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Did The St Louis Fed Just Kill NGDP Targeting?

Based on this research piece the popular theoretical policy tool known as NGDP Targeting will never be adopted by the Fed:

“The economy is too complex to be summarized by a single rule. Economies are constantly changing in ways difficult to explain after the fact and nearly impossible to predict. Consequently, policymakers seem destined to rely on discretion rather than rules.

Old debates about the use of rules versus discretion for conducting monetary policy and the efficacy of nominal gross domestic product (GDP) targeting have recently returned to the forefront of monetary policy discussions. The economics profession has largely sided with rules over discretion, while the debate about nominal GDP targeting continues. However, despite the support among economists for policy rules, transcripts of the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings suggest that the Federal Reserve has never used a policy rule, and there is no evidence that any other central bank has either. On the surface, a nominal GDP-targeting rule would seem easier to agree on and, hence, more likely to be adopted. However, this essay discusses reasons policymakers have not used policy rules and are unlikely to target nominal GDP.”

I’m not totally convinced by this piece, but I’m not the one who matters. If researchers in the Fed are making this claim then it should be taken seriously. NGDP Targeting is a lot further from being implemented than some people probably think.

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