This paper studies the cost of limited commitment when a central bank has the discretion to adjust policy whenever the costs of honoring its past commitments become high. Specifically, we consider a central bank that seeks to implement optimal policy in a New Keynesian model by committing to a price-level target path.
In 1991, Canada became the second country to adopt an inflation target as a central pillar of its monetary policy framework. The regime has proven much more successful than initially expected, both in achieving price stability and in stabilizing the real economy against a wide range of shocks.
Evaluating the Bank of Canada Staff Economic Projections Using a New Database of Real-Time Data and ForecastsWe present a novel database of real-time data and forecasts from the Bank of Canada’s staff economic projections. We then provide a forecast evaluation for GDP growth and CPI inflation since 1982: we compare the staff forecasts with those from commonly used time-series models estimated with real-time data and with forecasts from other professional forecasters and provide standard bias tests.
Recent international experience with the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates has rekindled interest in the benefits of inflation targets above 2 per cent. We evaluate whether an increase in the inflation target to 3 or 4 per cent could improve macroeconomic stability in the Canadian economy.
We construct a 23-country panel data set to consider the effect of central bank projections and forward guidance on private-sector forecast disagreement. We find that central bank projections and forward guidance matter mainly for private-sector forecast disagreement surrounding upcoming policy rate decisions and matter less for private-sector macroeconomic forecasts.
In light of the financial crisis and its aftermath, several economists have argued that inflation-targeting central banks should reconsider the level of their inflation targets. While the appropriate level for the inflation target remains an open question, it’s important to note that any transition to a new target would entail certain costs.
Changes in Monetary Regimes and the Identification of Monetary Policy Shocks: Narrative Evidence from CanadaWe use narrative evidence along with a novel database of real-time data and forecasts from the Bank of Canada's staff economic projections from 1974 to 2015 to construct a new measure of monetary policy shocks and estimate the effects of monetary policy in Canada.
The existence of downward nominal wage rigidity (DNWR) has often been used to justify a positive inflation target. It is traditionally assumed that positive inflation could “grease the wheels” of the labour market by putting downward pressure on real wages, easing labour market adjustments during a recession.
We add downward nominal wage rigidity to a standard New Keynesian model with sticky prices and wages, where the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates is allowed to bind. We find that wage rigidity not only reduces the frequency of zero bound episodes but also mitigates the severity of corresponding recessions.
May 16, 2016 The article examines the extent of downward nominal wage rigidity in Canada and its implications for monetary policy. The authors ask whether its existence is a sufficient argument for a higher inflation target if concerns about the effective lower bound are adequately addressed.