DP6641 Robust Learning Stability with Operational Monetary Policy Rules

Author(s): George W. Evans, Seppo Honkapohja
Publication Date: January 2008
Keyword(s): adaptive learning, Commitment, determinacy, interest-rate setting, stability
JEL(s): D84, E31, E52
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=6641

We consider "robust stability" of a rational expectations equilibrium, which we define as stability under discounted (constant gain) least-squares learning, for a range of gain parameters. We find that for operational forms of policy rules, i.e. rules that do not depend on contemporaneous values of endogenous aggregate variables, many interest-rate rules do not exhibit robust stability. We consider a variety of interest-rate rules, including instrument rules, optimal reaction functions under discretion or commitment, and rules that approximate optimal policy under commitment. For some reaction functions we allow for an interest-rate stabilization motive in the policy objective. The expectations-based rules proposed in Evans and Honkapohja (2003, 2006) deliver robust learning stability. In contrast, many proposed alternatives become unstable under learning even at small values of the gain parameter.