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Overnight Monetary Policy in the United States: Active or Interest-Rate Smoothing?

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    Abstract

    This paper investigates the behavior of agents in the United States money and Fed funds markets for the period 1982-2004. It was found that, while agents are forward looking in the money market, their behavior is policy invariant in the Fed funds market. Consequently, the optimal overnight monetary policy would be an interest-ratesmoothing process. It was found, in fact, that such a policy has been followed in the United States. Furthermore, this paper suggests that the lack of a policy invariant relationship between overnight and short-term interest rates is another explanation for conducting an interest-rate-smoothing policy.

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    File URL: http://www1.carleton.ca/economics/ccms/wp-content/ccms-files/cep05-07.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 05-07.

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    Length: 51 pages
    Date of creation: Jul 2005
    Date of revision: Mar 2010
    Publication status: Published: in Journal of Macroeconomics, Vol. 32, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 378–391
    Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:05-07

    Note: JEL codes: E43, E51, E52, E58
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    Related research

    Keywords: Interest-rate smoothing; discretionary overnight monetary policy; forward-looking agents; money market; and Fed funds market.;

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    1. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, . "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semi-Classical Structural Model," GSIA Working Papers 1998-22, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. 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.).
    4. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
    5. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," NBER Working Papers 7261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Carl Walsh, 2003. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 265-278, March.
    7. Bernanke, Ben S. & Boivin, Jean, 2003. "Monetary policy in a data-rich environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 525-546, April.
    8. Banerjee, Anindya & Hendry, David F & Mizon, Grayham E, 1996. "The Econometric Analysis of Economic Policy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 573-600, November.
    9. Sarno, Lucio & Thornton, Daniel L, 2002. "The Dynamic Relationship Between the Federal Funds rate and the Treasury Bill Rate: An Empirical Investigation," CEPR Discussion Papers 3225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Smith, R. Todd & van Egteren, Henry, 2005. "Interest rate smoothing and financial stability," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 147-171.
    11. Z. Psaradakis & M. Solá, 1993. "On the power of tests for superexogeneity and structural invariance," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0993, Department of Economics - dECON.
    12. Hendry, David F & Ericsson, Neil R, 1991. "An Econometric Analysis of U.K. Money Demand in 'Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom' by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 8-38, March.
    13. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
    14. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
    15. Granger, C. W. J., 1988. "Some recent development in a concept of causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 199-211.
    16. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    17. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1987. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 335-348, May.
    18. Amir Kia, 2003. "Forward-looking agents and macroeconomic determinants of the equity price in a small open economy," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 37-54.
    19. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Testing for parameter instability in linear models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 517-533, August.
    20. Engle, R. & Hendry, D., 1990. "Testing Super Exogeneity And Invariance In Regression Models," Economics Series Working Papers 99100, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    21. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1988. "The Information Content of Discount Rate Announcements and Their Effect on Market Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 167-80, May.
    22. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Sensitivity of Fiscal Policy Effects to Assumptions about the Behavior of the Federal Reserve," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1165-79, September.
    23. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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