The effectiveness of monetary policy depends, to a large extent, on market expectations of its future actions. In a standard New Keynesian business-cycle model with rational expectations, systematic monetary policy reduces the variance of inflation and the output gap by at least two-thirds. These stabilization benefits can be substantially smaller if expectations are non-rational. We design an economic experiment that identifies the contribution of expectations to macroeconomic stabilization achieved by systematic monetary policy. We find that, despite some non-rational component in expectations formed by experiment participants, monetary policy is quite potent in providing stabilization, reducing macroeconomic variance by roughly half.
Business fluctuations and cycles Monetary policy implementation Transmission of monetary policy