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Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Bianchi
  • Leonardo Melosi
  • Matthias Rottner

Abstract

Since the 2001 recession, average core inflation has been below the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. This deflationary bias is a predictable consequence of a low nominal interest rates environment in which the central bank follows a symmetric strategy to stabilize inflation. The deflationary bias increases if macroeconomic uncertainty rises or the natural real interest rate falls. An asymmetric rule according to which the central bank responds less aggressively to above-target inflation corrects the bias and allows inflation to converge to the central bank’s target. We show that adopting this asymmetric rule improves welfare and reduces the risk of self-fulfilling deflationary spirals. This approach does not entail any history dependence in setting the policy rate or any commitment to overshoot inflation after periods in which the lower bound constraint was binding.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi & Matthias Rottner, 2019. "Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target," NBER Working Papers 26279, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26279
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    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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