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Temptation and Forward Guidance

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  • Airaudo, Marco

    () (School of Economics)

Abstract

In the aftermath of the recent financial crisis, several central banks have resorted to "forward guidance" in monetary policy - that is, announcing publicly the future path of the short-term interest rate - to stimulate inflation and economic activity, and therefore move the economy away from the liquidity trap. Standard monetary models predict sizable stimulative effects of forward guidance, which are much in excess of what observed in the data and grow exponentially with the forward guidance horizon. This apparent disconnect between theory and data has been labeled by the literature as the forward guidance puzzle. We introduce temptation and dynamic-self-control preferences, as formalized by Gul and Pesendorfer (Econometrica 2002, 2004), into an otherwise standard New Keynesian model. In our set-up, the representative agent faces a temptation to liquidate his entire financial wealth for the purpose of immediate consumption. Resisting temptation involves cognitive effort (or self-control) and hence some disutility. Optimal behavior therefore trades of the temptation for immediate satisfaction with long-run optimal consumption smoothing. We show that, for suitable parameterizations, dynamic self-control preferences deliver a discounted Euler equation,lower households. sensitivity to real interest rates, and make the Phillips curve less forward-looking. These features combined help solve the puzzle. Moreover, they have stark implications for what concerns the conditions for equilibrium determinacy, the adverse effects of large negative shocks to the real interest rate, and the paradox of volatility.

Suggested Citation

  • Airaudo, Marco, 2017. "Temptation and Forward Guidance," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-4, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2017_004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary Policy; New Keynesian Model; Forward Guidance; Temptation; Self-Control;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • 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

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