Robust Monetary Policy With Misspecified Models: Does Model Uncertainty Always Call For Attenuated Policy?

Robert J. Tetlow, Peter von zur Muehlen
2000 Social Science Research Network  
This paper explores Knightian model uncertainty as a possible explanation of the considerable difference between estimated interest rate rules and optimal feedback descriptions of monetary policy. We focus on two types of uncertainty: (i) unstructured model uncertainty reflected in additive shock error processes that result from omitted-variable misspecifications, and (ii) structured model uncertainty, where one or more parameters are identified as the source of misspecification. For an
more » ... d forward-looking model of the U.S. economy, we find that rules that are robust against uncertainty, the nature of which is unspecifiable, or against one-time parametric shifts, are more aggressive than the optimal linear quadratic rule. However, policies designed to protect the economy against the worst-case consequences of misspecified dynamics are less aggressive and turn out to be good approximations of the estimated rule. A possible drawback of such policies is that the losses incurred from protecting against worst-case scenarios are concentrated among the same business cycle frequencies that normally occupy the attention of policymakers. JEL Classification: C6, E5
doi:10.2139/ssrn.231976 fatcat:23iueipmjzcunpdg4kivh765xa