    5. Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1982. "Predation, reputation, and entry deterrence," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 280-312, August.
    6. Horn, Henrik & Persson, Torsten, 1988. "Exchange rate policy, wage formation and credibility," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(8), pages 1621-1636, October.
    7. David Backus & John Driffill, 1985. "Rational Expectations and Policy Credibility Following a Change in Regime," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(2), pages 211-221.
    8. 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 473-491, June.
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