Bank of Canada Review - Winter 2007-2008

BoC Review - Winter 2007-2008
Available as: PDF

Cover page

Roman Antoninianus

The coins form part of the National Currency Collection of the Bank of Canada.
Photography by Gord Carter, Ottawa.

December 15, 2007

Introduction: Recent Research on Inflation Targeting

The inflation targeting framework that Canada introduced in 1991 has played a significant role in the exceptional economic performance that the country has experienced in recent years. Understanding the factors that have contributed to the success of the current inflation-targeting framework, and investigating the various ways in which it might be improved in the future, are an important part of the Bank of Canada's medium-term research program.
December 14, 2007

The Costs of Inflation in New Keynesian Models

Ambler describes three new channels through which inflation affects economic welfare in New Keynesian models. These channels were absent from traditional analyses and may have caused researchers to underestimate the costs associated with variable inflation, even at relatively low levels of inflation. The article concludes with a preliminary assessment of the quantitative importance of the new channels and their significance for monetary policy.
December 13, 2007

Central Bank Performance under Inflation Targeting

Gosselin examines and reports on the various factors that contribute to successful inflation targeting. Using a panel of 21 inflation-targeting countries over the period 1990Q1-2007Q2, Gosselin finds that the ability of central banks to hit their targets varies considerably. Some of these differences can be explained by exchange rate fluctuations, fiscal deficits, and differences in financial development. Others are explained by differences in the targeting framework itself and the manner in which it is implemented.
December 11, 2007

The Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates: Implications for Monetary Policy

One of the most important factors that must be considered if countries are thinking about lowering the target level of inflation much below 2 per cent is the zero interest bound. Targeting inflation rates that are too low, the authors note, may restrict the ability of monetary policy to respond to economic shocks by limiting the amount by which interest rates can be eased.
December 10, 2007

Inflation Targeting, Price-Level Targeting, and Fluctuations in Canada's Terms of Trade

Coletti and Lalonde compare inflation targeting and price-level targeting in the context of a small open economy subject to sizable terms-of-trade shocks. The authors summarize recent research that compares the ability of price-level targeting and inflation targeting to stabilize the macroeconomy when confronted with shocks similar to those experienced by Canada in recent years. Their preliminary results suggest that price-level targeting may represent a feasible alternative to traditional inflation targeting. Their article also provides insight into the direction of current research in this area at the Bank.