Will Monetary Policy Become More of a Science?
This paper reviews the progress that the science of monetary policy has made over recent decades. This progress has significantly expanded the degree to which the practice of monetary policy reflects the application of a core set of "scientific principles". However, there remains, and will likely always remain, elements of art in the conduct of monetary policy: in other words, substantial judgment will always be needed to achieve desirable outcomes on both the inflation and employment fronts. However, as case studies discussed here suggest, even through art will always be a key element in the conduct of monetary policy, the more it is informed by good science, the more successful monetary policy will be.
Prepared for the Deutsche Bundesbank conference "Monetary Policy Over Fifty Years," held in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, September 21, 2007. The views expressed here are my own and are not necessarily those of the Board of Governors or the Federal Reserve System. I thank Michael Kiley, Andrew Levin, and Robert Tetlow for their helpful comments and assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.