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Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy


Michael Woodford


Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

June 2010

NBER Working Paper No. w16095

Abstract:     
This paper reviews the theory of optimal monetary stabilization policy, with an emphasis on developments since the publication of Woodford (2003). The structure of optimal policy commitments is considered, both when the objective of stabilization policy is defined by an arbitrarily specified quadratic loss function, and when the objective of policy is taken to be the maximization of expected utility. Issues treated include the time inconsistency of optimal policies and the need for commitment; the relation of optimal policy from a “timeless perspective” to the Ramsey conception of optimal policy; and the advantages of forecast targeting procedures as an approach to the implementation of optimal stabilization policy. The usefulness of characterizing optimal policy in terms of a target criterion is illustrated in a range of examples. These include models with a variety of assumptions about the nature of price and wage adjustment; models that allow for sectoral heterogeneity; cases in which policy must be conducted on the basis of imperfect information; and cases in which the zero lower bound on the policy rate constrains the conduct of policy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 131

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Date posted: June 21, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Woodford, Michael, Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy (June 2010). NBER Working Paper No. w16095. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1626585

Contact Information

Michael Woodford (Contact Author)
Columbia University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Economics ( email )
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States
National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States
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