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Monetary Policy Delegation, Contract Costs, and Contract Targets

  • Georgios E. Chortareas

    (Bank of England)

  • Stephen M. Miller

    (University of Connecticut)

We reconsider the optimal central banker contract derived in Walsh (1995). We show that if the government's objective function places weight (value) on the cost of the contract, then the optimal inflation contract does not completely neutralize the inflation bias. That is, a fraction of the inflation bias emerges in the resulting inflation rate after the central banker's monetary policy decision. Furthermore, the more concerned the government is about the cost of the contract or the less selfish (more benevolent) is the central banker, the smaller is the share of the inflation bias eliminated by the contract. No matter how concerned the government is about the cost of the contract or how unselfish (benevolent) the central banker is, the contract always reduces the inflationary bias by at least half. Finally, a central banker contract written in terms of output (i.e., incorporating an output target) can completely eradicate the inflationary bias, regardless of concerns about contract costs.

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Paper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2000-01.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Bulletin of Economic Research, January 2003
Handle: RePEc:uct:uconnp:2000-01
Contact details of provider: Postal: University of Connecticut 365 Fairfield Way, Unit 1063 Storrs, CT 06269-1063
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  1. Bennett T. McCallum, 1996. "Crucial Issues Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Lohmann, Susanne, 1992. "Optimal Commitment in Monetary Policy: Credibility versus Flexibility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 273-86, March.
  3. Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Rogoff, Kenneth, 1985. "The Optimal Degree of Commitment to an Intermediate Monetary Target," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 100(4), pages 1169-89, November.
  5. McCallum, Bennett T, 1995. "Two Fallacies Concerning Central-Bank Independence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 207-11, May.
  6. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Michelle R. Garfinkel & Seonghwan Oh, 1990. "Strategic Discipline in Monetary Policy With Private Information: Optimal Targeting Periods," UCLA Economics Working Papers 584, UCLA Department of Economics.
  8. Svensson, L.E.O., 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, 'Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," Papers 595, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  10. Persson, Torsten & Tabellini, Guido, 1993. "Designing institutions for monetary stability," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 53-84, December.
  11. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
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