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Back to Wicksell? In search of the foundations of practical monetary policy

  • Roberto Tamborini

    ()

It is now widely held that the New Neoclassical Synthesis (NSS) offers central banks a "user friendly", though rigorous, theoretical framework consistent with current practice of systematic stabilization policy based on interest rate rules (e.g. Woodford (2003)). Particular interest and curiosity have been aroused by Woodford's argument that the NNS theory of monetary policy is in its essence a modern restatement and refinement of Wicksell's interest-rate theory of prices (1898). This paper deals with two main issues prompted by Woodford's Neo-Wicksellian revival. The first questions the consistency between the NNS and Wicksell. The second concerns the value added for monetary policy of Wicksellian ideas in their own right. Section 2 clarifies some basic theoretical issues underlying the NNS and its inconsistency with a proper Wicksellian approach, which should be based on saving-investment imbalances that are precluded by the NNS theoretical framework. Section 3 presents a proper Neo-Wicksellian dynamic model whereby it is possible to assess, and hopefully clarify, some basic issues concerning the macroeconomics of saving-investment imbalances. Section 4 examines implications for monetary policy, in particular for Taylor rules, and section 5 concludes.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia in its series Department of Economics Working Papers with number 0602.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:trn:utwpde:0602
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  1. Amendola, Mario & Gaffard, Jean-Luc, 1998. "Out of Equilibrium," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198293804, March.
  2. Bruce Greenwald & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1993. "New and Old Keynesians," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(1), pages 23-44, Winter.
  3. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Seminar Papers 615, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. Garnier, Julien & Wilhelmsen, Bjørn-Roger, 2005. "The natural real interest rate and the output gap in the euro area: a joint estimation," Working Paper Series 0546, European Central Bank.
  5. Carlin Wendy & Soskice David, 2005. "The 3-Equation New Keynesian Model --- A Graphical Exposition," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-38, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Boianovsky, Mauro & Trautwein, Hans-Michael, 2006. "Wicksell after Woodford," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 171-185, June.
  8. van der Ploeg, Frederick, 2005. "Back to Keynes?," CEPR Discussion Papers 4897, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  10. Laidler, David, 2006. "Woodford and Wicksell on Interest and Prices: The Place of the Pure Credit Economy in the Theory of Monetary Policy," Journal of the History of Economic Thought, Cambridge University Press, vol. 28(02), pages 151-159, June.
  11. Wicksell, Knut, 1907. "The Influence of the Rate of Interest on Prices," History of Economic Thought Articles, McMaster University Archive for the History of Economic Thought, vol. 17, pages 213-220.
  12. Frank Hahn & Robert Solow, 1997. "A Critical Essay on Modern Macroeconomic Theory," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258154x, June.
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