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Flexible Rules cum Constrained Discretion: A New Consensus in Monetary Policy

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  • Philip Arestis

    () (Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge)

  • Alexander Mihailov

    () (Department of Economics, University of Reading)

Abstract

This paper demonstrates that recent influential contributions to monetary policy imply an emerging consensus whereby neither rigid rules nor complete discretion are found optimal. Instead, middle-ground monetary regimes based on rules (operative under ‘normal’ circumstances) to anchor inflation expectations over the long run, but designed with enough flexibility to mitigate the short-run effect of shocks (with communicated discretion in ‘exceptional’ circumstances temporarily overriding these rules), are gaining support in theoretical models and policy formulation and implementation. The opposition of ‘rules versus discretion’ has, thus, reappeared as the synthesis of ‘rules cum discretion’, in essence as inflation-forecast targeting.

Suggested Citation

  • Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2007. "Flexible Rules cum Constrained Discretion: A New Consensus in Monetary Policy," Economic Analysis Research Group Working Papers earg-wp2007-13, Henley Business School, Reading University.
  • Handle: RePEc:rdg:eargwp:earg-wp2007-13
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    Cited by:

    1. Etienne Farvaque & Muhammad Azmat Hayat & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Who Supports the ECB? Evidence from Eurobarometer Survey Data," Economics & Management Discussion Papers em-dp2011-04, Henley Business School, Reading University.
    2. Philip Arestis & Alexander Mihailov, 2011. "Classifying Monetary Economics: Fields And Methods From Past To Future," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(4), pages 769-800, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    optimal monetary policy; flexible rules; constrained discretion; central bank independence; inflation targeting;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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