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Inflationary Sentiments and Monetary Policy Communcation

  • Leonardo Melosi

    (London Business School)

  • Francesco Bianchi

    (Duke University)

We develop a DSGE model in which the conduct of monetary policy influences agents' inflationary sentiments, defined as waves of pessimism about how aggressively the central bank will react to inflation in the future. Monetary policy alternates periods of active inflation stabilization (i.e., active regime) and periods during which the emphasis is mainly on output stabilization (i.e., passive regime). Deviations from the active regime can be long or short lasting. When observing passive monetary policy, agents do not know the nature of the deviation and have to learn which type of passive regime is in place. As the central bank deviates from the active monetary policy for a longer and longer period, inflationary sentiments progressively spread among agents, who get increasingly convinced that the central bank might have switched to the long-lasting passive regime. Mounting inflationary sentiments have the effect to make the inflation-output gap trade-off worse and to depress private sector's welfare. When the model is calibrated to U.S. data, we find that inflationary sentiments sluggishly rise as the Federal Reserve deviates from active monetary policy. Such a dynamic for sentiments implies that (i) inflation drifts up for several years in response to a cost-push shock and (ii) the Federal Reserve has a large leeway in accommodating this type of shocks. Increasing the transparency of the Federal Reserve is found to improve welfare by anchoring inflationary sentiments. Gains from transparency are even more sizeable in periods when the persistence of shocks is high and for countries whose central bank has failed establishing a strong commitment to keeping inflation under control.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 893.

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Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:893
Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA
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  1. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
  2. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
  3. Troy Davig & Taeyoung Doh, 2014. "Monetary Policy Regime Shifts and Inflation Persistence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 862-875, December.
  4. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  5. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2009. "Understanding Markov-switching rational expectations models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2009-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Leonardo Melosi, 2011. "Public's Inflation Expectations and Monetary Policy," 2011 Meeting Papers 1151, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Regime Switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Working Papers 12-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  8. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
  9. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  10. Rodriguez-Palenzuela, Diego & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Nicoletti-Altimari, Sergio, 2003. "Definition of price stability, range and point inflation targets: the anchoring of long-term inflation expectations," Working Paper Series 0273, European Central Bank.
  11. Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone & Timothy Cogley, 2011. "Optimal Disinflation Under Learning," 2011 Meeting Papers 74, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
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