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Stabilization policy, rational expectations and price-level versus inflation targeting: a survey

Hatcher, Michael and Minford, Patrick 2013. Stabilization policy, rational expectations and price-level versus inflation targeting: a survey. [Working Paper]. Cardiff Economics Working Papers, Cardiff: Cardiff University.

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Abstract

We survey recent literature comparing inflation targeting (IT) and price-level targeting (PT) as macroeconomic stabilization policies. Our focus is on New Keynesian models and areas which have seen significant developments since Ambler's(2009) survey: the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates; financial frictions; and optimal monetary policy. Ambler's main conclusion that PT improves the inflation-output volatility trade-off in New Keynesian models is reasonably robust to these extensions, several of which are attempts to address issues raised by the recent financial crisis. The beneficial effects of PT therefore appear to hang on the joint assumption that agents are rational and the economy New Keynesian. Accordingly, we discuss recent experimental and survey evidence on whether expectations are rational, as well as the applied macro literature on the empirical performance of New Keynesian models. In addition, we discuss a more recent strand of applied literature that has formally tested New Keynesian models with rational expectations. Overall the evidence is not conclusive, but we note that New Keynesian models are able to match a number of dynamic features in the data and that behavioral models of the macroeconomy are outperformed by those with rational expectations in formal statistical tests. Accordingly, we argue that policymakers should continue to pay attention to PT.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 08:26
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/78000

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