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Timeless Perspective Policymaking: When is Discretion Superior?

  • Richard Dennis

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

In this paper I show that discretionary policymaking can be superior to timeless perspective policymaking and identify model features that make this outcome more likely. Developing a measure of conditional loss that treats the auxiliary state variables that characterize the timeless perspective equilibrium appropriately, I use a New Keynesian DSGE model to show that discretion can dominate timeless perspective policymaking when the Phillips curve is relatively flat, due, perhaps, to firm-specific capital (or labor) and/or Kimball (1995) aggregation in combination with nominal price rigidity. These results suggest that studies applying the timeless perspective might also usefully compare its performance to discretion, paying careful attention to how policy performance is evaluated.

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File URL: http://www.ncer.edu.au/papers/documents/NCER_WpNo38Jan09.pdf
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Paper provided by National Centre for Econometric Research in its series NCER Working Paper Series with number 38.

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Length: 29
Date of creation: 20 Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:qut:auncer:2009_38
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Fax: 07 3138 1500
Web page: http://www.ncer.edu.au

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  7. Schaumburg, Ernst & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2007. "An investigation of the gains from commitment in monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 302-324, March.
  8. Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1980. "Dynamic optimal taxation, rational expectations and optimal control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 79-91, May.
  9. Richard Dennis, 2003. "Inferring policy objectives from economic outcomes," Working Paper Series 2003-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
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  12. Tetlow, Robert J. & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Simplicity versus optimality: The choice of monetary policy rules when agents must learn," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 245-279, January.
  13. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Timeless perspective vs. discretionary monetary policy in forward-looking models," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 43-56.
  14. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
  15. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: II. Applications," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000394, UCLA Department of Economics.
  16. Miles S. Kimball, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," NBER Working Papers 5046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Willem H. Buiter & Richard C. Marston, 1985. "International Economic Policy Coordination," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number buit85-1, May.
  18. Michel Juillard & Florian Pelgrin, 2007. "Computing Optimal Policy in a Timeless-Perspective: An Application to a Small-Open Economy," Working Papers 07-32, Bank of Canada.
  19. 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.
  20. Damjanovic, Tatiana & Damjanovic, Vladislav & Nolan, Charles, 2008. "Unconditionally optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 491-500, April.
  21. Gilles Oudiz & Jeffrey Sachs, 1985. "International Policy Coordination in Dynamic Macroeconomic Models," NBER Chapters, in: International Economic Policy Coordination, pages 274-330 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Levin, Andrew T. & David López-Salido, J. & Nelson, Edward & Yun, Tack, 2008. "Macroeconometric equivalence, microeconomic dissonance, and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(Supplemen), pages S48-S62, October.
  23. Jensen, Christian & McCallum, Bennett T., 2002. "The non-optimality of proposed monetary policy rules under timeless perspective commitment," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 163-168, October.
  24. Eichenbaum, Martin & Fisher, Jonas D.M., 2007. "Estimating the frequency of price re-optimization in Calvo-style models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2032-2047, October.
  25. Davide Debortoli & Ricardo Nunes, 2007. "Loose commitment," International Finance Discussion Papers 916, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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