IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Managing Beliefs about Monetary Policy under Discretion?

Optimal monetary policy becomes tricky when the central bank has better information than the public: Policy does not only affect economic fundamentals, but also people’s beliefs. For a general class of widely studied DSGE models, this paper derives the optimal discretionary policy under hidden information. Illustrated with a simple New Keynesian model, the introduction of hidden information has striking effects on discretionary policies: Policy losses are better under hidden information than under full transparency. Looking at Markov-perfect policies excludes reputational mechanisms via history dependent strategies. Under full transparency, discretion policies are then myopic, since a current policymaker cannot influence future decisions. But imperfect information adds public beliefs as a distinct, endogenous state variable. Managing beliefs connects the actions of policymakers such that they realize the inflationary consequences of expansionary policies. The optimal policy shares similarities with those from commitment models. Additionally, disinflations are pursued more vigorously the larger the credibility problems from hidden information. Optimal policy also responds to belief shocks, which shift public perceptions about fundamentals even when those fundamentals are unchanged.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: None

Paper provided by Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee in its series Working Papers with number 08.02.

in new window

Length: 75 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:0802
Contact details of provider: Postal: Studienzentrum Gerzensee, Postfach 21, 3115 Gerzensee
Phone: ++41 (0)31 780 31 31
Fax: ++41 (0)31 780 31 00
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: Studienzentrum Gerzensee, Postfach 21, 3115 Gerzensee

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Faust, J. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," Papers 636, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  2. David Backus & John Driffill, 1984. "Inflation and Reputation," Working Papers 560, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Cukierman, Alex & Liviatan, Nissan, 1991. "Optimal accommodation by strong policymakers under incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 99-127, February.
  4. Noah Williams & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2007. "Bayesian and Adaptive Optimal Policy under Model Uncertainty," 2007 Meeting Papers 446, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. 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.
  6. Michael D. Bordo & Christopher Erceg & Andrew Levin, 2007. "Three Great American Disinflations," NBER Working Papers 12982, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter N. Ireland, 1996. "Stopping inflations, big and small," Working Paper 96-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1998. "The Solution of Singular Linear Difference Systems under Rational Expectations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1015-26, November.
  9. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1986. "Monetary mystique: Secrecy and central banking," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 63-92, January.
  10. Ball, Laurence, 1995. "Time-consistent policy and persistent changes in inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 329-350, November.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2003-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  12. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1977. "Temporary General Equilibrium Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 535-72, April.
  14. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  15. Jeffery D. Amato & Hyun Song Shin, 2004. "Public and Private Information in Monetary Policy Models," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 117, Netherlands Central Bank.
  16. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K., 1991. "Self-Confirming Equilibrium ," Working papers 581, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  17. Ireland, Peter N., 1995. "Optimal disinflationary paths," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1429-1448, November.
  18. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  19. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  20. Glenn D. Rudebusch & John C. Williams, 2006. "Revealing the secrets of the temple: the value of publishing central bank interest rate projections," Working Paper Series 2006-31, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  21. King, Robert G. & Wolman, Alexander L., 2013. "Inflation Targeting in a St. Louis Model of the 21st Century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 543-574.
  22. Alan S. Blinder, 2000. "Central-Bank Credibility: Why Do We Care? How Do We Build It?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1421-1431, December.
  23. 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.
  24. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  25. 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.
  26. Sargent, Thomas J., 1991. "Equilibrium with signal extraction from endogenous variables," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 245-273, April.
  27. Jordi Gali, 2002. "New Perspectives on Monetary Policy, Inflation, and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 8767, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Burton A. Abrams, 2006. "How Richard Nixon Pressured Arthur Burns: Evidence from the Nixon Tapes," Working Papers 06-04, University of Delaware, Department of Economics.
  29. Soderlind, Paul, 1999. "Solution and estimation of RE macromodels with optimal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 813-823, April.
  30. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2006. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," NBER Working Papers 12324, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  32. Erceg, Christopher J. & Levin, Andrew T., 2003. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 915-944, May.
  33. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  34. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  35. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  36. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  37. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric S. & Tootell, Geoffrey M. B., 2003. "Does the federal reserve possess an exploitable informational advantage?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 817-839, May.
  38. Aoki, Kosuke, 2002. "Optimal Commitment Policy Under Noisy Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 3370, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  39. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1989. "Sustainable plans," Staff Report 122, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  40. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  41. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-22, December.
  42. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
  43. 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 473-91, June.
  44. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  45. Evan W. Anderson & Lars Peter Hansen & Ellen R. McGrattan & Thomas J. Sargent, 1995. "On the mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Staff Report 198, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  46. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:szg:worpap:0802. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (library)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.