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Monetary Policy, Endogenous Inattention, and the Volatility Trade-off

Author

Listed:
  • Wiliam Branch

    (University of Californis - Irvine)

  • John Carlson

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland)

  • George W. Evans

    () (University of Oregon Economics Department)

  • Bruce McGough

    (Oregon State University)

Abstract

This paper addresses the output-price volatility puzzle by studying the interaction of optimal monetary policy and agents' beliefs. We assume that agents choose their information acquisition rate by minimizing a loss function that depends on expected forecast errors and information costs. Endogenous inattention is a Nash equilibrium in the information processing rate. Although a decline of policy activism directly increases output volatility, it indirectly anchors expectations, which decreases output volatility. If the indirect effect dominates then the usual trade-off between output and price volatility breaks down. This provides a potential explanation for the "Great Moderation" that began in the 1980's.

Suggested Citation

  • Wiliam Branch & John Carlson & George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2004. "Monetary Policy, Endogenous Inattention, and the Volatility Trade-off," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2004-19, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 15 May 2007.
  • Handle: RePEc:ore:uoecwp:2004-19
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    File URL: http://economics.uoregon.edu/papers/UO-2004-19_Evans_Inattention.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gaballo, Gaetano, 2013. "Good luck or good policy? An expectational theory of macro volatility switches," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2755-2770.
    2. George W. Evans & William A. Branch, 2005. "Model Uncertainty and Endogenous Volatility," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 33, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. Evans George W & McGough Bruce, 2010. "Implementing Optimal Monetary Policy in New-Keynesian Models with Inertia," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, pages 1-25.
    4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Ricardo Reis, 2002. "Sticky Information versus Sticky Prices: A Proposal to Replace the New Keynesian Phillips Curve," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 1295-1328.
    5. Milani, Fabio, 2008. "Learning, monetary policy rules, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3148-3165, October.
    6. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2006. "Monetary Policy Switch, the Taylor Curve, and the Great Moderation," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 59, Society for Computational Economics.
    7. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 2, pages 027-076 Central Bank of Chile.
    8. Pfajfar, Damjan, 2013. "Formation of rationally heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1434-1452.
    9. Wiliam Branch & John Carlson & George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2006. "Adaptive Learning, Endogenous Inattention, and Changes in Monetary Policy," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2006-6, University of Oregon Economics Department.
    10. Alberto Locarno, 2007. "Imperfect Knowledge, Adaptive Learning, and the Bias Against Activist Monetary Policies," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(3), pages 47-85, September.
    11. Lena Dräger, 2011. "Endogenous Persistence with Recursive Inattentiveness," Macroeconomics and Finance Series 201103, Hamburg University, Department Wirtschaft und Politik.
    12. Cars Hommes & Domenico Massaro & Matthias Weber, 2015. "Monetary Policy under Behavioral Expectations: Theory and Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-087/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    13. Ricardo Reis, 2009. "Optimal Monetary Policy Rules in an Estimated Sticky-Information Model," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 1-28, July.
    14. Magud, Nicolas E., 2008. "On asymmetric business cycles and the effectiveness of counter-cyclical fiscal policies," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 885-905.
    15. Cars Hommes & Domenico Massaro & Matthias Weber, 2015. "Monetary Policy under Behavioral Expectations: Theory and Experiment," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 15-087/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    16. repec:spr:portec:v:16:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10258-017-0129-x is not listed on IDEAS
    17. William Branch & George W. Evans, 2007. "Model Uncertainty and Endogenous Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 10(2), pages 207-237, April.
    18. Hahn, Volker, 2014. "Transparency In Monetary Policy, Signaling, And Heterogeneous Information," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(02), pages 369-394, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    expectations; optimal monetary policy; bounded rationality; economic stability; adaptive learning;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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