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Is Time Ripe for Price Level Path Stability?

Listed author(s):
  • Vítor Gaspar
  • Frank Smets
  • David Vestin

In the paper, we provide a critical and selective survey of arguments relevant for the assessment of the case for price level path stability (PLPS). Using a standard hybrid new Keynesian model we argue that price level stability provides a natural framework for monetary policy under commitment. There are two main arguments in favour of a PLPS regime. First, it helps overall macroeconomic stability by making expectations operate like automatic stabilizers. Second, under a price level path stability regime, changes in the price level operates like an intertemporal adjustment mechanism, reducing the magnitude of required changes in nominal interest rates. Such a property is particularly relevant as a means to alleviate the importance of the zero bound on nominal interest rates. We also review and discuss the arguments against price level path stability. Finally, we also found, using the Smets and Wouters (2003) model which includes a wide variety of frictions and is estimated for the euro area, that the price level is stationary under optimal policy under commitment. The results obtain when the quasi-difference of inflation is used in the loss function, as in the hybrid new Keynesian model. Overall, the arguments in favour of or against price level path stability depend on the degree of dependence of private sector expectations on the characteristics of the monetary policy regime.Key words: Price Level Stability, Expectations, Adaptive Learning

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File URL: https://www.bportugal.pt/sites/default/files/anexos/papers/wp200719.pdf
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Paper provided by Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department in its series Working Papers with number w200719.

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Date of creation: 2007
Handle: RePEc:ptu:wpaper:w200719
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  1. Aoki, Kosuke & Nikolov, Kalin, 2005. "Rule-Based Monetary Policy Under Central Banking Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 5056, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1406-1435, July.
  3. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ball, Laurence & Gregory Mankiw, N. & Reis, Ricardo, 2005. "Monetary policy for inattentive economies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(4), pages 703-725, May.
  5. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  6. Michael D. Bordo & John Landon Lane & Angela Redish, 2004. "Good versus Bad Deflation: Lessons from the Gold Standard Era," NBER Working Papers 10329, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Bennett T. McCallum, 2006. "A Monetary Policy Rule for Automatic Prevention of a Liquidity Trap," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-EASE, Volume 15, pages 9-42 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Economic Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 2246, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Wolman, Alexander L, 2005. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 273-296, April.
  10. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark & Lopez-Salido, J. David, 2001. "European inflation dynamics," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1237-1270.
  11. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 183, Society for Computational Economics.
  12. Smets, Frank, 2003. "Maintaining price stability: how long is the medium term?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1293-1309, September.
  13. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  14. Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "Inflation dynamics: A structural econometric analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 195-222, October.
  15. Berg, Claes & Jonung, Lars, 1999. "Pioneering price level targeting: The Swedish experience 1931-1937," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 525-551, June.
  16. Michael Bordo & Andrew Filardo, 2005. "Deflation and monetary policy in a historical perspective: remembering the past or being condemned to repeat it?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(44), pages 799-844, October.
  17. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets, 2000. "Price Level Stability: Some Issues," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 174(1), pages 68-79, October.
  18. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. "Price-Level Targeting versus Inflation Targeting: A Free Lunch?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 277-295, August.
  19. repec:sae:niesru:v:174:y::i:1:p:68-79 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Batini, Nicoletta & Yates, Anthony, 2003. " Hybrid Inflation and Price-Level Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(3), pages 283-300, June.
  21. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  22. Michael D. Bordo & Angela Redish, 2003. "Is Deflation depressing? Evidence from the Classical Gold Standard," NBER Working Papers 9520, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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