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Was ECB's Monetary Policy Optimal?

  • Fritz Breuss


Overall, the ECB managed monetary policy quite satisfactorily in the first phase of EMU. Nevertheless, this paper asks whether monetary policy could not have been improved. In the last three years, Euroland was confronted with the first external shock. Oil prices increased considerably, leading to an increase of headline inflation of over one percentage point in 2000–01. With a specific Taylor rule one can very well understand, how the ECB sets interest rates, but it turns out that monetary policy based on the estimated Taylor reaction function was rather backward than forward looking. While it reacted with a lag to the actions of the U.S. Fed, it was overly cautious by targeting total HICP inflation. Here it is strongly argued and also demonstrated with model simulations that a monetary policy oriented towards core inflation would have resulted in a much better economic performance. The business cycle downturn could have been mitigated with no additional inflation risks. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2002

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Paper provided by WIFO in its series WIFO Working Papers with number 173.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jan 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wfo:wpaper:y:2002:i:173
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  5. Benjamin Hunt & Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton, 2002. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Higher Oil Prices," National Institute Economic Review, National Institute of Economic and Social Research, vol. 179(1), pages 87-103, January.
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  8. Mojon, Benoît & Kashyap, Anil K. & Angeloni, Ignazio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 2002. "Monetary Transmission in the Euro Area : Where Do We Stand?," Working Paper Series 0114, European Central Bank.
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  10. Issing,Otmar & Gaspar,Vitor & Angeloni,Ignazio & Tristani,Oreste, 2001. "Monetary Policy in the Euro Area," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521788885.
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  18. Richard H. Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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  23. Artis, Michael J & Zhang, Wenda, 1999. "Further Evidence on the International Business Cycle and the ERM: Is There a European Business Cycle?," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 120-32, January.
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