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Deus ex machina wanted: time inconsistency of time consistency solutions in monetary policy

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Abstract

This paper argues that delegation (optimal institutional design) is not a solution to the dynamic inconcistency problem, and can even reinforce it. We show that 'optimal' delegation is not consistent with government's incentives. We solve for delegation schemes that are consistent with these incentives and find that they imply 'no delegation'. Introducing a cost of reappointing the central banker just postpones the problem, and can only solve it if the government is infinitely averse to changing central bank's contract. Our results hint to: (i) alternative explanations for good anti-inflationary performance; (ii) strengthening central bank independence and (iii) giving a more prominent role to Central Bank reputation building in fighting inflation.

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  • Florin Bilbiie, 2005. "Deus ex machina wanted: time inconsistency of time consistency solutions in monetary policy," Economics Papers 2005-W10, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  • Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0510
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    1. Lockwood, Ben, 1997. "State-Contingent Inflation Contracts and Unemployment Persistence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 286-299, August.
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    6. Lockwood, Ben & Miller, Marcus & Zhang, Lei, 1998. "Designing Monetary Policy When Unemployment Persists," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 65(259), pages 327-345, August.
    7. Lockwood, Ben & Philippopoulos, Apostolis, 1994. "Insider Power, Unemployment Dynamics and Multiple Inflation Equilibria," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 61(241), pages 59-77, February.
    8. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    9. Guy Debelle & Stanley Fischer, 1994. "How independent should a central bank be?," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 38, pages 195-225.
    10. 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.
    11. Jensen, Henrik, 1997. "Credibility of Optimal Monetary Delegation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 911-920, December.
    12. Stokey, Nancy L, 1989. "Reputation and Time Consistency," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 134-139, May.
    13. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-167, March.
    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 473-491, June.
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