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Monetary policy, indeterminacy and learning

  • Evans, George W.
  • McGough, Bruce

The development of tractable forward looking models of monetary policy has lead to an explosion of research on the implications of adopting Taylor-type interest rate rules. Indeterminacies have been found to arise for some specifications of the interest rate rule, raising the possibility of inefficient fluctuations due to the dependence of expectations on extraneous “sunspots ”. Separately, recent work by a number of authors has shown that sunspot equilibria previously thought to be unstable under private agent learning can in some cases be stable when the observed sunspot has a suitable time series structure. In this paper we generalize the “common factor ”technique, used in this analysis, to examine standard monetary models that combine forward looking expectations and predetermined variables. We consider a variety of specifications that incorporate both lagged and expected inflation in the Phillips Curve, and both expected inflation and inertial elements in the policy rule. We find that some policy rules can indeed lead to learnable sunspot solutions and we investigate the conditions under which this phenomenon arises.

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2003/37.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200337
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  1. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja & Ramon Marimon, 2001. "Stable Sunspot Equilibria in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," CESifo Working Paper Series 611, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Performance of monetary policy with internal central bank forecasting," Research Discussion Papers 3/2002, Bank of Finland.
  3. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Woodford, Michael, 1990. "Learning to Believe in Sunspots," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(2), pages 277-307, March.
  5. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2002. "Expectational Stability of Stationary Sunspot Equilibria in a Forward-looking Linear Model," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2001-9, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 14 Jan 2002.
  6. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Paul Romer & George Evans & Seppo Hokapohja, . "Growth Cycles," Home Pages _001, Stanford University.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824.
  10. Fuhrer, Jeff & Moore, George, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-59, February.
  11. Evans George W & McGough Bruce, 2005. "Indeterminacy and the Stability Puzzle in Non-Convex Economies," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-46, September.
  12. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2001. "Existence of Adaptively Stable Sunspot Equilibria Near an Indeterminate Steady State," CESifo Working Paper Series 478, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  15. Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2001. "Are Non-Fundamental Equilibria Learnable in Models of Monetary Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2846, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Howitt, Peter, 1992. "Interest Rate Control and Nonconvergence to Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 776-800, August.
  17. G. Desgranges & G. Negroni, 2001. "Expectations Coordination on a Sunspot Equilibrium: an Eductive Approach," THEMA Working Papers 2001-13, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
  18. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  19. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Research Discussion Papers 29/2002, Bank of Finland.
  20. Evans, G. E. & Guesnerie R., 1999. "Coordination on saddle path solutions : the eductive viewpoint. 1 - linear univariate models," DELTA Working Papers 1999-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  21. Howitt, P. & Mcfee, R.P., 1990. "Animal Spirits," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9005, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  22. James Bullard & Kaushik Mitra, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Working Papers 2000-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  23. George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2002. "Stable Sunspot Solutions in Models with Predetermined Variables," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-16, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 29 May 2003.
  24. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Evans George W. & Honkapohja Seppo, 1994. "On the Local Stability of Sunspot Equilibria under Adaptive Learning Rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 142-161, October.
  26. Farmer Roger E. A. & Guo Jang-Ting, 1994. "Real Business Cycles and the Animal Spirits Hypothesis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 42-72, June.
  27. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  28. Garratt, Anthony & Hall, Stephen G., 1997. "E-equilibria and adaptive expectations: Output and inflation in the LBS model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(7), pages 1149-1171, June.
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