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Inaction is not prudent in this time : Inflation tolerance range in the new Keynesian model (from Bank of France)

Jun 30, 2021 | Uncategorized

In the field of military operations, my friends in the special forces have always told me that mobility is key, and especially when the situation is perilous. Inaction is often synonymous with injury or worse.

Thanks to Jill Cetina (from the FED of Dallas) for having pointed out the superb working paper of Hervé Le Bihan, Magali Marx, and Julien Matheron.

“A number of central banks in advanced countries use ranges, or bands, around their inflation target to formulate their monetary policy strategy. The adoption of such ranges has been proposed by some policymakers in the context of the Fed and the ECB reviews of their strategies. Using a standard New Keynesian macroeconomic model, we analyze the consequences of tolerance range policies, characterized by a stronger reaction of the central bank to inflation when inflation lies outside the range than when it is close to the target, ie the central value of the band. We show that (i) a tolerance band should not be a zone of inaction: the lack of reaction within the band endangers macroeconomic stability and leads to the possibility of multiple equilibria; (ii) the trade-off between the reaction needed outside the range versus inside seems unfavorable: a very strong reaction, when inflation is far from the target, is required to compensate a moderately lower reaction within tolerance band; (iii) these results, obtained within the framework of a stylized model, are robust to many alterations, in particular allowing for the zero lower bound.”

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