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Efficient forecast tests for conditional policy forecasts

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Author Info

  • Faust, Jon
  • Wright, Jonathan H.

Abstract

Central Banks regularly make forecasts, such as the Fed's Greenbook forecast, that are conditioned on hypothetical paths for the policy interest rate. While there are good public policy reasons to evaluate the quality of such forecasts, up until now, the most common approach has been to ignore their conditional nature and apply standard forecast efficiency tests. In this paper we derive tests for the efficiency of conditional forecasts. Intuitively, these tests involve implicit estimates of the degree to which the conditioning path is counterfactual and the magnitude of the policy feedback over the forecast horizon. We apply the tests to the Greenbook forecast and the Bank of England's inflation report forecast, finding some evidence of forecast inefficiency. Nonetheless, we argue that the conditional nature of the forecasts made by central banks represents a substantial impediment to the analysis of their quality--stronger assumptions are needed and forecast inefficiency may go undetected for longer than would be the case if central banks were instead to report unconditional forecasts.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 146 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (October)
Pages: 293-303

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:146:y:2008:i:2:p:293-303

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

Related research

Keywords: Forecasting Monetary policy Weak instruments;

References

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  1. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2002. "Modest Policy Interventions," NBER Working Papers 9192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Adolfson, Malin & Andersson, Michael K. & Lindé, Jesper & Villani, Mattias & Vredin, Anders, 2005. "Modern Forecasting Models in Action: Improving Macroeconomic Analyses at Central Banks," Working Paper Series 188, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden), revised 01 Jun 2006.
  3. James H. Stock & Jonathan Wright, 2000. "GMM with Weak Identification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(5), pages 1055-1096, September.
  4. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H. & Wang, Shing-Yi B. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2007. "The high-frequency response of exchange rates and interest rates to macroeconomic announcements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1051-1068, May.
  5. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian., 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
  6. Alastair R. Hall & Glenn D. Rudebusch & David W. Wilcox, 1994. "Judging instrument relevance in instrumental variables estimation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-3, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Donald, Stephen G & Newey, Whitney K, 2001. "Choosing the Number of Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(5), pages 1161-91, September.
  8. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  9. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
  10. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 117-144.
  11. Jean-Marie Dufour, 1997. "Some Impossibility Theorems in Econometrics with Applications to Structural and Dynamic Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1365-1388, November.
  12. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-70, December.
  13. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H & Wright, Jonathan H, 2005. "News and Noise in G-7 GDP Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 403-19, June.
  14. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
  15. Sergey V. Chernenko, 2004. "The information content of forward and futures prices: market expectations and the price of risk," International Finance Discussion Papers 808, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  17. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
  18. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
  19. Faust, Jon, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 207-244, December.
  20. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Paul Hubert, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Imperfect Information and the Expectations Channel," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1u, Sciences Po.
  2. Knüppel, Malte & Schultefrankenfeld, Guido, 2013. "The empirical (ir)relevance of the interest rate assumption for central bank forecasts," Discussion Papers 11/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Patton, Andrew J & Timmermann, Allan G, 2011. "Forecast Rationality Tests Based on Multi-Horizon Bounds," CEPR Discussion Papers 8194, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Jon Faust & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts using a Large Realtime Dataset," NBER Working Papers 13397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Paul Hubert, 2009. "Informational Advantage and Influence of Communicating Central Banks," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2009-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
  6. Bluedorn, John C. & Bowdler, Christopher & Koch, Christoffer, 2014. "Heterogeneous bank lending responses to monetary policy: new evidence from a real-time identification," Working Papers 1404, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  7. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1umfa09lat09b1bg is not listed on IDEAS
  8. João Valle e Azevedo & João Tovar Jalles, 2011. "Rational vs. Professional Forecasts," Working Papers w201114, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
  9. Chanont Banternghansa & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Forecast disagreement among FOMC members," Working Papers 2009-059, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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