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Keith Kuester

18 May 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 360
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Abstract
In this paper, we analyze optimal monetary policy rules in a model of the euro area, namely the ECB’s Area Wide Model, which embodies a high degree of intrinsic persistence and a limited role for forward-looking expectations. These features allow us, in large measure, to differentiate our results from many of those prevailing in New Keynesian paradigm models. Specifically, our exercises involve analyzing the performance of various generalized Taylor rules both from the literature and optimized to the reference model. Given the features of our modelling framework, we find that optimal policy smoothing need only be relatively mild. Furthermore, there is substantial gain from implementing forecast-based as opposed to outcome-based policies with the optimal forecast horizon for inflation ranging between two and three years. Benchmarking against fully optimal policies, we further highlight that the gain of additional states in the rule may compensate for a reduction of communicability. Thus, the paper contributes to the debate on optimal monetary policy in the euro area, as well as to the conduct of monetary policy in face of substantial persistence in the transmission mechanism.
JEL Code
E4 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
27 April 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 480
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Abstract
In this paper, we examine the cost of insurance against model uncertainty for the Euro area considering four alternative reference models, all of which are used for policy-analysis at the ECB. We find that maximal insurance across this model range in terms of a Minimax policy comes at moderate costs in terms of lower expected performance. We extract priors that would rationalize the Minimax policy from a Bayesian perspective. These priors indicate that full insurance is strongly oriented towards the model with highest baseline losses. Furthermore, this policy is not as tolerant towards small perturbations of policy parameters as the Bayesian policy rule. We propose to strike a compromise and use preferences for policy design that allow for intermediate degrees of ambiguity-aversion. These preferences allow the specification of priors but also give extra weight to the worst uncertain outcomes in a given context.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
Network
ECB conference on monetary policy and imperfect knowledge
9 June 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 635
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Abstract
We focus on a quantitative assessment of rigid labor markets in an environment of stable monetary policy. We ask how wages and labor market shocks feed into the inflation process and derive monetary policy implications. Towards that aim, we structurally model matching frictions and rigid wages in line with an optimizing rationale in a New Keynesian closed economy DSGE model. We estimate the model using Bayesian techniques for German data from the late 1970s to present. Given the pre-euro heterogeneity in wage bargaining we take this as the first-best approximation at hand for modelling monetary policy in the presence of labor market frictions in the current European regime. In our framework, we find that labor market structure is of prime importance for the evolution of the business cycle, and for monetary policy in particular. Yet shocks originating in the labor market itself may contain only limited information for the conduct of stabilization policy.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
2 February 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 720
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Abstract
This paper incorporates search and matching frictions in the labor market into a New Keynesian model. In contrast to the literature, the labor market activity takes place in the (Calvo-staggered) price-setting sector. Matching frictions lead price-setting firms to negotiate wage rates with their employees. The negotiation of wages substantially increases strategic complementarity in price-setting among suppliers of differentiated goods. This leads to an increase in real rigidities as in Woodford (2003), which reduces the size of price changes optimally chosen by re-optimizing firms. The same factors which induce smooth inflation also dampen the adjustment of wages in response to shocks. In the search and matching framework this is key for explaining the highly responsive nature of vacancies in the data. Another interesting finding for the Phillips curve is that inflation is not only driven by an output gap but also by an employment gap - a feature usually neglected in empirical research. The modified model matches impulse responses of an SVAR for post Volcker-disinflation US data very well.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
J63 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Turnover, Vacancies, Layoffs
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
20 September 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 809
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Abstract
Macroeconomic data suggest that the New Keynesian Phillips curve is quite flat - despite microeconomic evidence implying frequent price adjustments. While real rigidities may help to account for the conflicting evidence, we propose an alternative explanation: if price markup/cost-push shocks are persistent and negatively correlated with the labor share, the latter being a widely used measure for marginal costs, the estimated pass-through of measured marginal costs into inflation is limited, even if prices are fairly flexible. Using a standard New Keynesian model, we show that the GMM approach to the New Keynesian Phillips curve leads to inconsistent and upward biased estimates if cost-push shocks indeed are persistent. Monte Carlo experiments suggest that the bias is quite sizeable: we find average price durations estimated as high as 12 quarters, when the true value is about 2 quarters. Moreover, alternative estimators appear to be biased as well, while standard diagnostic tests fail to signal a misspecification of the model.
JEL Code
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
C15 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Statistical Simulation Methods: General
26 August 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 923
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Abstract
All else equal, higher wages translate into higher inflation. More rigid wages imply a weaker response of inflation to shocks. This view of the wage channel is deeply entrenched in central banks' views and models of their economies. In this paper, we present a model with equilibrium unemployment which has three distinctive properties. First, using a search and matching model with right-to-manage wage bargaining, a proper wage channel obtains. Second, accounting for fixed costs associated with maintaining an existing job greatly magnifies profit fluctuations for any given degree of wage fluctuations, which allows the model to reproduce the fluctuations of unemployment over the business cycle. And third, the model implies a reasonable elasticity of steady state unemployment with respect to changes in benefits. The calibration of the model implies low profits, but does not require a small gap between the value of working and the value of unemployment for the worker.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
Network
Wage dynamics network
24 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1035
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Abstract
In this paper, we explore the role of labour markets for monetary policy in the euro area in a New Keynesian model in which labour markets are characterized by search and matching frictions. We first investigate to which extent a more flexible labour market would alter the business cycle behaviour and the transmission of monetary policy. We find that while a lower degree of wage rigidity makes monetary policy more effective, i.e. a monetary policy shock transmits faster onto inflation, the importance of other labour market rigidities for the transmission of shocks is rather limited. Second, having estimated the model by Bayesian techniques we analyse to which extent labour market shocks, such as disturbances in the vacancy posting process, shocks to the separation rate and variations in bargaining power are important determinants of business cycle fluctuations. Our results point primarily towards disturbances in the bargaining process as a significant contributor to inflation and output fluctuations. In sum, the paper supports current central bank practice which appears to put considerable effort into monitoring euro area wage dynamics and which appears to treat some of the other labour market information as less important for monetary policy.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
Network
Wage dynamics network
15 May 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1053
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Abstract
This paper reviews recent approaches to modelling the labour market and assesses their implications for inflation dynamics through both their effect on marginal cost and on price-setting behaviour. In a search and matching environment, we consider the following modelling set-ups: right-to-manage bargaining vs. efficient bargaining, wage stickiness in new and existing matches, interactions at the firm level between price and wage-setting, alternative forms of hiring frictions, search on-the-job and endogenous job separation. We find that most specifications imply too little real rigidity and, so, too volatile inflation. Models with wage stickiness and right-to-manage bargaining or with firm-specific labour emerge as the most promising candidates.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
Network
Wage dynamics network