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Optimal Monetary Policy when Agents are Learning

Author

Listed:
  • Krisztina Molnar

    (NHH, UPF)

  • Sergio Santoro

    (UPF)

Abstract

Most studies of optimal monetary policy under learning rely on optimality conditions derived for the case when agents have rational expectations. In this paper, we derive optimal monetary policy in an economy where the Central Bank knows, and makes active use of, the learning algorithm agents follow in forming their expectations. In this setup, monetary policy can influence future expectations through its effect on learning dynamics, introducing an additional tradeoff between inflation and output gap stabilization. Specifically, the optimal interest rate rule reacts more aggressively to out-of-equilibrium inflation expectations and noisy cost-push shocks than would be optimal under rational expectations: the Central Bank exploits its ability to †drive†future expectations closer to equilibrium. This optimal policy closely resembles optimal policy when the Central Bank can commit and agents have rational expectations. Monetary policy should be more aggressive in containing inflationary expectations when private agents pay more attention to recent data. In particular, when beliefs are updated according to recursive least squares, the optimal policy is time-varying: after a structural break the Central Bank should be more aggressive and relax the degree of aggressiveness in subsequent periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Krisztina Molnar & Sergio Santoro, 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy when Agents are Learning," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 40, Society for Computational Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:sce:scecfa:40
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Monetary Policy; Learning; Rational Expectations;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General

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