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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Two papers on monetary policy

Monetary policy in an uncertain world: Probability models and the design of robust monetary rules by Paul Levine.

The abstract reads: The past forty years or so has seen a remarkable transformation in macro-models used by central banks, policymakers and forecasting bodies. This paper describes this transformation from reduced-form behavioural equations estimated separately, through contemporary micro-founded dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models estimated by systems methods. In particular by treating DSGE models estimated by Bayesian-Maximum-Likelihood methods I argue that they can be considered as probability models in the sense described by Sims (2007) and be used for risk-assessment and policy design. This is true for any one model, but with a range of models on offer it is also possible to design interest rate rules that are simple and robust across the rival models and across the distribution of parameter estimates for each of these rivals as in Levine et al. (2008). After making models better in a number of important dimensions, a possible road ahead is to consider rival models as being distinguished by the model of expectations. This would avoid becoming `a prisoner of a single system' at least with respect to expectations formation where, as I argue, there is relatively less consensus on the appropriate modelling strategy.

A Floating versus Managed Exchange Rate Regime in a DSGE Model of India by Nicoletta Batini, Vasco Gabriel, Paul Levine and Joseph Pearlman.

The abstract reads: We first develop a two-bloc model of an emerging open economy interacting with the rest of the world calibrated using Indian and US data. The model features a financial accelerator and is suitable for examining the effects of financial stress on the real economy. Three variants of the model are highlighted with increasing degrees of financial frictions. The model is used to compare two monetary interest rate regimes: domestic Inflation targeting with a floating exchange rate (FLEX(D)) and a managed exchange rate (MEX). Both rules are characterized as a Taylor-type interest rate rules. MEX involves a nominal exchange rate target in the rule and a constraint on its volatility. We find that the imposition of a low exchange rate volatility is only achieved at a significant welfare loss if the policymaker is restricted to a simple domestic inflation plus exchange rate targeting rule. If on the other hand the policymaker can implement a complex optimal rule then an almost fixed exchange rate can be achieved at a relatively small welfare cost. This finding suggests that future research should examine alternative simple rules that mimic the fully optimal rule more closely.

You might like to see: the stock of papers from the NIPFP Macro/Finance Group.

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