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Keywords:optimal policy OR Optimal policy OR Optimal Policy 

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Optimal target criteria for stabilization policy

This paper considers a general class of nonlinear rational-expectations models in which policymakers seek to maximize an objective function that may be household expected utility. We show how to derive a target criterion that is 1) consistent with the model?s structural equations, 2) strong enough to imply a unique equilibrium, and 3) optimal, in the sense that a commitment to adjust the policy instrument at all dates so as to satisfy the target criterion maximizes the objective function. The proposed optimal target criterion is a linear equation that must be satisfied by the projected paths ...
Staff Reports , Paper 535

Working Paper
Occupational hazards and social disability insurance

Using retrospective data, we introduce evidence that occupational exposure significantly affects disability risk. Incorporating this into a general equilibrium model, social disability insurance (SDI) affects welfare through (i) the classic, risk-sharing channel and (ii) a new channel of occupational reallocation. Both channels can increase welfare, but at the optimal SDI they are at odds. Welfare gains from additional risk-sharing are reduced by overly incentivizing workers to choose risky occupations. In a calibration, optimal SDI increases welfare by 2.6% relative to actuarially fair ...
Working Papers , Paper 2014-24

Working Paper
Optimal monetary policy regime switches

Given regime switches in the economy?s growth rate, optimal monetary policy rules may respond by switching policy parameters. These optimized parameters differ across regimes and from the optimal choice under fixed regimes, particularly in the inflation target and interest rate inertia. Optimal switching rules produce welfare gains relative to constant rules, with switches in the implicit real interest rate used for policy and the degree of interest rate inertia producing the largest gains. However, gains from switching rules decrease if the monetary authority trades-off the probability of ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 16-7

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Policy Games

Strategic interactions between policymakers arise whenever each policymaker has distinct objectives. Deviating from full cooperation can result in large welfare losses. To facilitate the study of strategic interactions, we develop a toolbox that characterizes the welfare-maximizing cooperative Ramsey policies under full commitment and open-loop Nash games. Two examples for the use of our toolbox offer some novel results. The first example revisits the case of monetary policy coordination in a two-country model to confirm that our approach replicates well-known results in the literature and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-87

Working Paper
Optimal Government Spending at the Zero Lower Bound: A Non-Ricardian Analysis

This paper analyzes the implications of distortionary taxation and debt financing for optimal government spending policy in a sticky-price economy where the nominal interest rate is subject to the zero lower bound constraint. Regardless of the type of tax available and the initial debt level, optimal government spending policy in a recession is characterized by an initial increase followed by a reduction below, and an eventual return to, the steady state. The magnitude of variations in the government spending as well as their welfare implications depend importantly on the available tax ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-38

Working Paper
A Promised Value Approach to Optimal Monetary Policy

This paper characterizes optimal commitment policy in the New Keynesian model using a novel recursive formulation of the central bank's infinite horizon optimization problem. In our recursive formulation motivated by Kydland and Prescott (1980), promised inflation and output gap---as opposed to lagged Lagrange multipliers---act as pseudo-state variables. Using three well known variants of the model---one featuring inflation bias, one featuring stabilization bias, and one featuring a lower bound constraint on nominal interest rates---we show that the proposed formulation sheds new light on the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-083

Working Paper
Financial Stability and Optimal Interest-Rate Policy

We study optimal interest-rate policy in a New Keynesian model in which the economy can experience financial crises and the probability of a crisis depends on credit conditions. The optimal adjustment to interest rates in response to credit conditions is (very) small in the model calibrated to match the historical relationship between credit conditions, output, inflation, and likelihood of financial crises. Given the imprecise estimates of key parameters, we also study optimal policy under parameter uncertainty. We find that Bayesian and robust central banks will respond more aggressively to ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-067

Working Paper
Attenuating the Forward Guidance Puzzle : Implications for Optimal Monetary Policy

We examine the implications of less powerful forward guidance for optimal policy using a sticky-price model with an effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates as well as a discounted Euler equation and Phillips curve. When the private-sector agents discount future economic conditions more in making their decisions today, an announced cut in future interest rates becomes less effective in stimulating current economic activity. While the implication of such discounting for optimal policy depends on its degree, we find that, under a wide range of plausible degrees of discounting, it ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-049

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Tradeoffs and the Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate

Some key structural features of the U.S. economy appear to have changed in the recent decades, making the conduct of monetary policy more challenging. In particular, there is high uncertainty about the levels of the natural rate of interest and unemployment as well as about the effect of economic activity on inflation. At the same time, a prolonged period of below-target inflation has raised concerns about the unanchoring of inflation expectations at levels below the Federal Open Market Committee’s inflation target. In addition, a low natural rate of interest increases the probability of ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-066

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