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Refocusing the ECB on Output Stabilization and Growth through Inflation Targeting?

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  • Joreg Bibow

    (The Levy Economics Institute)

Abstract

Challenging the conventional wisdom that structural problems are to blame for the euro area’s protracted domestic demand stagnation, this paper sets out to shed some fresh light on the role of the ECB in the ongoing EMU crisis. Contrary to the widely held interpretation of the ECB as an inflation targeter—and a rather soft one, too—it is argued that the key characteristic of the ECB is the pronounced asymmetry in its policy approach and mindset. Curiously, this asymmetry has not only given rise to an antigrowth bias, but to upward price pressures and distortions as well. There is a link between stagnation and inflation persistence that owes to the ECB’s failure to internalize the euro area’s fiscal regime. This raises the question as to whether inflation targeting would have led to better results, or could do so in future.

Suggested Citation

  • Joreg Bibow, 2005. "Refocusing the ECB on Output Stabilization and Growth through Inflation Targeting?," Macroeconomics 0507017, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0507017
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 23
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    File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0507/0507017.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
    2. Willem Thorbecke, 2002. "A Dual Mandate for the Federal Reserve: The Pursuit of Price Stability and Full Employment," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 255-268, Spring.
    3. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1997. "What does the Bundesbank target?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1025-1053, June.
    4. Gerlach, Stefan & Svensson, Lars E. O., 2003. "Money and inflation in the euro area: A case for monetary indicators?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1649-1672, November.
    5. Jorg Bibow, 2004. "Assessing the ECB's Performance since the Global Slowdown A Structural Policy Bias Coming Home to Roost?," Macroeconomics 0407026, EconWPA.
    6. Jörg Bibow, 2004. "Reflections on the current fashion for central bank independence," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 549-576, July.
    7. Jorg Bibow, 2002. "The Markets versus the ECB, and the EURO's Plunge," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 45-57, Winter.
    8. George A. Akerlof & William R. Dickens & George L. Perry, 1996. "The Macroeconomics of Low Inflation," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(1), pages 1-76.
    9. Tobin, James, 1972. "Inflation and Unemployment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(1), pages 1-18, March.
    10. Jorg Bibow, 2004. "Assessing the ECB's Performance since the Global Slowdown: A Structural Policy Bias Coming Home to Roost?," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_409, Levy Economics Institute.
    11. Issing, Otmar, 1997. "Monetary targeting in Germany: The stability of monetary policy and of the monetary system," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 67-79, June.
    12. Willem Thorbecke, "undated". "Inflation Targeting and the Natural Rate of Unemployment," Economics Policy Note Archive 04-1, Levy Economics Institute.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jorg Bibow, 2005. "Europe’s Quest for Monetary Stability: Central Banking Gone Astray," Macroeconomics 0508029, EconWPA.
    2. Jorg Bibow, 2005. "Europe's Quest for Monetary Stability: Central Banking Gone Astray," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_428, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Singleton,John, 2010. "Central Banking in the Twentieth Century," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521899093, April.
    4. L. Randall Wray, 2005. "Monetary Policy Strategies of the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of the U.S," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_431, Levy Economics Institute.
    5. Joerg Bibow, 2006. "Inflation Persistence and Tax-Push Inflation in Germany and in the Euro Area: A Symptom of Macroeconomic Mismanagement?," IMK Studies 01-2006, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
    6. Giuseppe Fontana & Alfonso Palacio-Vera, 2007. "Are Long-Run Price Stability And Short-Run Output Stabilization All That Monetary Policy Can Aim For?," Metroeconomica, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(2), pages 269-298, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy; European Central Bank; inflation targeting; inflation persistence; tax-push inflation; antigrowth bias.;

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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