CONDI: a cost-of-nominal-distortions index
We construct a price index with weights for the prices of different PCE (personal consumption expenditures) goods chosen to minimize the welfare costs of nominal distortions. In this cost-of-nominal-distortions index (CONDI), the weights are computed in a multi-sector New Keynesian model with time-dependent price setting. The model is calibrated using U.S. data on the dispersion of price stickiness and labor shares across sectors. We find that the CONDI weights depend mostly on price stickiness and are less affected by the dispersion in labor shares. Moreover, CONDI stabilization closely ...
Liquidity traps, capital flows
Motivated by debates surrounding international capital flows during the Great Recession, we conduct a positive and normative analysis of capital flows when a region of the global economy experiences a liquidity trap. Capital flows reduce inefficient output fluctuations in this region by inducing exchange rate movements that reallocate expenditure toward the goods it produces. Restricting capital mobility hampers such an adjustment. From a global perspective, constrained efficiency entails subsidizing capital flows to address an aggregate demand externality associated with exchange rate ...
Optimal Monetary Policy According to HANK
We study optimal monetary policy in a heterogeneous agent new Keynesian economy. A utilitarian planner seeks to reduce consumption inequality, in addition to stabilizing output gaps and inflation. The planner does so both by reducing income risk faced by households, and by reducing the pass-through from income to consumption risk, trading off the benefits of lower inequality against productive inefficiency and higher inflation. When income risk is countercyclical, policy curtails the fall in output in recessions to mitigate the increase in inequality. We uncover a new form of time ...
Optimal Monetary Policy in an Open Emerging Market Economy
The majority of households across emerging market economies are excluded from the financial markets and cannot smooth consumption. I analyze the implications of this for optimal monetary policy and the corresponding choice of domestic versus external nominal anchor in a small open economy framework with nominal rigidities, aggregate uncertainty and financial exclusion. I find that, if set optimally, monetary policy smooths the consumption of financially excluded agents by stabilizing their income. Even though Consumer Price Index (CPI) inflation targeting approximates optimal monetary policy ...
Asset Price Learning and Optimal Monetary Policy
We characterize optimal monetary policy when agents are learning about endogenous asset prices. Boundedly rational expectations induce inefficient equilibrium asset price fluctuations which translate into inefficient aggregate demand fluctuations. We find that the optimal policy raises interest rates when expected capital gains, and the level of current asset prices, is high. The optimal policy does not eliminate deviations of asset prices from their fundamental value. When monetary policymakers are information-constrained, optimal policy can be reasonably approximated by simple interest rate ...
The Optimal Inflation Rate with Discount Factor Heterogeneity
This paper shows that deviations from long-run price stability are optimal in the presence of price stickiness whenever profit and utility flows are discounted at a different rate. In that case, a monetary authority acting under commitment will choose a path for the inflation rate that ends with a non-zero value. Such a property is relevant in a wide range of macroeconomic environments. I first illustrate this by studying optimal monetary policy in a New Keynesian model with a perpetual youth structure. In this setting, profit flows are discounted more heavily than utility flows and the ...
Employment, Wages and Optimal Monetary Policy
We study optimal monetary policy when the empirical evidence leaves the policymaker uncertain whether the true data-generating process is given by a model with sticky wages or a model with search and matching frictions in the labor market. Unless the policymaker is almost certain about the search and matching model being the correct data-generating process, the policymaker chooses to stabilize wage inflation at the expense of price inflation, a policy resembling the policy that is optimal in the sticky wage model, regardless of the true model. This finding reflects the greater sensitivity of ...
On Targeting Frameworks and Optimal Monetary Policy
Speed limit policy, a monetary policy strategy that focuses on stabilizing inflation and the change in the output gap, consistently delivers better welfare outcomes than flexible inflation targeting or flexible price level targeting in empirical New Keynesian models when policymakers lack the ability to commit to future policies. Even if the policymaker can commit under an inflation targeting strategy, the discretionary speed limit policy performs better for most empirically plausible model parameterizations from a normative perspective.
Rule-of-Thumb Behaviour and Monetary Policy
We investigate the implications of rule-of-thumb behaviour on the part of consumers or price setters for optimal monetary policy and simple interest rate rules. The existence of such behaviour leads to endogenous persistence in output and inflation; changes the transmission of shocks to these variables; and alters the policymaker's welfare objective. Our main finding is that highly inertial policy is optimal regardless of what fraction of agents occasionally follow a rule of thumb. We also find that the interest rate rule that implements optimal policy in the purely optimising case, and a ...
A model of the Twin Ds: optimal default and devaluation
This paper characterizes jointly optimal default and exchange-rate policy in a small open economy with limited enforcement of debt contracts and downward nominal wage rigidity. Under optimal policy, default occurs during contractions and is accompanied by large devaluations. The latter inflate away real wages, thereby avoiding massive unemployment. Thus, the Twin Ds phenomenon emerges endogenously as the optimal outcome. In contrast, under fixed exchange rates, optimal default takes place in the context of large involuntary unemployment. Fixed-exchange-rate economies are shown to have ...