The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper evaluates the performance of two alternative policy rules, a forward-looking rule and a spontaneous adjustment rule, under alternative inflation targets, in terms of output losses in a macroeconomic model, using European Union data. The simulations suggest that forward-looking rules contribute to macroeconomic stability and monetary policy credibility, and that a positive inflation target, as opposed to zero inflation, leads to higher and less volatile output. These results are robust to changes in the specification of the model and time period. The same methodology applied to individual countries supports country-specific flexible inflation targeting.