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Implementing Optimal Monetary Policy: Objectives and Rules

  • Huiping Yuan


    (Department of Finance, Xiamen University)

  • Stephen M. Miller


    (Department of Economics, University of Nevada, Las Vegas)

We observe that the inconsistency of optimal policy comes from inconsistency of the social loss function with respect to the economic structure. Accordingly, this paper designs the central bank loss functions and rules, which are consistent with the economic structure and serve as mechanisms to implement optimal policy. We minimize the social loss function and use the idea of implementation theory, in designing the central bank loss functions and policy rules. Both ways result in identical central bank loss functions and policy rules. We also examine four equivalent methods of implementing optimal monetary policy, committing to the social loss function, using discretion with the central bank long-run and short-run loss functions, and following monetary policy rules. The same outcomes emerge from these different policymaking methods because the central bank actually follows the same (similar) policy rules. To some extent, policy rules appear more basic and flexible than social and central bank loss functions. In addition, we observe that the short-run natural employment target eliminates both the average and the state-contingent inflation biases, and a liberal, not conservative, preference eliminates the stabilization bias. As a result, under the designed central bank loss function discretionary policy proves optimal for social welfare. In conclusion, the social loss function, the central bank long-run and short-run loss functions, and monetary policy rules imply a complete regime for implementing optimal policy.

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Paper provided by University of Nevada, Las Vegas , Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0911.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming Economic Modelling
Handle: RePEc:nlv:wpaper:0911
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  1. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," NBER Working Papers 8071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Inflation Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1998. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," CFS Working Paper Series 1998/16, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  4. Hughes Hallett, Andrew & Weymark, Diana, 2002. "Independence before Conservatism: Transparency, Politics and Central Bank Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 3336, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy: Expanded Version," NBER Technical Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bennett T. McCallum, 2004. "Misconceptions Regarding Rules vs. Discretion for Monetary Policy," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 23(3), pages 365-372, Winter.
  8. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:100:y:1985:i:4:p:1169-89 is not listed on IDEAS
  9. Cecchetti, Stephen G, 2000. "Making Monetary Policy: Objectives and Rules," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 43-59, Winter.
  10. Henrik Jensen & Roel M. W. J. Beetsma, 1999. "Optimal Inflation Targets, "Conservative" Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 342-347, March.
  11. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  12. Vestin, David, 2006. "Price-level versus inflation targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 1361-1376, October.
  13. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  14. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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  17. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:93:y:1979:i:1:p:73-90 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  19. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Andrew Hughes Hallett & Diana N. Weymark, 2006. "Heterogeneity In A Currency Union With Social Market Objectives," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 53(1), pages 129-152, 02.
  21. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  22. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  23. Carl Walsh, 2003. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 265-278, March.
  24. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2002. "Inflation targeting: Should it be modeled as an instrument rule or a targeting rule?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 771-780, May.
  25. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-11, May.
  26. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1978. "On the Time Consistency of Optimal Policy in a Monetary Economy," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(6), pages 1411-28, November.
  27. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-20, December.
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