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The Inflation-Targeting Debate

Over the past fifteen years, a significant number of industrialized and middle-income countries have adopted inflation targeting as a framework for monetary policymaking. As the name suggests, in such inflation-targeting regimes, the central bank is responsible for achieving a publicly announced target for the inflation rate. While the objective of controlling inflation enjoys wide support among both academic experts and policymakers, and while the countries that have followed this model have generally experienced good macroeconomic outcomes, many important questions about inflation targeting remain.

In Inflation Targeting, a distinguished group of contributors explores the many underexamined dimensions of inflation targeting—its potential, its successes, and its limitations—from both a theoretical and an empirical standpoint, and for both developed and emerging economies. The volume opens with a discussion of the optimal formulation of inflation-targeting policy and continues with a debate about the desirability of such a model for the United States. The concluding chapters discuss the special problems of inflation targeting in emerging markets, including the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary.

468 pages | 44 line drawings, 38 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2005

National Bureau of Economic Research Studies in Business Cycles

Economics and Business: Economics--General Theory and Principles


"A useful reference for macroeconomists interested in the US monetary policy debate and for policy-makers thinking hard about legitimate objectives for modern central bansk."

Kirdan Lees | Economic Record

Table of Contents

Ben Bernanke and Michael Woodford
1. What Has Inflation Targeting Achieved?
Mervyn King
I. Optimal Targets
2. Implementing Optimal Policy through Inflation-Forecast Targeting
Lars E. O. Svensson and Michael Woodford
Comment: Bennett T. McCallum
Discussion Summary
3. Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules
Marc P. Giannoni and Michael Woodford
Comment: Edward Nelson
Discussion Summary
4. Inflation Targeting, Price-Path Targeting, and Output Variability
Stephen G. Cecchetti and Junhan Kim
Comment: N. Gregory Mankiw
Discussion Summary
5. Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy
Athanasios Orphanides and John C. Williams
Comment: George W. Evans
Discussion Summary

II. Critical Perspectives
6. Does Inflation Targeting Matter?
Laurence Ball and Niamh Sheridan
Comment: Mark Gertler
Discussion Summary
7. Limits to Inflation Targeting
Christopher A. Sims
Comment: Stephanie Schmitt-Grohé
Discussion Summary
8. Inflation Targeting in the United States?
Marvin Goodfriend
Comment: Donald L. Kohn
Discussion Summary 
III. Inflation Targeting for Emerging Markets 

9. Inflation Targeting in Transition Economies: Experience and Prospects
Jiri Jonas and Frederic S. Mishkin
Comment: Olivier Blanchard
Discussion Summary
10. Inflation Targeting and Sudden Stops
Ricardo J. Caballero and Arvind Krishnamurthy
Comment: Ben S. Bernanke
Discussion Summary
Author Index
Subject Index

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