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How do data revisions affect the evaluation and conduct of monetary policy?

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Author Info

  • Sharon Kozicki

Abstract

Many economic data series are revised as more comprehensive information becomes available and as methodologies improve. Even the latest available data are subject to uncertainty, and at some point historical data may be replaced by more accurately measured observations. Because monetary policy decisions are made with an eye to the state of the economy, data uncertainty complicates the evaluation and conduct of monetary policy. ; Kozicki focuses on revisions to data that policymakers often examine when assessing monetary policy options. While other studies have looked at the impact of data revisions on monetary policy, this article is the first to examine the policy implications of revisions in two widely used benchmarks of resource utilization—the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates of potential output and the natural rate of unemployment. The article is also the first to consider how data revisions affect policy decisions through changes in estimates of the equilibrium real rate of interest. ; Kozicki finds that revisions to data can lead to policy regret—instances when revised data may suggest alternative actions would have been preferable to those taken. Based on this finding and analysis in other studies, she recommends making policy less sensitive to economic indicators that are subject to large revisions.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

Volume (Year): (2004)
Issue (Month): Q I ()
Pages: 5-38

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2004:i:qi:p:5-38:n:v.89no.1

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Keywords: Monetary policy;

References

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  1. Glenn Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing Nominal Income Rules for Monetary Policy with Model and Data Uncertainty," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0065, Econometric Society.
  2. David E. Runkle, 1998. "Revisionist history: how data revisions distort economic policy research," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Fall, pages 3-12.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-11, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  8. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  9. Brian Sack & Volker Wieland, 1999. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Robert J. Gordon, 1985. "The Conduct of Domestic Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1221, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1063-1070, November.
  12. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 1999. "The value of interest rate smoothing : how the private sector helps the Federal Reserve," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 47-64.
  13. Robert E. Hall, 1983. "Macroeconomic policy under structural change," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 85-122.
  14. Carl E. Walsh, 2003. "Implications of a changing economic structure for the strategy of monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 297-348.
  15. Laurence H. Meyer & Eric T. Swanson & Volker W. Wieland, 2001. "NAIRU Uncertainty and Nonlinear Policy Rules," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 226-231, May.
  16. Malcolm D. Knight & Chair, 2003. "Implications of a changing economic structure for the strategy of monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 361-371.
  17. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Sharon Kozicki, 1999. "How useful are Taylor rules for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-33.
  19. Tobin, James, 1983. "Monetary Policy: Rules, Targets, and Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 15(4), pages 506-18, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ásgeir Daníelsson, 2008. "Accuracy in forecasting macroeconomic variables in Iceland," Economics wp39, Department of Economics, Central bank of Iceland.
  2. Clark, Todd E. & Kozicki, Sharon, 2004. "Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real-time," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,32, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  3. Fabrizio Zampolli & Andrew Blake, 2005. "Time Consistent Policy in Markov Switching Models," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 2, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  4. Marcela Meirelles Aurelio, 2005. "Do we really know how inflation targeters set interest rates?," Research Working Paper RWP 05-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  5. Felipe Morandé & Mauricio Tejada, 2008. "Sources of Uncertainty for Conducting Monetary Policy in Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 492, Central Bank of Chile.
  6. Blake, Andrew P. & Zampolli, Fabrizio, 2011. "Optimal policy in Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(10), pages 1626-1651, October.
  7. Pierre Siklos, 2006. "What Can We Learn from Comprehensive Data Revisions for Forecasting Inflation: Some US Evidence," Working Papers eg0049, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 2006.
  8. Alastair Cunningham & Chris Jeffery & George Kapetanios & Vincent Labhard, 2007. "A State Space Approach To The Policymaker's Data Uncertainty Problem," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2006 168, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  9. Lavan Mahadeva & Alex Muscatelli, 2005. "National Accounts Revisions and Output Gap Estimates in a Model of Monetary Policy with Data Uncertainty," Discussion Papers 14, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  10. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2006. "Forecasting of small macroeconomic VARs in the presence of instabilities," Research Working Paper RWP 06-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  11. Todd E. Clark & Taisuke Nakata, 2006. "The trend growth rate of employment : past, present, and future," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 43-85.
  12. Sharon Kozicki & P. Tinsley, 2006. "Minding the Gap: Central Bank Estimates of the Unemployment Natural Rate," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(2), pages 295-327, May.
  13. Dean Croushore, 2008. "Frontiers of real-time data analysis," Working Papers 08-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Bernhardsen, Tom & Eitrheim, Oyvind & Jore, Anne Sofie & Roisland, Oistein, 2005. "Real-time data for Norway: Challenges for monetary policy," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 333-349, December.
  15. Andrew P Blake & Fabrizio Zampolli, 2006. "Optimal monetary policy in Markov-switching models with rational expectations agents," Bank of England working papers 298, Bank of England.
  16. Richard G. Anderson & Charles S. Gascon, 2009. "Estimating U.S. output growth with vintage data in a state-space framework," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 349-370.

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