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Stochastic optimization and worst-case analysis in monetary policy design

  • Rustem, Berc
  • Wieland, Volker
  • Zakovic, Stan

In this paper we compare expected loss minimization to worst-case or minimax analysis in the design of simple Taylor-style rules for monetary policy using a small model estimated for the euro area by Orphanides and Wieland (2000). We find that rules optimized under a minimax objective in the presence of general parameter and shock uncertainty do not imply extreme policy activism. Such rules tend to obey the Brainard principle of cautionary policymaking in much the same way as rules derived by expected loss minimization. Rules derived by means of minimax analysis are effective insurance policies imiting maximum loss over ranges of parameter values to be set by the policy maker. In practice, we propose to set these ranges with an eye towards the cost of such insurance cover in terms of the implied increase in expected inflation variability.

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Paper provided by Center for Financial Studies (CFS) in its series CFS Working Paper Series with number 2005/14.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:cfswop:200514
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  1. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Seminar Papers 615, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  2. Rustem, Berc, 1994. "Stochastic and robust control of nonlinear economic systems," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 304-318, March.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 1999. "Inflation zone targeting," Working Paper Series 0008, European Central Bank.
  4. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 2000. "The Performance Of Forecast-Based Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," Computing in Economics and Finance 2000 203, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. Ann-Charlotte Eliasson & Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," IMF Working Papers 99/75, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Laurence Ball, 1998. "Policy Rules for Open Economies," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9806, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  7. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:111-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  9. Robert J. Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2000. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  11. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J & Tallarini, Thomas D, Jr, 1999. "Robust Permanent Income and Pricing," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(4), pages 873-907, October.
  12. Karakitsos, E. & Rustem, B., 1984. "Optimally derived fixed rules and indicators," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 8(1), pages 33-64, October.
  13. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. 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.
  15. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Peter von zur Muehlen, 2001. "Activist vs. non-activist monetary policy: optimal rules under extreme uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-02, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  17. Christopher A. Sims, 2001. "Pitfalls of a Minimax Approach to Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 51-54, May.
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