Designing a Simple Loss Function for Central Banks

Yes, it makes a lot of sense. This paper studies how to design simple loss functions for central banks, as parsimonious approximations to social welfare. We show, both analytically and quantitatively, that simple loss functions should feature a high weight on measures of economic activity, sometimes...

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Main Author: Debortoli, Davide
Other Authors: Kim, Jinill
Format: eBook
Language:English
Published: Washington, D.C. International Monetary Fund 2017, 2017
Series:IMF Working Papers
Subjects:
Online Access:
Collection: International Monetary Fund - Collection details see MPG.ReNa
Summary:Yes, it makes a lot of sense. This paper studies how to design simple loss functions for central banks, as parsimonious approximations to social welfare. We show, both analytically and quantitatively, that simple loss functions should feature a high weight on measures of economic activity, sometimes even larger than the weight on inflation. Two main factors drive our result. First, stabilizing economic activity also stabilizes other welfare relevant variables. Second, the estimated model features mitigated inflation distortions due to a low elasticity of substitution between monopolistic goods and a low interest rate sensitivity of demand. The result holds up in the presence of measurement errors, with large shocks that generate a trade-off between stabilizing inflation and resource utilization, and also when ensuring a low probability of hitting the zero lower bound on interest rates
Physical Description:56 p.
ISBN:1484309278
9781484309278