Ilbas, Pelin. (2008) Estimation of monetary policy preferences in a forward-looking model: a Bayesian approach. NBB Working Papers No. 129, 13 March 2008. [Working Paper]
In this paper, we adopt a Bayesian approach to estimating monetary policy preference parameters in a general equilibrium framework. We start out from the model presented by Smets and Wouters (2003) for the euro area, where, in the original set-up, monetary policy behaviour is described by an empirical rule. We abandon this way of representing monetary policy behaviour and instead assume that monetary policy authorities optimise an intertemporal quadratic loss function under commitment. We consider two alternative specifications for the loss function. The first specification includes inflation, the output gap and difference in the interest rate as target variables. The second loss function includes an additional wage inflation target. The weights assigned to the target variables in the loss functions, i.e. the preferences of monetary policy, are estimated jointly with the structural parameters in the model. The results imply that inflation variability remains the main concern of optimal monetary policy. In addition, interest rate smoothing and the output gap appear to be important target variables as well, albeit to a lesser extent. Comparing the marginal likelihood of the original Smets and Wouters (2003) model to our specification with optimal monetary policy indicates that the latter performs only slightly worse. Since we are faced with the time-inconsistency problem under commitment, we initialise our estimates by considering a pre-sample period of 40 quarters. This enables an empirical approach to the timeless perspective framework.
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