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

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  • Alexei Onatski
  • James H. Stock

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 2000. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 7490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7490
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 199-228, August.
    2. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    3. Volker Wieland, "undated". "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
    4. repec:aei:rpbook:52819 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Laurence Ball, 1999. "Efficient Rules for Monetary Policy," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 63-83, April.
    7. 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.
    8. Bennett T. McCallum, 1989. "Targets, Indicators, and Instruments of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 3047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
    10. 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.
    11. William Poole, 1998. "A policymaker confronts uncertainty," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-8.
    12. 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.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods

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