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Aiming for the Bull's Eye: Uncertainty and Inertia in Monetary Policy

Listed author(s):
  • Maria Demertzis

    (De Nederlandsche Bank)

  • Nicola Viegi

    (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

We study the implications of uncertainty for inflation targeting. We apply multiplicative uncertainty to a standard forward looking model and demonstrate Brainard's attenuation effect. But the result as monetary authorities become naturally more cautious at the same time monetary objectives are seldom achieved. We therefore attempt to find a monetary rule that reaches the objectives set more often and improves the welfare of the Central Bank. To do that, we assume that private sector expectations are subject to differentiated information, thereby introducing inertia in the system. Such a rule is the result of a new algorithm that we put forward, in which the inflation target is state contingent. The Central Bank sets therefore (as an auxiliary step), a variable inflation target that depends on both the degree of uncertainty as well as the shocks that occur each time. We show that such an optimisation procedure helps the CB\ attain its objectives more often, thereby reducing the losses incurred. Moreover, and as a corollary to such an approach, the rule derived is ex ante neutral to the degree of uncertainty

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Paper provided by Society for Computational Economics in its series Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 with number 150.

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Date of creation: 04 Jul 2006
Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:150
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  1. Ellison, Martin & Valla, Natacha, 2001. "Learning, uncertainty and central bank activism in an economy with strategic interactions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 153-171, August.
  2. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1998. "Nominal Income Targeting in an Open-Economy Optimizing Model," Seminar Papers 644, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  3. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  4. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
  5. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  6. Jon Faust & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Transparency and credibility: monetary policy with unobservable goals," International Finance Discussion Papers 605, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  8. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Craine, Roger, 1979. "Optimal monetary policy with uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 59-83, February.
  10. 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.
  11. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  12. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2006. "Inertia of Forward-Looking Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 152-157, May.
  13. Schellekens, Philip, 2002. "Caution and Conservatism in the Making of Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 160-177, February.
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