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A defence of the FOMC

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  • Ellison, Martin
  • Sargent, Thomas J

Abstract

We defend the forecasting performance of the FOMC from the recent criticism of Christina and David Romer. Our argument is that the FOMC forecasts a worst-case scenario that it uses to design decisions that will work well enough (are robust) despite possible misspecification of its model. Because these FOMC forecasts are not predictions of what the FOMC expects to occur under its model, it is inappropriate to compare their performance in a horse race against other forecasts. Our interpretation of the FOMC as a robust policymaker can explain all the findings of the Romers and rationalises differences between FOMC forecasts and forecasts published in the Greenbook by the staff of the Federal Reserve System.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7510.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7510

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Keywords: forecasting; monetary policy; robustness;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gadi Barlevy, 2011. "Robustness and Macroeconomic Policy," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, 09.
  2. Chanont Banternghansa & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Forecast disagreement among FOMC members," Working Papers 2009-059, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Makram El-Shagi & Sebastian Giesen & A. Jung, 2012. "Does Central Bank Staff Beat Private Forecasters?," IWH Discussion Papers 5, Halle Institute for Economic Research.
  4. Kliem, Martin & Kriwoluzky, Alexander, 2013. "Reconciling narrative monetary policy disturbances with structural VAR model shocks?," Discussion Papers 23/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  5. Claussen, Carl Andreas & Matsen, Egil & Røisland, Øistein & Torvik, Ragnar, 2012. "Overconfidence, monetary policy committees and chairman dominance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 699-711.
  6. Christian Pierdzioch & Jan-Christoph Rülke & Peter Tillmann, 2013. "Using forecasts to uncover the loss function of FOMC members," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201302, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Mayer, Ricardo & Sargent, Thomas, 2010. "Robust hidden Markov LQG problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1951-1966, October.
  8. Tillmann, Peter, 2010. "The Fed's perceived Phillips curve: Evidence from individual FOMC forecasts," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1008-1013, December.
  9. Richard Dennis, 2012. "Sources of Disagreement in Inflation Forecasts: An International Empirical Investigation," CAMA Working Papers 2012-42, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  10. Ravn, Søren Hove, 2014. "Asymmetric monetary policy towards the stock market: A DSGE approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 24-41.

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