EconPapers    
Economics at your fingertips  
 

Inflation Stabilization And Welfare: The Case Of A Distorted Steady State

Pierpaolo Benigno and Michael Woodford ()

Journal of the European Economic Association, 2005, vol. 3, issue 6, 1185-1236

Abstract: This paper considers the appropriate stabilization objectives for monetary policy in a micro-founded model with staggered price-setting. Rotemberg and Woodford (1997) and Woodford (2002) have shown that under certain conditions, a local approximation to the expected utility of the representative household in a model of this kind is related inversely to the expected discounted value of a conventional quadratic loss function, in which each period's loss is a weighted average of squared deviations of inflation and an output gap measure from their optimal values (zero). However, those derivations rely on an assumption of the existence of an output or employment subsidy that offsets the distortion due to the market power of monopolis-tically competitive price-setters, so that the steady state under a zero-inflation policy involves an efficient level of output. Here we show how to dispense with this unappealing assumption, so that a valid linear-quadratic approximation to the optimal policy problem is possible even when the steady state is distorted to an arbitrary extent (allowing for tax distortions as well as market power), and when, as a consequence, it is necessary to take account of the effects of stabilization policy on the average level of output. We again obtain a welfare-theoretic loss function that involves both inflation and an appropriately defined output gap, though the degree of distortion of the steady state affects both the weights on the two stabilization objectives and the definition of the welfare-relevant output gap. In the light of these results, we reconsider the conditions under which complete price stability is optimal, and find that they are more restrictive in the case of a distorted steady state. We also consider the conditions under which pure randomization of monetary policy can be welfare-improving, and find that this is possible in the case of a sufficiently distorted steady state, though the parameter values required are probably not empirically realistic. (JEL: D61, E52, E61) Copyright (c) 2005 by the European Economic Association.

Date: 2005
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (230) Track citations by RSS feed

Downloads: (external link)
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1542-4774/issues link to full text (text/html)
Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

Related works:
Working Paper: Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State (2004) Downloads
Working Paper: Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State (2004)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.

Export reference: BibTeX RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan) HTML/Text

Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:3:y:2005:i:6:p:1185-1236

Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.mitpressjournals.org/jeea

Access Statistics for this article

Journal of the European Economic Association is currently edited by Xavier Vives, George-Marios Angeletos, Orazio P. Attanasio, Fabio Canova and Roberto Perotti

More articles in Journal of the European Economic Association from MIT Press
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Ann Olson ().

 
Page updated 2021-06-19
Handle: RePEc:tpr:jeurec:v:3:y:2005:i:6:p:1185-1236