IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

An Optimising Model for Monetary Policy Analysis: Can Habit Formation Help?

  • Jeffrey C. Fuhrer

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Boston)

In earlier work (Fuhrer 1997a), I document what I view as the failure of standard models of representative consumer and firm behaviour to replicate the dynamics that we observe in the aggregate data. In essence, these models fail because they imply that both inflation and real variables must ‘jump’ in response to monetary policy (and other) shocks, in contrast to identified VAR evidence that shows a gradual, ‘hump shaped’ response. This paper discusses a rigorous empirical standard for monetary policy models. The motivation for this discussion is that, if one wishes to conduct welfare analysis, one must be reasonably confident that the model provides a good approximation to underlying consumer and firm behaviour over the monetary policy horizon, i.e. in the short run. The paper examines a specific alternative to the standard consumption model in which consumers’ utility depends in part on current consumption relative to past consumption. This formulation of habit formation allows one to nest habit formation, life-cycle consumption, and Campbell and Mankiw’s ‘rule of thumb’ consumers within a more general model. The empirical tests developed in the paper show that one can reject the hypothesis of no habit formation with tremendous confidence. This result suggests that models that are unable to produce a hump-shaped response will be strongly rejected empirically.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Reserve Bank of Australia in its series RBA Research Discussion Papers with number rdp9812.

in new window

Date of creation: Sep 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp9812
Contact details of provider: Postal: GPO Box 3947, Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: 61-2-9551-8111
Fax: 61-2-9551-8000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-39, March.
  2. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1991. "The response of consumption to income : A cross-country investigation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 723-756, May.
  3. Campbell, John Y. & Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1990. "Permanent Income, Current Income, and Consumption," Scholarly Articles 3353762, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  5. Kenneth D. West & David W. Wilcox, 1993. "Some Evidence on Finite Sample Behavior of an Instrumental Variables Estimator of the Linear Quadtratic Inventory Model," NBER Technical Working Papers 0139, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jody Overland & Christopher D. Carroll & David N. Weil, 2000. "Saving and Growth with Habit Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 341-355, June.
  7. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I, 1984. "Money, Credit, and Prices in a Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 363-80, June.
  8. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Discussion Paper / Institute for Empirical Macroeconomics 24, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  9. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Ray C. Fair, 1992. "The Cowles Commission Approach, Real Business Cycle Theories, and New Keynesian Economics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1004, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
  13. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1997. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Roberts, John M., 1997. "Is inflation sticky?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-196, July.
  16. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semi-Classical Structural Model," NBER Working Papers 6599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  20. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  21. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  23. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1994. "Identification and the effects of monetary policy shocks," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  24. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1989. "Monetary policy rules and the indicator properties of asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 89, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  25. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1982. "Hall's consumption hypothesis and durable goods," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 417-425.
  26. Ermini, Luigi, 1989. "Some New Evidence on the Timing of Consumption Decisions and on Their Generating Process," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(4), pages 643-50, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rba:rbardp:rdp9812. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Paula Drew)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.