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Finance and Economics Discussion Series
Finance and Economics Discussion Series logo links to FEDS home page Implications of Habit Formation for Optimal Monetary Policy
Thomas Laubach and Jeffery D. Amato

Abstract: We study the implications for optimal monetary policy of introducing habit formation in consumption into a general equilibrium model with sticky prices. Habit formation affects the model's endogenous dynamics through its effects on both aggregate demand and households' supply of output. We show that the objective of monetary policy consistent with welfare maximization includes output stabilization, as well as inflation and output gap stabilization. We find that the variance of output increases under optimal policy, even though it acquires a higher implicit weight in the welfare function. We also find that a simple interest rate rule nearly achieves the welfare-optimal allocation, regardless of the degree of habit formation. In this rule, the optimal responses to inflation and the lagged interest rate are both declining in the size of the habit, although super-inertial policies remain optimal.

Keywords: Habit formation, interest rate rules

Full paper (439 KB PDF)

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Last update: December 17, 2001