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Targets, Indicators, and Instruments of Monetary Policy

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

It has become increasingly evident that the Federal Reserve's official strategy of the past decade, involving the adherence to target paths for monetary aggregates, is not currently being utilized to any significant extent. While some commentators welcome and others deplore this development, most would agree that a need exists for a more explicit and coherent strategy for the conduct of monetary policy. The present paper seeks to advance the strategic discussion in several ways. One involves a comparative consideration of targets for nominal GNP and the price level, with emphasis on specificational robustness and implications for output variability. A second pertains to various "indicator" variables recently suggested by Fed officials and others. In this regard, it is necessary to be clear and specific about the role of potential indicators. Consequently, a careful review of the relevant conceptual distinctions--concerning instruments, targets, indicators, etc.--is reqUired. Finally, the proposal that strategy should be conducted so as to place minimal reliance on quantity variables is given some attention, in the context of evidence concerning the merits of an interest rate instrument.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennett T. McCallum, 1989. "Targets, Indicators, and Instruments of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 3047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3047
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    Cited by:

    1. Svensson, L.E.O., 1993. "Monetary Policy with Flexible Exchange Rates and Foreward Interest Rates as Indicators," Papers 559, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    2. Svensson, L.E.O., 1993. "Term, Inflation and Foreign Exchange Risk Premia: A Unified Treatment," Papers 548, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    3. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
    4. Jagjit S. Chadha & Norbert G. J. Janssen, 1997. "What Monetary Authorities do - an Examination of Reaction Functions for Germany, Japan, the UK and the US," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 133(III), pages 455-476, September.
    5. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1999. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semiclassical Structural Model," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 15-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Ben Bernanke & Frederic Mishkin, 1992. "Central Bank Behavior and the Strategy of Monetary Policy: Observations from Six Industrialized Countries," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1992, Volume 7, pages 183-238 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Paul Conway & Aaron Drew & Ben Hunt & Alasdair Scott, 1998. "Exchange rate effects and inflation targeting in a small open economy: a stochastic analysis using FPS," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G99/4, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    8. Grande, Giuseppe, 1997. "Properties of the monetary conditions index," MPRA Paper 23515, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Bennett T. McCallum, "undated". "The Alleged Instability of Nominal Income Targeting," GSIA Working Papers 1998-20, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    10. Feldstein, Martin & Stock, James H., 1996. "Measuring money growth when financial markets are changing," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 3-27, February.
    11. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "How should monetary policy respond to shocks while maintaining long-run price stability? Conceptual issues (commentary)," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 209-227.
    12. Friedrich Fritzer & Gabriel Moser & Johann Scharler, 2002. "Forecasting Austrian HICP and its Components using VAR and ARIMA Models," Working Papers 73, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    13. John P. Judd & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Taylor's rule and the Fed, 1970-1997," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-16.
    14. John P. Judd & Brian Motley, 1993. "Using a nominal GDP rule to guide discretionary monetary policy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-11.
    15. Luis Oscar Herrera & Rodrigo Vergara, 1992. "Estabilidad de la Demanda de Dinero, Cointegración y Política Monetaria," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 29(86), pages 35-54.
    16. Emmanuel Carré, 2014. "The origins of inflation targeting regime: the science of central banking or the art of central bankers?," Cahiers d’économie politique / Papers in Political Economy, L'Harmattan, issue 66, pages 127-172.
    17. Simon Hall & Chris Salmon & Tony Yates & Nicoletta Batini, 1999. "Uncertainty and Simple Monetary Policy Rules - An illustration for the United Kingdom," Bank of England working papers 96, Bank of England.

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