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A Behavioral New Keynesian Model

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  • Xavier Gabaix

Abstract

This paper presents a framework for analyzing how bounded rationality affects monetary and fiscal policy. The model is a tractable and parsimonious enrichment of the widely-used New Keynesian model – with one main new parameter, which quantifies how poorly agents understand future policy and its impact. That myopia parameter, in turn, affects the power of monetary and fiscal policy in a microfounded general equilibrium. A number of consequences emerge. (i) Fiscal stimulus or \helicopter drops of money" are powerful and, indeed, pull the economy out of the zero lower bound. More generally, the model allows for the joint analysis of optimal monetary and fiscal policy. (ii) The Taylor principle is strongly modified: even with passive monetary policy, equilibrium is determinate, whereas the traditional rational model yields multiple equilibria, which reduce its predictive power, and generates indeterminate economies at the zero lower bound (ZLB). (iii) The ZLB is much less costly than in the traditional model. (iv) The model helps solve the “forward guidance puzzle”: the fact that in the rational model, shocks to very distant rates have a very powerful impact on today's consumption and inflation: because agents are partially myopic, this effect is muted. (v) Optimal policy changes qualitatively: the optimal commitment policy with rational agents demands “nominal GDP targeting”; this is not the case with behavioral firms, as the benefits of commitment are less strong with myopic forms. (vi) The model is “neo-Fisherian” in the long run, but Keynesian in the short run: a permanent rise in the interest rate decreases inflation in the short run but increases it in the long run. The non-standard behavioral features of the model seem warranted by the empirical evidence.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Gabaix, 2016. "A Behavioral New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 22954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22954
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lahcen, BOUNADER, 2016. "Optimal Monetary Policy in Behavioral New Keynesian Model," MPRA Paper 74743, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Barro, Robert J, 1974. "Are Government Bonds Net Wealth?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1095-1117, Nov.-Dec..
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    4. Xavier Gabaix, 2014. "A Sparsity-Based Model of Bounded Rationality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(4), pages 1661-1710.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 117(4), pages 1295-1328.
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    10. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D. M. Fisher & Alejandro Justiniano & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Forward Guidance and Macroeconomic Outcomes since the Financial Crisis," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 283-357.
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    12. Mariana Garcıa-Schmidt & Michael Woodford, "undated". "Are Low Interest Rates Deflationary? A Paradox of Perfect- Foresight Analysis," Working Papers Series 18, Institute for New Economic Thinking.
    13. 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.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Gertler, 2017. "Rethinking the Power of Forward Guidance: Lessons from Japan," IMES Discussion Paper Series 17-E-08, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    2. Robert E. Hall & Ricardo Reis, 2016. "Achieving Price Stability by Manipulating the Central Bank’s Payment on Reserves," NBER Working Papers 22761, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. repec:ucp:macann:doi:10.1086/690242 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Haberis, Alex & Harrison, Richard & Waldron, Matthew, 2017. "Uncertain forward guidance," Bank of England working papers 654, Bank of England.
    5. Milani, Fabio, 2017. "Sentiment and the U.S. business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 289-311.
    6. repec:nbr:nberch:13955 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Gerke, Rafael & Hauzenberger, Klemens, 2017. "The Fisher paradox: A primer," Discussion Papers 20/2017, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    8. Massenot, Baptiste, 2018. "A business cycle model with neuroeconomic foundations," SAFE Working Paper Series 194, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    9. Coenen, Günter & Ehrmann, Michael & Gaballo, Gaetano & Hoffmann, Peter & Nakov, Anton & Nardelli, Stefano & Persson, Eric & Strasser, Georg, 2017. "Communication of monetary policy in unconventional times," Working Paper Series 2080, European Central Bank.
    10. Michael T. Kiley & John M. Roberts, 2017. "Monetary Policy in a Low Interest Rate World," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 317-396.
    11. P. Andrade & G. Gaballo & E. Mengus & B. Mojon, 2015. "Forward Guidance and Heterogeneous Beliefs," Working papers 573, Banque de France.
    12. Jeffrey R. Campbell & Jonas D. M. Fisher & Alejandro Justiniano & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Forward Guidance and Macroeconomic Outcomes since the Financial Crisis," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 283-357.
    13. George-Marios Angeletos, 2017. "Frictional Coordination," NBER Working Papers 24178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Adam, Felix & Matthes, Jürgen, 2018. "Zur Belastbarkeit von Forderungen nach expansiver Fiskalpolitik an der Nullzinsgrenze: Eine Kritik neukeynesianischer Modelle auf Basis einer Literaturanalyse," IW-Reports 7/2018, Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft Köln (IW) / Cologne Institute for Economic Research.
    15. repec:prs:ecstat:estat_0336-1454_2017_num_494_1_10781 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Airaudo, Marco, 2017. "Temptation and Forward Guidance," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-4, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    17. Xavier Gabaix, 2017. "Behavioral Inattention," NBER Working Papers 24096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. George-Marios Angeletos & Chen Lian, 2016. "Forward Guidance without Common Knowledge," NBER Working Papers 22785, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • E03 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Macroeconomics
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • G02 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Behavioral Finance: Underlying Principles

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