A Pitfall of Cautiousness in Monetary Policy
Stéphane Dupraz (),
Sophie Guilloux-Nefussi () and
Adrian Penalver ()
Working papers from Banque de France
Central banks are often reluctant to take immediate or forceful actions in the face of new information on the economic outlook. To rationalize this cautious approach, Brainard’s attenuation principle is often invoked: when a policy-maker is unsure of the effects of his policies, he should react less than he would under certainty. We show that the Brainard principle, while a wise recommendation for policy-making in general, runs into a pitfall when it is applied to a central bank setting monetary policy. For a central bank, concerns over uncertainty create a cautiousness bias: acting less is justified when taking as given the private sector’s expectations of inflation, but acting less shifts these inflation expectations away from the central bank’s inflation target. In response to the de-anchoring of expectations, the central bank can easily end up acting as much as it is initially reluctant to do, but without succeeding in putting inflation back on target. This pattern is a feature of policy under discretion: the central bank would often be better off tying its hands not to listen to its concerns about uncertainty.
Keywords: Uncertainty; Inflation Expectations; Discretion vs. Commitment. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E31 E52 E58 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 40 pages
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-mac and nep-mon
References: View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (4) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
https://publications.banque-france.fr/sites/defaul ... ocuments/wp758_0.pdf
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bfr:banfra:758
Access Statistics for this paper
More papers in Working papers from Banque de France Banque de France 31 Rue Croix des Petits Champs LABOLOG - 49-1404 75049 PARIS. Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Michael brassart ().