Jeffrey Frankel favors NGDP Targeting

In “The death of inflation targeting” he writes:

It is widely suspected, for example, that the reason for the European Central Bank’s otherwise puzzling decision to raise interest rates in July 2008, as the world was sliding into the worst recession since the 1930’s, was that oil prices were just then reaching an all-time high. Oil prices are given substantial weight in the CPI, so stabilizing the CPI when dollar-denominated oil prices go up requires euro appreciation vis-à-vis the dollar.

One candidate to succeed IT as the preferred nominal monetary-policy anchor has lately received some enthusiastic support in the economic blogosphere: nominal GDP targeting. The idea is not new. It had been a candidate to succeed money-supply targeting in the 1980’s, since it did not share the latter’s vulnerability to so-called velocity shocks.

Nominal GDP targeting was not adopted then, but now it is back. Its fans point out that, unlike IT, it would not cause excessive tightening in response to adverse supply shocks. Nominal GDP targeting stabilizes demand – the most that can be asked of monetary policy. An adverse supply shock is automatically divided equally between inflation and real GDP, which is pretty much what a central bank with discretion would do anyway.

Well done Jeff! And “another nail in the coffin of IT

9 thoughts on “Jeffrey Frankel favors NGDP Targeting

  1. Marcus, you should do a post on the FOMC minutes. It sounds like some of the FOMC want to replace discretion with a Taylor rule.

    FOMC minutes:
    “In their discussion of the economic outlook and policy, some participants noted the potential usefulness of simple monetary policy rules, of the type the Committee regularly reviews, as guides for monetary policy decisionmaking and for external communications about policy.”

    “Participants planned to discuss further, at a future meeting, the potential merits and drawbacks of using simple rules as guides to monetary policy decisionmaking and for communications.”

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