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Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency

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  • Francesco Bianchi
  • Leonardo Melosi

Abstract

We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model in which monetary policy can deviate from active inflation stabilization and agents face uncertainty about the nature of these deviations. When observing a deviation, agents conduct Bayesian learning to infer its likely duration. Under constrained discretion, only short deviations occur: Agents are confident about a prompt return to the active regime, macroeconomic uncertainty is low, welfare is high. However, if a deviation persists, agents' beliefs start drifting, uncertainty accelerates, and welfare declines. If the duration of the deviations is announced, uncertainty follows a reverse path. When estimated to match past U.S. experience, our model suggests that transparency lowers uncertainty and increases welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," NBER Working Papers 20566, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20566
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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