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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, 2002. "Existence of Adaptively Stable Sunspot Equilibria near an Indeterminate Steady State," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-9, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 06 Apr 2002.
  2. Woodford, Michael, 1986. "Learning to Believe in Sunspots," Working Papers 86-16, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  4. George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2002. "Indeterminacy and the Stability Puzzle in Non-Convex Economies," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-14, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 27 Aug 2005.
  5. Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Adaptive learning and monetary policy design," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1045-1084.
  7. 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.
  8. Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Performance of monetary policy with internal central bank forecasting," Research Discussion Papers 3/2002, Bank of Finland.
  9. 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.
  10. Howitt, Peter & McAfee, R Preston, 1992. "Animal Spirits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 493-507, June.
  11. Evans, George W. & Guesnerie, Roger, 2003. "Coordination On Saddle-Path Solutions: The Eductive Viewpoint Linear Univariate Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 42-62, February.
  12. 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.
  13. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  14. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 6157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Desgranges, Gabriel & Negroni, Giorgio, 2003. "Expectations Coordination On A Sunspot Equilibrium: An Eductive Approach," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 7-41, February.
  16. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
  17. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  18. Seppo Honkapohja & Kaushik Mitra, . "Are Non-Fundamental Equilibria Learnable in Models of Monetary Policy?," Discussion Papers 01/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
  19. Evans, Geroge W & Honkapohja, Seppo & Romer, Paul, 1998. "Growth Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 495-515, June.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semi-Classical Structural Model," NBER Working Papers 6599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jeff Fuhrer & George Moore, 1995. "Inflation Persistence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(1), pages 127-159.
  24. Honkapohja, Seppo & Evans, George W., 2000. "Expectations and the stability problem for optimal monetary policies," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,10, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  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. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
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