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Precommitment, Transparency and Monetary Policy

  • Geraats, Petra Maria

Conventional wisdom says that commitment eliminates the inflationary bias of monetary policy. However, this paper shows that the inflation bias can persist even when the central bank commits. A simple model is presented in which the central bank precommits by setting the policy instrument, and the subsequent adjustment of inflation expectations is part of the transmission mechanism. Generally there is still an inflation bias, despite the absence of a time-inconsistency problem. It is caused by uncertainty about the economic disturbances to which the central bank responds. Only perfect transparency about economic information completely eliminates the inflation bias.

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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2001,12.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:4158
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  1. Geraats, Petra M., 2000. "Why Adopt Transparency? The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0hw7h7cp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1995. "Optimal Inflation Targets, `Conservative' Central Banks, and Linear Inflation Contracts," NBER Working Papers 5251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. D. Backus & J. Driffil, 1998. "Inflation and Reputation," Levine's Working Paper Archive 625, David K. Levine.
  5. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
  6. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-97, May.
  7. 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.
  8. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  9. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  10. Barro, Robert J., 1986. "Reputation in a model of monetary policy with incomplete information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 3-20, January.
  11. Kyle Bagwell, 1992. "Commitment and Observability in Games," Discussion Papers 1014, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Bennett T. McCallum, 1996. "Crucial Issues Concerning Central Bank Independence," NBER Working Papers 5597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  14. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  15. Goodhart, Charles A E & Huang, Haizhou, 1998. "Time Inconsistency in a Model with Lags, Persistence, and Overlapping Wage Contracts," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(3), pages 378-96, July.
  16. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, June.
  17. Basar, T & Salmon, Mark, 1989. "Credibility and the Value of Information Transmission in a Model of Monetary Policy and Inflation," CEPR Discussion Papers 338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Walsh, Carl E, 1995. "Optimal Contracts for Central Bankers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 150-67, March.
  19. 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.
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