IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pareto Efficiency vs. the Ad Hoc Standard Monetary Objective An Analysis of Inflation Targeting


  • David Eagle

    (Eastern Washington University)


The standard ad hoc monetary objective function creates a bias in favor of inflation targeting. Instead, this paper uses the Pareto criterion to assess inflation targeting (IT), price-level targeting (PLT), and nominal-income targeting (NIT). The effect that unanticipated inflation or deflation benefits one party to a nominal contract while hurting the other party is an effect that cannot be captured in a model with a representative consumer or identical consumers. To capture this effect, this paper analyses models with diverse consumers in a pure-exchange economy without storage. When nominal aggregate demand (NAD) is stochastic but real aggregate supply (RAS) is not, PLT Pareto dominates IT. This is because IT perpetuates price errors and hence nominal aggregate demand errors, while PLT tries to return to the original targeted price path. By perpetuating these errors, IT perpetuates the welfare losses, whereas PLT corrects so to help reduce these welfare losses in the future. When RAS is also stochastic, nominal contracts under NIT can lead to Pareto efficiency when consumers have average relative risk aversion, non-stochastic endowment-to-RAS ratios, and no utility shocks. Under the same assumptions IT and PLT lead to Pareto inefficiencies because they force the payers of nominal contracts to guarantee the real value of those payments to the receivers. In essence this transfers RAS risk from the receivers of the nominal obligations to payers of the nominal obligations. However, this transfer of risk would only be appropriate if all payers of nominal obligations had below average relative risk aversion and all receivers had above average relative risk aversion, a situation that rarely will hold.

Suggested Citation

  • David Eagle, 2005. "Pareto Efficiency vs. the Ad Hoc Standard Monetary Objective An Analysis of Inflation Targeting," Macroeconomics 0512020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0512020
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 22. This uses Pareto efficiency to analyze inflation targeting, price-level targeting, and nominal- income targeting.

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Eagle, 2005. "Completing Markets in a One-Good, Pure Exchange Economy Without State-Contingent Securities," Finance 0501009, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Pareto efficiency; inflation targeting; price-level targeting; nominal-income targeting; monetary objective function;

    JEL classification:

    • E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0512020. 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: (EconWPA). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.