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Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy

  • Alexei Onatski
  • James H. Stock

This paper examines monetary policy in Rudebusch and Svensson's (1999) two equation macroeconomic model when the policymaker recognizes that the model is an approximation and is uncertain about the quality of that approximation. It is argued that the minimax approach of robust control provides a general and tractable alternative to the conventional Bayesian decision theoretic approach. Robust control techniques are used to construct robust monetary policies. In most (but not all) cases, these robust policies are more aggressive than the optimal policies absent model uncertainty. The specific robust policies depend strongly on the formation of model uncertainty used, and we make some suggestions about which formulation is most relevant for monetary policy applications.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7490.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7490.

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Date of creation: Jan 2000
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Publication status: published as Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 1999. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty in a small model of the U.S. economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7490
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 199-228, August.
  3. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  4. Volker Wieland, . "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Rudebusch, G.D. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Papers 637, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Ball, Laurence, 1999. "Efficient Rules for Monetary Policy," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 63-83, April.
  7. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
  8. William Poole, 1998. "A policymaker confronts uncertainty," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-8.
  9. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
  10. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum, 1989. "Targets, Indicators, and Instruments of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 3047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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