Aiming for the Bull's Eye: Inflation Targeting Under Uncertainty

Nederlandsche Bank Working Paper No. 88/2002

18 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2004

See all articles by Maria Demertzis

Maria Demertzis


Nicola Viegi

University of Pretoria - Department of Economics

Date Written: January 22, 2004


We study the implications of uncertainty for inflation targeting. We apply Brainard's static framework which assumes multiplicative uncertainty in the monetary transmission. Brainard's main result is that in the presence of uncertainty, monetary authorities become naturally more cautious. But this also implies that monetary objectives are seldom achieved. We therefore attempt to find a monetary rule that reaches the objectives set more often and improves the welfare of the Central Bank. Such a rule is the result of a new algorithm that we put forward, in which the inflation target is state contingent. The Central Bank sets therefore (as an auxiliary step), a variable inflation target that depends on both the degree of uncertainty as well as the shocks that occur each time. If the benefits of reaching the inflation target are properly accounted for in the loss function, we show that such an optimisation procedure helps the CB attain its objectives more often, thereby reducing the losses incurred. Moreover, and as a corollary to such an approach, the rule derived is ex ante neutral to the degree of uncertainty.

Keywords: Inflation Targeting, Parameter Uncertainty, Brainard, Two-step targeting

JEL Classification: E42, E52

Suggested Citation

Demertzis, Maria and Viegi, Nicola, Aiming for the Bull's Eye: Inflation Targeting Under Uncertainty (January 22, 2004). Nederlandsche Bank Working Paper No. 88/2002. Available at SSRN: or

Maria Demertzis

Bruegel ( email )

Rue de la Charité 33
B-1210 Brussels Belgium, 1210

Nicola Viegi (Contact Author)

University of Pretoria - Department of Economics ( email )

Pretoria 0002
South Africa


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