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Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
Working Paper Series
Welfare-maximizing monetary policy under parameter uncertainty
Rochelle M. Edge
Thomas Laubach
John C. Williams
Abstract

This paper examines welfare-maximizing monetary policy in an estimated micro-founded general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy where the policymaker faces uncertainty about model parameters. Uncertainty about parameters describing preferences and technology implies not only uncertainty about the dynamics of the economy. It also implies uncertainty about the model's utility-based welfare criterion and about the economy's natural rate measures of interest and output. We analyze the characteristics and performance of alternative monetary policy rules given the estimated uncertainty regarding parameter estimates. We find that the natural rates of interest and output are imprecisely estimated. We then show that, relative to the case of known parameters, optimal policy under parameter uncertainty responds less to natural-rate terms and more to other variables, such as price and wage inflation and measures of tightness or slack that do not depend on natural rates.


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Rochelle M. Edge & Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, Welfare-maximizing monetary policy under parameter uncertainty, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Working Paper Series 2007-11, 2007.
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Keywords: Monetary policy
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