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Some Implications of Uncertainty and Misperception for Monetary Policy
When choosing a strategy for monetary policy, policymakers must grapple with mismeasurement of labor market slack, and of the responsiveness of price inflation to that slack. Using stochastic simulations of a small-scale version of the Federal Reserve Board?s principal New Keynesian macroeconomic model, we evaluate representative rule-based policy strategies, paying particular attention to how those strategies interact with initial conditions in the U.S. as they are seen today and with the current outlook. To do this, we construct a current relevant baseline forecast, one that is loosely ...
From Taylor's Rule to Bernanke's Temporary Price Level Targeting
Bernanke's strategies for integrating forward guidance into conventional instrument rules anticipate that effective lower bound (ELB) episodes may become part a regular occurrence and that monetary policy should recognize this likelihood (Bernanke (2017a); Bernanke (2017b)). Bernanke's first proposal is a form of flexible temporary price level targeting (TPLT), in which a lower-for-longer policy path is prescribed through a ?shadow rate?. This shadow rate accounts for cumulative shortfalls in inflation and output relative to exogenous trends, and the policy rate is kept at the ELB until the ...
Learning and Misperception: Implications for Price-Level Targeting
Monetary policy strategies that target the price level have been advocated as a more effective way to provide economic stimulus in a deep recession when conventional monetary policy is limited by the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates. Yet, the effectiveness of these strategies depends on a central bank's ability to steer agents' expectations about the future path of the policy rate. We develop a flexible method of learning about the central bank's policy rule from observed interest rates that takes into account the limited informational content at the zero lower bound. When agents ...
Imperfect credibility and the zero lower bound on the nominal interest rate
When the nominal interest rate reaches its zero lower bound, credibility is crucial for conducting forward guidance. We determine optimal policy in a New Keynesian model when the central bank has imperfect credibility and cannot set the nominal interest rate below zero. In our model, an announcement of a low interest rate for an extended period does not necessarily reflect high credibility. Even if the central bank does not face a temptation to act discretionarily in the current period, policy commitments should not be postponed. In reality, central banks are often reluctant to allow a ...
How Robust Are Makeup Strategies to Key Alternative Assumptions?
We analyze the robustness of makeup strategies—policies that aim to offset, at least in part, past misses of inflation from its objective—to alternative modeling assumptions, with an emphasis on the role of inflation expectations. We survey empirical evidence on the behavior of shorter-run and long-run inflation expectations. Using simulations from the FRB/US macroeconomic model, we find that makeup strategies can moderately offset the real effects of adverse economic shocks, even when much of the public is uninformed about the monetary strategy. We also discuss the robustness of makeup ...
Considerations Regarding Inflation Ranges
We consider three ways that a monetary policy framework may employ a range for inflation outcomes: (1) ranges that acknowledge uncertainty about inflation outcomes (uncertainty ranges), (2) ranges that define the scope for intentional deviations of inflation from its target (operational ranges), and (3) ranges over which monetary policy will not react to inflation deviations (indifference ranges). After defining these three ranges, we highlight a number of costs and benefits associated with each. Our discussion of the indifference range is accompanied by simulations from the FRB/US model, ...
Substitutability of Monetary Policy Instruments
This note presents an approach to infer the magnitude of changes to the level of the policy target rate--a more commonly used metric of monetary policy actions--that would lead to approximately the same macroeconomic outcomes as induced through changes in the central bank's balance sheet.