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The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics

Editor-in-Chief: Abraham, Arpad / Cavalcanti, Tiago

Ed. by Carceles-Poveda , Eva / Kambourov, Gueorgui / Lambertini, Luisa / Ruhl, Kim

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Endogenous Persistence and the Performance of Inertial Targeting Rules

Michael S. Hanson1 / Pavel S. Kapinos2

1Lehman Brothers,

2Carleton College,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics. Volume 8, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1690, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1690.1594, March 2008

Publication History

Published Online:
2008-03-10

We investigate the optimality of monetary policy targeting rules in a macroeconomic model based on explicit micro-foundations for intrinsic persistence in inflation and real output. For the corresponding social welfare loss function to be minimized by the central bank, inertia arises endogenously in both the inflation and output gap stabilization objectives. In this framework, inflation targeting closely approximates the optimal precommitment policy for empirically relevant parameter values. Alternative policy rules, such as nominal income growth targeting, "speed-limit" targeting, or price level targeting, do not perform as well. Previous research has demonstrated lower social welfare losses with these alternative targeting rules; such findings are shown to be primarily a consequence of assuming the central bank minimizes a simple social loss function that is not consistent with the micro-foundations of a model with intrinsic persistence.

Keywords: habit formation; inflation persistence; targeting rules; time consistency; design of monetary institutions

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