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Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning

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  • Vitor Gaspar
  • Frank Smets

Abstract

The paper studies the conduct of monetary policy, in a simple new Keynesian model, with adaptive learning on the part of the private sector. A key feature is that even though we start out with a linear “structural†model, the system and hence policy responses inherit the non-linear feature of the updating equations for the estimated parameters. In the paper, we contrast two different monetary policy regimes. In the first the central bank follows a simple rule, which comes from the first order conditions, for optimal policy under discretion in the case of rational expectations. In the second, the central bank has full information about the structure of the economy, including the adaptive learning mechanism. It takes the expectations formation mechanism explicitly into account when deriving optimal policy. This framework allows an explicit discussion of the importance of keeping inflation expectations under control. We illustrate with an application to a regime change, where we assume that the incumbent policymaker did not take the learning into account and allowed the expectation formation process to become unhinged. However, before inflation expectations (and actual inflation) spirals out of control, we assume that a sophisticated central banker, who does take the effect of learning into account, takes charge and study how the economy adjusts after the regime change. Under our assumptions the transition is slow. We claim that some features of the transition match important stylised facts associated with the Volcker disinflation in the US. In the end the fully optimal policy delivers less inflation and output gap volatility. It does so by anchoring inflation expectations thereby contributing to the overall stability of the economy. To achieve this result optimal policy is conditional on the degree of perceived persistence. As perceived persistence increases so does inertia in the policy response in the face of inflation shocks. We compare the contrast between the two policy regimes in the paper with the difference between the rational expectations under discretion and commitment.

Suggested Citation

  • Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets, 2005. "Monetary Policy under Adaptive Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 80, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecf5:80
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    File URL: http://repec.org/sce2005/up.13906.1106209907.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gaspar, Vitor & Smets, Frank, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Price Stability and Output Gap Stabilization," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(2), pages 193-211, Summer.
    2. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    3. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 41(2), pages 426-477, June.
    4. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
    6. Steinsson, Jon, 2003. "Optimal monetary policy in an economy with inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(7), pages 1425-1456, October.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    8. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
    9. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
    10. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, September.
    11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-491, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near-Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 274-303, March.
    2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 2, pages 027-076 Central Bank of Chile.
    3. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2007. "Inflation Targeting under Imperfect Knowledge," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Frederic S. Miskin & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Se (ed.), Monetary Policy under Inflation Targeting, edition 1, volume 11, chapter 4, pages 077-123 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Vitor Gaspar & Frank Smets & David Vestin, 2006. "Adaptive Learning, Persistence, and Optimal Monetary Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 376-385, 04-05.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    monetary policy; adaptive learning; regime change;

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes

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