Monetary policy when preferences are quasi-hyperbolic

Vol: 
14/2020
Author name: 
Dennis R
Kirsanov O
Year: 
2020
Month: 
February
Abstract: 

We study discretionary monetary policy in an economy where economic agents have quasi-hyperbolic discounting. We demonstrate that a benevolent central bank is able to keep inflation under control for a wide range of discount factors. If the central bank, however, does not adopt the household’s time preferences and tries to discourage early consumption and delayed-saving, then a marginal increase in steady state output is achieved at the cost of a much higher average inflation rate. Indeed, we show that it is desirable from a welfare perspective for the central bank to quasi-hyperbolically discount by more than households do. Welfare is improved because this discount structure emphasizes the current-period cost of price changes and leads to lower average inflation. We contrast our results with those obtained when policy is conducted according to a Taylor-type rule.

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