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First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics

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  • Hansen, Stephen
  • McMahon, Michael

Abstract

We provide the first direct empirical support for the relevance of signalling in monetary policy. In our dynamic model, central bankers make policy under uncertain inflationary conditions and place different weights on output fluctuations. Signalling leads all bankers to be tougher on inflation initially, but to become less tough with experience. This evolution is more pronounced for members who weight output more ("doves"), which provides an additional test of our model. We structurally estimate the model using Bank of England data and confirm both predictions. Signalling increases the probability new members vote for high interest rates by up to 35%.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 9607.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9607

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Keywords: committees; monetary policy; signalling;

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References

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  1. Anne Sibert, 2003. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(3), pages 649-665.
  2. Anne Sibert, 1999. "Monetary Policy Committees: Individual and Collective Reputations," CESifo Working Paper Series 226, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. A. Orphanides & J. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Besley, Timothy & Meads, Neil & Surico, Paolo, 2007. "Insiders versus Outsiders in Monetary Policy-Making," Discussion Papers 20, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
  5. Kreps, David M. & Wilson, Robert, 1982. "Reputation and imperfect information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 253-279, August.
  6. Paul Milgrom & John Roberts, 1997. "Predation, reputation , and entry deterrence," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1460, David K. Levine.
  7. Hansen, Stephen & McMahon, Michael, 2011. "How Experts Decide : Identifying Preferences versus Signals from Policy Decisions," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 963, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Richard A. Posner, 1974. "Theories of Economic Regulation," NBER Working Papers 0041, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon, 2008. "Delayed doves: MPC voting behaviour of externals," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19611, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Eric Maskin, 2003. "The Politician and the Judge: Accountability in Government," Theory workshop papers 505798000000000076, UCLA Department of Economics.
  11. Ehud Kalai & Ehud Lehrer, 1992. "Weak and Strong Merging of Opinions," Discussion Papers 983, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  12. Besley, Timothy J. & Coate, Stephen, 2000. "Elected Versus Appointed Regulators: Theory And Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. James Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2003. "Did the Great Inflation occur despite policymaker commitment to a Taylor rule?," Working Paper 2003-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  14. Bengt Holmstrom, 1999. "Managerial Incentive Problems: A Dynamic Perspective," NBER Working Papers 6875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Clare Leaver, 2009. "Bureaucratic Minimal Squawk Behavior: Theory and Evidence from Regulatory Agencies," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 572-607, June.
  16. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2013. "Superstar Central Bankers," Research Papers in Economics 2013-08, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
  2. Matthias Neuenkirch, 2012. "Establishing a Hawkish Reputation: Interest Rate Setting by Newly Appointed Central Bank Governors," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201246, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  3. Matthias Neuenkirch & Florian Neumeier, 2013. "Party Affiliation Rather than Former Occupation: The Background of Central Bank Governors and its Effect on Monetary Policy," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201336, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).

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