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A Credible Anti-Inflationary Central Bank Ignores Inflation

Today, the European Central Bank decided to keep its policy rate unchanged. I am not particularly surprised. In recent empirical work, Morten Aastrup and I estimate what determines the ECB’s interest-rate changes. It turns out that inflation or expectations thereof play no role. Instead, changes in economic activity as measured by Euro-area unemployment is an important determinant. Americans who cling to the idea that good monetary policymaking is characterized by an adherence to a variant of John B. Taylor’s rule that carries his name, may find this surprising. However, consistent with modern New-Keynesian theory (cf. Michael Woodford’s Interest and Prices, Princeton University Press, 2003), a credible anti-inflationary central bank can … Continue reading

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