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A Behavioral New Keynesian Model

Listed author(s):
  • Xavier Gabaix

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.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 22954.

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Date of creation: Dec 2016
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22954
Note: EFG ME
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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..
  3. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near-Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 274-303, March.
  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.
  6. Dmitry Taubinsky & Alex Rees-Jones, 2016. "Attention Variation and Welfare: Theory and Evidence from a Tax Salience Experiment," Natural Field Experiments 00563, The Field Experiments Website.
  7. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Laura L. Veldkamp, 2011. "Information Choice in Macroeconomics and Finance," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9621.
  9. 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.
  10. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. García-Schmidt, Mariana & Woodford, Michael, 2015. "Are Low Interest Rates Deflationary? A Paradox of Perfect-Foresight Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 10893, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. Erik Eyster & Kristof Madarasz & Pascal Michaillat, 2015. "Preferences for Fair Prices, Cursed Inferences, and the Nonneutrality of Money," CEP Discussion Papers dp1325, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
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