The authors analyze the extent to which inflation-targeting frameworks should incorporate flexibility in order to respond to asset-price misalignments and other atypical events. They examine the costs and benefits of adding flexibility to the Bank's current inflation-targeting framework, and conclude that maintaining low and stable consumer price inflation is the best contribution that monetary policy […]
Staff discussion papers
An effective pension system enhances economic and financial efficiency. A majority of pension plans in Canada are defined-benefit (DB) plans, but DB plans are under stress from increasing longevity, low long-term interest rates, and the shrinking equity premium. DB plans are vulnerable to such shocks because they are complex financial vehicles, with interdependencies not fully […]
Staff working papers
Of particular concern to monetary policy-makers is the considerable unreliability of financial variables for predicting GDP growth and inflation.
An important challenge facing central banks is making decisions under uncertainty about the dynamic effects of monetary policy actions. The authors stress the importance of explicitly recognizing uncertainty about the transmission mechanism when formulating policy advice. They argue that one way to manage monetary policy under uncertainty is to draw on both an output-gap paradigm […]
The basic responsibility of a central bank is to preserve the value of money—that is, to maintain stability in the general level of prices. This report pulls together the main arguments for and against price stability as the appropriate goal for monetary policy. The available evidence suggests that the benefits of price stability are many […]
This volume contains a detailed description of the structure and sectoral properties of the Bank of Canada's Small Annual Model, SAM. The SAM model, constructed in the Research Department of the Bank, is designed for medium- to long-term simulation. It is small by econometric model standards; the version described in this report has 25 stochastic […]
There are many models of fiscal policy in the economic literature and each has been based on a particular set of assumptions concerning the interaction of policy variables. However, even though these assumptions are critical to the behaviour of the models, there has as yet been no systematic attempt to test their validity or relative […]
Bank of Canada Review articles
June 2, 2006 The conduct of monetary policy within an inflation-targeting framework requires the establishment of an inflation-target horizon, which is the average time it takes inflation to return to the target. Policy-makers have an interest in communicating this horizon, since it is likely to help anchor inflation expectations. This article focuses on the determination of the appropriate policy horizon by reporting on two recent Bank of Canada studies. The evidence suggests that the current target horizon of six to eight quarters remains appropriate. It is important to note that the duration of the optimal inflation-target horizon varies widely, depending on the combination of shocks to the economy. In rare cases when the financial accelerator is triggered by a persistent shock, such as an asset-price bubble, it may be appropriate to take a longer view of the inflation-target horizon.
November 24, 2004 The issue addressed in this article is the extent to which monetary policy in Canada should respond to asset-price bubbles. The article concludes that maintaining low and stable consumer price inflation is the best contribution that monetary policy can make to promoting economic and financial stability, even when the economy experiences asset-price bubbles. In extreme circumstances—when an asset-price bubble is well identified and likely to have significant costs to the economy when it bursts—monetary policy might better maintain low and stable consumer price inflation by leaning against a particular bubble even though it may mean that inflation deviates temporarily from its target. Such a strategy might reduce the risk that a crash in asset prices could lead to a recession and to inflation markedly below target in the longer run. The circumstances where this strategy is possible will be rare because economists are far from being able to determine consistently and reliably when leaning against a particular bubble is likely to do more harm than good. Housing-price bubbles should be a greater concern for Canadian monetary policy than equity-price bubbles, since rising housing prices are more likely to reflect excessively easy domestic credit conditions than are equity prices, which are largely determined in global markets.
Financial System Review articles
January 27, 2012
June 20, 2010 Bank of Canada published a report establishing a set of principles to guide the extraordinary liquidity interventions it was making in response to the systemic shocks buffeting the Canadian financial system. These principles provided a framework for maintaining consistency between the Bank’s actions and its responsibilities as lender of last resort to the financial system, while allowing sufficient fl exibility to respond to the unique challenges of the crisis.
December 14, 2009
December 3, 2009
June 21, 2008 In this article, we consider central bank intervention to address financial market turmoil with a focus on the questions of why, when, and how a central bank might intervene. We set out a policy framework and identify appropriate central bank instruments to respond to extraordinary financial market turmoil, consistent with central bank policy goals and functions.