Utility-Based Loss function a utility Based Welfare Criterion Expected utility is

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Utility-Based Loss function

A Utility Based Welfare Criterion
Expected utility is

, associated with a given equilibrium where


Let .

Then using the closed economy condition C=Y and the production function


The index Y is




It follows that the elasticity of with respect to y is given by , and the elasticity of real marginal cost s with respect to Y is given by


The Efficient Level of Output Gap

The steady state level of output is given by


summarizes the overall distortion in the steady state output level as a result of both taxation and market power:

(1) is the Woodford-Rothemberg sales subsidy (financed by lump sum taxes) that aims at neutralizing the monopolistic competition inefficiency in the steady state; and

(2) is the mark up as a result of producers’ market power.

Efficient (zero mark up) output is given by


is a decreasing function of , equal to one when .

This allows the approximation

. (2)

Define the efficient level of the output gap.
Quadratic Taylor series approximation for U

. (3)

  1. Derivation of (2) and (3)

Approximate . Then,

Using we get an approximation for the term: :

, where, is the mean value of across all differentiated goods, and is the corresponding variance.

Finally, going back to U, we get:

This is the end of the derivation of (2) and (3).

  1. Price Variance in the Utility Criterion

Equation (3) is rewritten


Where, the term originates from


And the term originates from

The Dixit-Stigliz preferences over differentiated goods imply

  1. Inflation and Relative Price Distortions

Recall the split between the goods prices that are fully flexible and the good prices that are fixed in advance. The aggregate supply is


In this model

Substituting into U, yields

Aggregate output and inflation variations matter for welfare (it is the output gap and the unexpected inflation) and the relative weight that should be placed upon the two objects is related to slope of the aggregate supply.

General Principles
Derivation of a Quadratic Loss Function (Woodford (2003) Chapter 6); which is an approximation to the level of expected utility of the representative household.

  1. We evaluate under alternative policies. A log-linear equilibrium of the endogenous variables for a policy is:


The coefficient vector () depend on policy. Taylor series approximation to exact equilibrium responses are evaluated around the point ; where, .

A similar Taylor-series approximation of the Utility function yields:

, and all partial derivatives are evaluated at .

Taking the expected value of the Utility index, and using the fact that


we get


Now consider whether the linear approximation

to the equilibrium fluctuations in x under the given policy rule can be validly used to compute a second-order approximation to the expected utility. Substituting

for in (1) yields the estimate


This means that the criterion U(1) cannot be expected to correctly rank alternative policies among those implying the same average outcome , unless one is sure that


so that

Necessarily holds.

In this case U(1) provides a valid second-order approximation of E(U). But

is just the condition of optimality of as an outcome in the absence of disturbances. It might be thought of as a proper condition for small disturbances around the steady state.
Open Economy


Bt = bond holdings at the end of date t (denominated in the domestic currency)

Bt* = bond holdings at the end of date t (denominated in the foreign currency)

Mt = money holdings at the end of date t

Pt = aggregate domestic price level

Ct = consumption index

ht(j) = supply of labor of type j by the representative individual

wt(j) = wage rate of labor of type j

it* = world interest rate
Goods Market Global Equilibrium Condition:

  1. Ignore the money balance term and write the objective function as

  1. Express the relative quantities demanded of the differentiated good as a function of their relative price to rewrite the utility flow in terms of price dispersion factor,


  1. A linear-Quadratic Approximate Problem

First show that there exist an optimal purely deterministic steady state where

. Next, compute a linear-quadratic problem. Begin with computing a Taylor series approximation to the welfare measure, by expanding around the steady state:

Now take a second order approximation of

and show that



there is non-zero linear term in the quadratic form. Rotemberg and Woodford avoid this problem by assuming and output subsidy to neutralize the monopolistic competition distortion.


(In the presence of distortion, do a second order approximation of the aggregate supply and substitute for the linear term. )
A Simple optimization

The first order condition is:


The optimized output gap is:

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