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Why Are Target Interest Rate Changes So Persistent?

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  • Olivier Coibion
  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

Abstract

While the degree of policy inertia in central banks' reaction functions is a central ingredient in theoretical and empirical monetary economics, the source of the observed policy inertia in the United States is controversial, with tests of competing hypotheses, such as interest-smoothing and persistent-shocks, being inconclusive. This paper employs real time data; nested specifications with flexible time series structures; narratives; interest rate forecasts of the Fed, financial markets, and professional forecasters; and instrumental variables to discriminate between competing explanations of policy inertia. The evidence strongly favors the interest-smoothing explanation and thus can help resolve a key puzzle in monetary economics. (JEL C53, E43, E47, E52, E58)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/mac.4.4.126
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 4 (October)
Pages: 126-62

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:4:p:126-62

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.4.126
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References

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  1. Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Signaling effects of monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Consolo, Agostino & Favero, Carlo A., 2009. "Monetary Policy Inertia: More a Fiction than a fact?," CEPR Discussion Papers 7341, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," Working Papers 102, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2012. "Inflation Targeting, Credibility, and Non-Linear Taylor Rules," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201235, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Neuenkirch, Matthias & Tillmann, Peter, 2014. "Inflation targeting, credibility, and non-linear Taylor rules," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-45.
  3. Ascari, Guido & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Rossi, Lorenza, 2011. "Calvo vs. Rotemberg in a trend inflation world: An empirical investigation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 1852-1867.
  4. Nikolay Markov & Carlos de Porres, 2011. "Is the Taylor Rule Nonlinear? Empirical Evidence from a Semi-Parametric Modeling Approach," Research Papers by the Department of Economics, University of Geneva 11052, Département des Sciences Économiques, Université de Genève.
  5. Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Signaling effects of monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Challe, Edouard & Giannitsarou, Chryssi, 2014. "Stock prices and monetary policy shocks: A general equilibrium approach," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 46-66.
  7. Michael D. Bauer, 2011. "Nominal interest rates and the news," Working Paper Series 2011-20, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. John Y. Campbell & Carolin Pflueger & Luis M. Viceira, 2013. "Monetary Policy Drivers of Bond and Equity Risks," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-031, Harvard Business School, revised Mar 2014.
  9. Carlos Carvalho & Fernanda Nechio, 2012. "Real exchange rate dynamics in sticky-price models with capital," Working Paper Series 2012-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Nikolay Markov & Thomas Nitschka, 2013. "Estimating Taylor Rules for Switzerland: Evidence from 2000 to 2012," Working Papers 2013-08, Swiss National Bank.
  11. Nicolas Pinkwart, 2013. "Quantifying The European Central Bank'S Interest Rate Smoothing Behavior," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81(4), pages 470-492, 07.

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