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.
Introducing habit formation into an open economy macroeconomic model with price stickiness, we examine the characteristics of an optimal monetary policy. We find that, first, the optimal policy rule entails interest rate smoothing and responds to the lagged values of the foreign interest rate and domestic technology shocks as well as their current values. Second, habit formation enriches the dynamics of the economy with a persistent, hump-shaped response of consumption to shocks. Finally, when habit formation does matter, the optimal policy rule achieves a greater welfare improvement over alternative policy rules by achieving lower macroeconomic variability.