Year of publication
- A quantitative exploration of the opportunistic approach to disinflation (2005)
- Under a conventional policy rule, a central bank adjusts its policy rate linearly according to the gap between inflation and its target, and the gap between output and its potential. Under "the opportunistic approach to disinflation" a central bank controls inflation aggressively when inflation is far from its target, but concentrates more on output stabilization when inflation is close to its target, allowing supply shocks and unforeseen fluctuations in aggregate demand to move inflation within a certain band. We use stochastic simulations of a small-scale rational expectations model to contrast the behavior of output and inflation under opportunistic and linear rules. Klassifikation: E31, E52, E58, E61. July, 2005.
- Money in monetary policy design under uncertainty : the two-pillar Phillips curve versus ECB-style cross-checking (2007)
- The European Central Bank has assigned a special role to money in its two pillar strategy and has received much criticism for this decision. In this paper, we explore possible justifications. The case against including money in the central bank’s interest rate rule is based on a standard model of the monetary transmission process that underlies many contributions to research on monetary policy in the last two decades. Of course, if one allows for a direct effect of money on output or inflation as in the empirical “two-pillar” Phillips curves estimated in some recent contributions, it would be optimal to include a measure of (long-run) money growth in the rule. In this paper, we develop a justification for including money in the interest rate rule by allowing for imperfect knowledge regarding unobservables such as potential output and equilibrium interest rates. We formulate a novel characterization of ECB-style monetary cross-checking and show that it can generate substantial stabilization benefits in the event of persistent policy misperceptions regarding potential output. Such misperceptions cause a bias in policy setting. We find that cross-checking and changing interest rates in response to sustained deviations of long-run money growth helps the central bank to overcome this bias. Our argument in favor of ECB-style cross-checking does not require direct effects of money on output or inflation. JEL Classification: E32, E41, E43, E52, E58
- Money in monetary policy design under uncertainty: a formal characterization of ECB-style cross-checking (2007)
- The European Central Bank has assigned a special role to money in its two pillar strategy and has received much criticism for this decision. The case against including money in the central bank’s interest rate rule is based on a standard model of the monetary transmission process that underlies many contributions to research on monetary policy in the last two decades. In this paper, we develop a justification for including money in the interest rate rule by allowing for imperfect knowledge regarding unobservables such as potential output and equilibrium interest rates. We formulate a novel characterization of ECB-style monetary cross-checking and show that it can generate substantial stabilization benefits in the event of persistent policy misperceptions regarding potential output. JEL Classification: E32, E41, E43, E52, E58
- Central bank misperceptions and the role of money in interest rate rules (2008)
- Research with Keynesian-style models has emphasized the importance of the output gap for policies aimed at controlling inflation while declaring monetary aggregates largely irrelevant. Critics, however, have argued that these models need to be modified to account for observed money growth and inflation trends, and that monetary trends may serve as a useful cross-check for monetary policy. We identify an important source of monetary trends in form of persistent central bank misperceptions regarding potential output. Simulations with historical output gap estimates indicate that such misperceptions may induce persistent errors in monetary policy and sustained trends in money growth and inflation. If interest rate prescriptions derived from Keynesian-style models are augmented with a cross-check against money-based estimates of trend inflation, inflation control is improved substantially.
- Money in monetary policy design: monetary cross-checking in the New-Keynesian model (2009)
- In the New-Keynesian model, optimal interest rate policy under uncertainty is formulated without reference to monetary aggregates as long as certain standard assumptions on the distributions of unobservables are satisfied. The model has been criticized for failing to explain common trends in money growth and inflation, and that therefore money should be used as a cross-check in policy formulation (see Lucas (2007)). We show that the New-Keynesian model can explain such trends if one allows for the possibility of persistent central bank misperceptions. Such misperceptions motivate the search for policies that include additional robustness checks. In earlier work, we proposed an interest rate rule that is near-optimal in normal times but includes a cross-check with monetary information. In case of unusual monetary trends, interest rates are adjusted. In this paper, we show in detail how to derive the appropriate magnitude of the interest rate adjustment following a significant cross-check with monetary information, when the New-Keynesian model is the central bank’s preferred model. The cross-check is shown to be effective in offsetting persistent deviations of inflation due to central bank misperceptions. Keywords: Monetary Policy, New-Keynesian Model, Money, Quantity Theory, European Central Bank, Policy Under Uncertainty
- The European Central Bank (2007)
- The establishment of the ECB and with it the launch of the euro has arguably been a unique endeavor in economic history, representing an important experiment in central banking. This note aims to summarize some of the main lessons learned from this experiment and sketch some of the prospects for the ECB. It is written for "The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics", 2nd edition. JEL Classification: E52, E58
- Estimating the European Central Bank's "Extended Period of Time" (2013)
- On July 4, 2013 the ECB Governing Council provided more specific forward guidance than in the past by stating that it expects ECB interest rates to remain at present or lower levels for an extended period of time. As explained by ECB President Mario Draghi this expectation is based on the Council’s medium-term outlook for inflation conditional on economic activity and money and credit. Draghi also stressed that there is no precise deadline for this extended period of time, but that a reasonable period can be estimated by extracting a reaction function. In this note, we use such a reaction function, namely the interest rate rule from Orphanides and Wieland (2013) that matches past ECB interest rate decisions quite well, to project the rate path consistent with inflation and growth forecasts from the survey of professional forecasters published by the ECB on August 8, 2013. This evaluation suggests an increase in ECB interest rates by May 2014 at the latest. We also use the Eurosystem staff projection from June 6, 2013 for comparison. While it would imply a longer period of low rates, it does not match past ECB decisions as well as the reaction function with SPF forecasts.
- Data uncertainty and the role of money as an information variable for monetary policy (2003)
- In this study, we perform a quantitative assessment of the role of money as an indicator variable for monetary policy in the euro area. We document the magnitude of revisions to euro area-wide data on output, prices, and money, and find that monetary aggregates have a potentially significant role in providing information about current real output. We then proceed to analyze the information content of money in a forward-looking model in which monetary policy is optimally determined subject to incomplete information about the true state of the economy. We show that monetary aggregates may have substantial information content in an environment with high variability of output measurement errors, low variability of money demand shocks, and a strong contemporaneous linkage between money demand and real output. As a practical matter, however, we conclude that money has fairly limited information content as an indicator of contemporaneous aggregate demand in the euro area.
- Price stability and monetary policy effectiveness when nominal interest rates are bounded at zero (2003)
- This paper employs stochastic simulations of a small structural rational expectations model to investigate the consequences of the zero bound on nominal interest rates. We find that if the economy is subject to stochastic shocks similar in magnitude to those experienced in the U.S. over the 1980s and 1990s, the consequences of the zero bound are negligible for target inflation rates as low as 2 percent. However, the effects of the constraint are non-linear with respect to the inflation target and produce a quantitatively significant deterioration of the performance of the economy with targets between 0 and 1 percent. The variability of output increases significantly and that of inflation also rises somewhat. Also, we show that the asymmetry of the policy ineffectiveness induced by the zero bound generates a non-vertical long-run Phillips curve. Output falls increasingly short of potential with lower inflation targets.
- The zero-interest-rate and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan (2003)
- In this paper we study the role of the exchange rate in conducting monetary policy in an economy with near-zero nominal interest rates as experienced in Japan since the mid-1990s. Our analysis is based on an estimated model of Japan, the United States and the euro area with rational expectations and nominal rigidities. First, we provide a quantitative analysis of the impact of the zero bound on the effectiveness of interest rate policy in Japan in terms of stabilizing output and inflation. Then we evaluate three concrete proposals that focus on depreciation of the currency as a way to ameliorate the effect of the zero bound and evade a potential liquidity trap. Finally, we investigate the international consequences of these proposals.