NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Monetary Policy with Model Uncertainty: Distribution Forecast Targeting

Lars Svensson, Noah Williams

NBER Working Paper No. 11733
Issued in November 2005
NBER Program(s):   EFG   IFM   ME

We examine optimal and other monetary policies in a linear-quadratic setup with a relatively general form of model uncertainty, so-called Markov jump-linear-quadratic systems extended to include forward-looking variables. The form of model uncertainty our framework encompasses includes: simple i.i.d. model deviations; serially correlated model deviations; estimable regime-switching models; more complex structural uncertainty about very different models, for instance, backward- and forward-looking models; time-varying central-bank judgment about the state of model uncertainty; and so forth. We provide an algorithm for finding the optimal policy as well as solutions for arbitrary policy functions. This allows us to compute and plot consistent distribution forecasts---fan charts---of target variables and instruments. Our methods hence extend certainty equivalence and "mean forecast targeting" to more general certainty non-equivalence and "distribution forecast targeting."

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w11733

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