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Inflation Targeting: a Framework for Communication

Listed author(s):
  • Maria Demertzis
  • Nicola Viegi

More than a monetary policy strategy, we interpret inflation targeting as a framework for communication. We model monetary policy as an information game between the Bank and private agents. Our analysis shows how the provision of an explicit numerical inflation objective overcomes potential information imperfections by providing a focal point for agents who form expectations. Furthermore, the combination of the target and the tolerance bands around it communicated, provide a very clear framework with which to evaluate monetary policy outcomes. A successful Central Bank then builds up credibility and a credible Central Bank is in a better position to be successful in subsequent periods. We show how (and when) inflation targeting exploits this self-reinforcing loop to help the Central Bank endure large and long-lasting shocks. Last, we show that a trade-off emerges when choosing the band-width: too narrow bands provide a focal point but reduce the likelihood of inflation being ‘successful’. Too wide bands on the other hand, lead easier to success but at the risk of failing to provide a clear focal point. We thus derive the optimal band-width for different scenarios.

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File URL: http://www.econrsa.org/node/96
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Paper provided by Economic Research Southern Africa in its series Working Papers with number 71.

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Date of creation: 2008
Handle: RePEc:rza:wpaper:71
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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2004. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Working Paper Series 0337, European Central Bank.
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  7. King, Mervyn, 1997. "Changes in UK monetary policy: Rules and discretion in practice," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 81-97, June.
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  12. Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
  13. Maria Demertzis & Nicola Viegi, 2005. "Inflation Targets as Focal Points," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 52, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  14. Benati, Luca, 2008. "Investigating inflation persistence across monetary regimes," Working Paper Series 0851, European Central Bank.
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  16. Niklas J. Westelius & Frederic S. Mishkin, 2006. "Inflation Band Targeting and Optimal Inflation Contracts," Economics Working Paper Archive at Hunter College 416, Hunter College Department of Economics.
  17. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 117-144.
  18. Blackburn, Keith & Christensen, Michael, 1989. "Monetary Policy and Policy Credibility: Theories and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 27(1), pages 1-45, March.
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