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From Deviations to Shortfalls: The Effects of the FOMC's New Employment Objective

Brent Bundick () and Nicolas Petrosky-Nadeau

No 2021-18, Working Paper Series from Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Abstract: The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) recently revised its interpretation of its maximum employment mandate. In this paper, we analyze the possible effects of this policy change using a theoretical model with frictional labor markets and nominal rigidities. A monetary policy which stabilizes “shortfalls” rather than “deviations” of employment from its maximum level leads to higher inflation and more hiring at all times due to expectations of more accommodative future policy. Thus, offsetting only shortfalls of employment results in higher nominal policy rates on average which provide more policy space and better outcomes during a zero lower bound episode. Our model suggests that the FOMC's reinterpretation of its employment mandate could alter the business-cycle and longer-run properties of the economy and result in a steeper reduced-form Phillips curve.

Keywords: Monetary Policy; Equilibrium Unemployment; Nominal Rigidities; Zero Lower Bound (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 E52 J64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 38
Date: 2021-07-15
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cba, nep-dge, nep-lab, nep-mac and nep-mon
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DOI: 10.24148/wp2021-18

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:92920