Optimal Monetary Policy with Durable and Non-Durable Goods
33 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2003
Date Written: December 2002
The durable goods sector is much more interest sensitive than the non-durables sector, and these sectoral differences have important implications for monetary policy. In this paper, we perform VAR analysis of quarterly US data and find that a monetary policy innovation has a peak impact on durable expenditures that is roughly five times as large as its impact on non-durable expenditures. We then proceed to formulate and calibrate a two-sector dynamic general equilibrium model that roughly matches the impluse response functions of the data. While the social welfare function involves sector-specific output gaps and inflation rates, we find that performance of the optimal policy rule can be closely approximated by a very simple rule that targets a weighted average of aggregate wage and price inflation rates. In contrast, some commonly-prescribed policy rules (such as strict price inflation targeting and Taylor's rule) perform very poorly in terms of social welfare.
Keywords: VAR analysis, DGE models, sectoral disaggregation
JEL Classification: E31, E32, E52
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation