Optimal Monetary Policy Regime Switches

2019-03 | September 1, 2020

An economy that switches between high and low growth regimes creates incentives for the monetary authority to change its rule. As lower growth tends to produce lower real interest rates, the monetary authority has an incentive to increase the inflation target and increase the degree of inertia in setting rates in an attempt to keep the nominal rate away from the zero lower bound. An optimizing monetary authority therefore responds to permanently lower growth by slightly increasing both the inflation target and inertia; focusing solely on the inflation target ignores a key margin of adjustment. With repeated growth rate regime switches, an optimal monetary rule that switches at the same time internalizes both the direct effects of growth regime change and the indirect expectation effects generated by switching in policy. The switching rule improves economic outcomes relative to a constant rule. A constant rule may be preferred if the monetary authority attempts a switching rule but implements the wrong rule with high enough frequency.

Article Citation

Foerster, Andrew, and Jason Choi. 2019. “Optimal Monetary Policy Regime Switches,” Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper 2019-03. Available at https://doi.org/10.24148/wp2019-03

About the Author
Andrew Foerster
Andrew Foerster is a senior research advisor in the Economic Research Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Learn more about Andrew Foerster