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Optimal Monetary Policy when Agents are Learning

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  • 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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    Cited by:

    1. Martin Melecký & Diego Rodríguez Palenzuela & Ulf Söderström, 2009. "Inflation Target Transparency and the Macroeconomy," 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 10, pages 371-411, Central Bank of Chile.
    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. Muto, Ichiro, 2013. "Productivity growth, transparency, and monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 329-344.
    4. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2019. "Behavioral Monetary Policymaking: Economics, Political Economy and Psychology," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Behavioral Finance The Coming of Age, chapter 9, pages 285-329, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Donato Masciandaro, 2020. "Covid-19 Helicopter Money, Monetary Policy And Central Bank Independence: Economics And Politics," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 20137, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    6. Bask, Mikael & Proaño, Christian R., 2016. "Optimal monetary policy under learning and structural uncertainty in a New Keynesian model with a cost channel and inflation inertia," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 112-126.
    7. Mele, Antonio & Molnar, Krisztina & Santoro, Sergio, 2014. "On the perils of stabilizing prices when agents are learning," Discussion Paper Series in Economics 1/2015, Norwegian School of Economics, Department of Economics.
    8. Gaël Giraud & Nguenamadji Orntangar, 2011. "Monetary policy under finite speed of trades and myopia," Post-Print halshs-00609824, HAL.
    9. Donato Masciandaro, 2020. "Ecb Helicopter Money: Economic And Political Economy Arithmetics," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 20138, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    10. Favaretto, Federico & Masciandaro, Donato, 2016. "Doves, hawks and pigeons: Behavioral monetary policy and interest rate inertia," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 50-58.
    11. Colin Caines & Fabian Winkler, 2018. "Asset Price Learning and Optimal Monetary Policy," International Finance Discussion Papers 1236, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Caprioli, Francesco, 2015. "Optimal fiscal policy under learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 101-124.
    13. Colin Caines & Fabian Winkler, 2019. "Asset Price Beliefs and Optimal Monetary Policy," 2019 Meeting Papers 713, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    14. André, Marine Charlotte & Dai, Meixing, 2017. "Is central bank conservatism desirable under learning?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 281-296.
    15. Marine Charlotte André & Meixing Dai, 2018. "The limits to robust monetary policy in a small open economy with learning agents," Working Papers of BETA 2018-45, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    16. Ali, Syed Zahid & Anwar, Sajid, 2017. "Exchange rate pass through, cost channel to monetary policy transmission, adaptive learning, and the price puzzle," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 69-82.
    17. Mourouzidou-Damtsa, Stella & Milidonis, Andreas & Stathopoulos, Konstantinos, 2019. "National culture and bank risk-taking," Journal of Financial Stability, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 132-143.
    18. Christian Matthes, 2015. "Figuring Out the Fed—Beliefs about Policymakers and Gains from Transparency," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(1), pages 1-29, February.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Optimal Monetary Policy; Learning; Rational Expectations;

    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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