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Optimal Target Criteria for Stabilization Policy

  • Michael Woodford

    (Columbia University)

  • Marc P. Giannoni

    (Columbia University)

This paper considers a general class of nonlinear rational-expectations models in which policymakers seek to maximize an objective function that may be household expected utility. We show how to derive a target criterion that is: (i) consistent with the model's structural equations, (ii) strong enough to imply a unique equilibrium, and (iii) optimal, in the sense that a commitment to adjust the policy instrument at all dates so as to satisfy the target criterion maximizes the objective function. The proposed optimal target criterion is a linear equation that must be satisfied by the projected paths of certain economically relevant "target variables." It takes the same form at all times and generally involves only a small number of target variables, regardless of the size and complexity of the model. While the projected path of the economy requires information about the current state, the target criterion itself can be stated without reference to a complete description of the state of the world. We illustrate the application of the method to a nonlinear DSGE model with staggered price-setting, in which the objective of policy is to maximize household expected utility.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 932.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:932
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Fax: 1-314-444-8731
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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  1. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
  2. Michael Woodford & Pierpaolo Benigno, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," 2004 Meeting Papers 481, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Michael Woodford, 2012. "Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy - Policy Rules in Practice," Book Chapters, in: Evan F. Koenig & Robert Leeson & George A. Kahn (ed.), The Taylor Rule and the Transformation of Monetary Policy, chapter 9 Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
  4. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Rules: I. General Theory," Levine's Bibliography 506439000000000384, UCLA Department of Economics.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521441964 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. M. H. Khalil Timamy, 2005. "Debate," Review of African Political Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(104-105), pages 383-393, June.
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