sábado, 16 de octubre de 2010

El Uso de Conceptos Básicos de Macro por Bernanke (el Académico) en su Discurso (el Gobernador de la FED)

El reciente discurso de Bernanke que comento acá me resulta muy útil para ilustrar algunos de los conceptos básicos que enseñamos a nuestros alumnos en macroeconomía. No cabe duda que este es el discurso de un gobernador de una banco central que a su vez ha sido un académico...
El siguiente párrafo puede ser útil para entender la diferencia entre el desempleo estructural y el cíclico, y el hecho de la importancia de identificarlos que ya la respuesta de política es distinta. En este caso, al identificar que en el desempleo actual en Estados Unidos tendría un alto contenido ciclo, esto es, consecuencia de una caída en la actividad económica por un choque de demanda, podría ser parte de la justificación para flexibilizar más la política monetaria en el futuro... (las negritas son mías)
In gauging the magnitude of prevailing resource slack and the associated restraint on price and wage increases, it is essential to consider the extent to which structural factors may be contributing to elevated rates of unemployment. For example, the continuing high level of permanent job losers may be a sign that structural impediments--such as barriers to worker mobility or mismatches between the skills that workers have and the ones that employers require--are hindering unemployed individuals from finding new jobs. The recent behavior of unemployment and job vacancies--somewhat more vacancies are reported than would usually be the case given the number of people looking for work--is also suggestive of some increase in the level of structural unemployment. On the other hand, we see little evidence that the reallocation of workers across industries and regions is particularly pronounced relative to other periods of recession, suggesting that the pace of structural change is not greater than normal. Moreover, previous post-World-War-II recessions do not seem to have resulted in higher structural unemployment, which many economists attribute to the relative flexibility of the U.S. labor market. Overall, my assessment is that the bulk of the increase in unemployment since the recession began is attributable to the sharp contraction in economic activity that occurred in the wake of the financial crisis and the continuing shortfall of aggregate demand since then, rather than to structural factors.3.
El siguiente párrafo está lleno de conceptos y discusiones relevantes. Me parece un muy buen ejemplo sobre la discusión de la Curva de Phillips, los objetivos de la política monetaria, el uso de un objetivo dual, tasa natural de desempleo, inflación, deflación ...
The Federal Reserve has a statutory mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability, and explaining how we are working toward those goals plays a crucial role in our monetary policy strategy. It is evident that neither of our dual objectives can be taken in isolation: On the one hand, a central bank that aimed to achieve the highest possible level of employment in the short run, without regard to other considerations, might well generate unacceptable levels of inflation without any permanent benefits in terms of employment. On the other hand, a single-minded focus by the central bank on price stability, with no attention at all to other factors, could lead to more frequent and deeper slumps in economic activity and employment with little benefit in terms of long-run inflation performance.

Recognizing the interactions between the two parts of our mandate, the FOMC has found it useful to frame our dual mandate in terms of the longer-run sustainable rate of unemployment and the mandate-consistent inflation rate. The longer-run sustainable rate of unemployment is the rate of unemployment that the economy can maintain without generating upward or downward pressure on inflation. Because a healthy economy must allow for the destruction and creation of jobs, as well as for movements of workers between jobs and in and out of the labor force, the longer-run sustainable rate of unemployment is greater than zero. Similarly, the mandate-consistent inflation rate--the inflation rate that best promotes our dual objectives in the long run--is not necessarily zero; indeed, Committee participants have generally judged that a modestly positive inflation rate over the longer run is most consistent with the dual mandate. (The view that policy should aim for an inflation rate modestly above zero is shared by virtually all central banks around the world.) Several rationales can be provided for this judgment, including upward biases in the measurement of inflation. A rationale that is particularly relevant today is that maintaining an "inflation buffer" (that is, an average inflation rate greater than zero) allows for a somewhat higher average level of nominal interest rates, which in turn gives the Federal Reserve greater latitude to reduce the target federal funds rate when needed to stimulate increased economic activity and employment. A modestly positive inflation rate also reduces the probability that the economy could fall into deflation, which under some circumstances can lead to significant economic problems.

Although attaining the long-run sustainable rate of unemployment and achieving the mandate-consistent rate of inflation are both key objectives of monetary policy, the two objectives are somewhat different in nature. Most importantly, whereas monetary policymakers clearly have the ability to determine the inflation rate in the long run, they have little or no control over the longer-run sustainable unemployment rate, which is primarily determined by demographic and structural factors, not by monetary policy. Thus, while central bankers can choose the value of inflation they wish to target, the sustainable unemployment rate can only be estimated, and is subject to substantial uncertainty. Moreover, the sustainable rate of unemployment typically evolves over time as its fundamental determinants change, whereas keeping inflation expectations firmly anchored generally implies that the inflation objective should remain constant unless there are compelling technical reasons for changing it, such as changes in the methods used to measure inflation.

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