DP5072 | Monetary Policy with Judgement: Forecast Targeting

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23/05/2005

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Abstract

?Forecast targeting?, forward-looking monetary policy that uses central-bank judgment to construct optimal policy projections of the target variables and the instrument rate, may perform substantially better than monetary policy that disregards judgment and follows a given instrument rule. This is demonstrated in a few examples for two empirical models of the US economy, one forward looking and one backward looking. A complicated infinite-horizon central bank projection model of the economy can be closely approximated by a simple finite system of linear equations, which is easily solved for the optimal policy projections. Optimal policy projections corresponding to the optimal policy under commitment in a timeless perspective can easily be constructed. The whole projection path of the instrument rate is more important than the current instrument setting. The resulting reduced-form reaction function for the current instrument rate is a very complex function of all inputs in the monetary-policy decision process, including the central bank?s judgment. It cannot be summarized as a simple reaction function such as a Taylor rule. Fortunately, it need not be made explicit.