The form of bounded rationality characterizing the representative agent is key in the choice of the optimal monetary policy regime. While inflation targeting prevails for myopia that distorts agents' inflation expectations, price level targeting emerges as the optimal policy under myopia regarding the output gap, revenue, or interest rate. To the extent that bygones are not bygones under price level targeting, rational inflation expectations is a minimal condition for optimality in a behavioral world. Instrument rules implementation of this optimal policy is shown to be infeasible, questioning the ability of simple rules à la Taylor (1993) to assist the conduct of monetary policy. Bounded rationality is not necessarily associated with welfare losses.
This paper considers the problem of jointly decomposing a set of time series variables
into cyclical and trend components, subject to sets of stochastic linear restrictions
among these cyclical and trend components. We derive a closed form solution to an
ordinary problem featuring homogeneous penalty term difference orders and static
restrictions, as well as to a generalized problem featuring heterogeneous penalty term
difference orders and dynamic restrictions. We use our Generalized Multivariate Linear
Filter to jointly estimate potential output, the natural rate of unemployment and the
natural rate of interest, conditional on selected equilibrium conditions from a calibrated
New Keynesian model.
Zineddine Alla, Mr. Raphael A Espinoza, and Mr. Atish R. Ghosh
This paper analyzes the use of unconventional policy instruments in New Keynesian setups in which the ‘divine coincidence’ breaks down. The paper discusses the role of a second instrument and its coordination with conventional interest rate policy, and presents theoretical results on equilibrium determinacy, the inflation bias, the stabilization bias, and the optimal central banker’s preferences when both instruments are available. We show that the use of an unconventional instrument can help reduce the zone of equilibrium indeterminacy and the volatility of the economy. However, in some circumstances, committing not to use the second instrument may be welfare improving (a result akin to Rogoff (1985a) example of counterproductive coordination). We further show that the optimal central banker should be both aggressive against inflation, and interventionist in using the unconventional policy instrument. As long as price setting depends on expectations about the future, there are gains from establishing credibility by using any instrument that affects these expectations.
We propose a method for solving and estimating linear rational expectations models that exhibit indeterminacy and we provide step-by-step guidelines for implementing this method in the Matlab-based packages Dynare and Gensys. Our method redefines a subset of expectational errors as new fundamentals. This redefinition allows us to treat indeterminate models as determinate and to apply standard solution algorithms. We provide a selection method, based on Bayesian model comparison, to decide which errors to pick as fundamental and we present simulation results to show how our procedure works in practice.
The simulated results of this paper show that New Keynesian DSGE models with capital accumulation can generate substantial persistencies in the dynamics of the main economic variables, due to the stock nature of capital. Empirical estimates on U.S. data from 1960:I to 2008:I show the response of monetary policy to inflation was almost twice lower than traditionally considered, as capital accumulation creates an additional channel of influence through real interest rates in the production sector. Versions of the model with indeterminacy empirically outperform determinate versions. This paper allows for the reconsideration of previous findings and has significant monetary policy implications.
We use a mean-adjusted Bayesian VAR model as an out-of-sample forecasting tool to test whether money growth Granger-causes inflation in the euro area. Based on data from 1970 to 2006 and forecasting horizons of up to 12 quarters, there is surprisingly strong evidence that including money improves forecasting accuracy. The results are very robust with regard to alternative treatments of priors and sample periods. That said, there is also reason not to overemphasize the role of money. The predictive power of money growth for inflation is substantially lower in more recent sample periods compared to the 1970s and 1980s. This cautions against using money-based inflation models anchored in very long samples for policy advice.
This Selected Issues paper for France provides an analytical framework to explain the consequences of the downward shift in the unemployment/wages relationship. This framework is also used to analyze possible changes in the equilibrium unemployment rate resulting from cuts in employers’ social security contributions and movements in the user cost of capital. The contribution of wage moderation to the reduction in the equilibrium unemployment is quantified. The paper also addresses the question of fiscal benefits of job-rich growth in France during 1997–2000.
Assaf Razin, Mr. Prakash Loungani, and Chi-Wa Yuen
Identifying determinants of the output-inflation tradeoff has long been a key issue in business cycle research. We provide evidence that in countries with greater restrictions on capital mobility, a given reduction in the inflation rate is associated with a smaller loss in output. This result is shown to be consistent with theoretical presumption from a version of the Mundell-Fleming model. Restrictions on capital mobility are measured using the IMF’s Annual Report on Exchange Rate Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions. Estimates of the output-inflation tradeoff are taken from previous studies, viz., Lucas (1973) and Ball, Mankiw and Romer (1988).
Since the beginning of the 1990s, foreign direct investment (FDI) in developing countries has increased dramatically. The distribution of FDI flows across these countries, however, is highly uneven; only a small number attract comparatively large amounts of foreign capital. This paper investigates whether the pattern of FDI flows can be explained by the standard neoclassical model or by modified versions of this model that allow for differences in production technologies across countries. The results suggest that the standard neoclassical approach is not particularly useful if we want to understand FDI flows to developing countries.
This paper examines the dynamics of economic growth. First, it demonstrates that the standard neoclassical growth model with constant elasticity of intertemporal substitution is not consistent with the patterns of development we observe in the real world, once we consider the initial conditions. Second, it examines an alternative growth model, which is consistent with endogenously determined initial conditions and also generates dynamics that are in accord with the historical patterns of growth rates, capital flows, savings rates and labor supply. The alternative model is a generalized version of the neoclassical growth model, with increasing rates of intertemporal substitution due to a Stone-Geary type of utility.