The Optimal Degree of Monetary-Discretion in a New Keynesian Model with Private Information

Author Name WAKI Yuichiro  (University of Queensland) /Richard DENNIS  (University of Glasgow) /FUJIWARA Ippei  (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. January 2015 15-E-007
Research Project On Monetary and Fiscal Policy under Structural Changes and Societal Aging
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This paper considers the optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy when the central bank conducts policy based on its private information about the state of the economy and is unable to commit. Society seeks to maximize social welfare by imposing restrictions on the central bank's actions over time, and the central bank takes these restrictions and the New Keynesian Phillips curve as constraints. By solving a dynamic mechanism design problem we find that it is optimal to grant "constrained discretion" to the central bank by imposing both upper and lower bounds on permissible inflation, and that these bounds must be set in a history-dependent way. The optimal degree of discretion varies over time with the severity of the time-inconsistency problem, and, although no discretion is optimal when the time-inconsistency problem is very severe, our numerical experiment suggests that no-discretion is a transient phenomenon, and that some discretion is granted eventually.