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Limited Commitment, Endogenous Credibility and the Challenges of Price-level Targeting

Gino Cateau and Malik Shukayev ()

Staff Working Papers from Bank of Canada

Abstract: This paper studies the cost of limited commitment when a central bank has the discretion to adjust policy whenever the costs of honoring its past commitments become high. Specifically, we consider a central bank that seeks to implement optimal policy in a New Keynesian model by committing to a price-level target path. However, the central bank retains the flexibility to reset the target path if the cost of adhering to it exceeds a social tolerance threshold. We find that endowing the central bank with such discretion undermines the credibility of the price-level target and weakens its effectiveness to stabilize the economy through expectations. The endogenous nature of credibility also brings novel results relative to models with exogenous timing of target resets. A much higher degree of credibility is needed to realize the stabilization benefits of commitment. Multiple equilibria also emerge, including a low credibility equilibrium with frequent target resets and high volatility.

Keywords: Credibility; Inflation targets; Monetary policy framework (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E31 E52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-dge, nep-mac and nep-mon
Date: 2018
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bca:bocawp:18-61

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