Lien Laureys, Mr. Roland Meeks, and Boromeus Wanengkirtyo
We reconsider the design of welfare-optimal monetary policy when financing frictions impair the supply of bank credit, and when the objectives set for monetary policy must be simple enough to be implementable and allow for effective accountability. We show that a flexible inflation targeting approach that places weight on stabilizing inflation, a measure of resource utilization, and a financial variable produces welfare benefits that are almost indistinguishable from fully-optimal Ramsey policy. The macro-financial trade-off in our estimated model of the euro area turns out to be modest, implying that the effects of financial frictions can be ameliorated at little cost in terms of inflation. A range of different financial objectives and policy preferences lead to similar conclusions.
This paper examines some popular explanations for the smooth operation of the pre-1914 gold standard. We find that the rapid adjustment of economies to underlying disturbances played an important role in stabilizing output and employment under the gold standard system, but no evidence that this success also reflected relatively small underlying disturbances. Finally, the paper also suggests an explanation for the evolution of the international monetary system based on growing nominal inertia over time.