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Why are target interest rate changes so persistent?

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  • Olivier Coibion

    ()
    (Department of Economics, College of William and Mary)

  • Yuriy Gorodnichenko

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of California, Berkeley)

Abstract

We investigate the source of the high persistence in the Federal Funds Rate relative to the predictions of simple Taylor rules. While much of the literature assumes that this reflects interest-smoothing on the part of monetary policy-makers, an alternative explanation is that it represents persistent monetary policy shocks. Applying real-time data of the Federal Reserve’s macroeconomic forecasts, we document that the empirical evidence strongly favors the interestsmoothing explanation. This result obtains in nested specifications with higher order interest smoothing and persistent shocks, a feature missing in previous work. We also show that policy inertia is present in response to economic fluctuations not driven by exogenous monetary policy shocks. Finally, we argue that the predictability of future interest rates by Greenbook forecasts supports the policy inertia interpretation of historical monetary policy actions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, College of William and Mary in its series Working Papers with number 106.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 23 Jan 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cwm:wpaper:106

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Keywords: Taylor rules; interest rate smoothing; monetary policy shocks.;

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References

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  1. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  3. Peter N. Ireland, 2007. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1851-1882, December.
  4. Carrillo, J. & Fève, P. & Matheron, J., 2006. "Monetary Policy Inertia or Persistent Shocks?," Working papers 150, Banque de France.
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  7. Trehan, Bharat & Wu, Tao, 2007. "Time-varying equilibrium real rates and monetary policy analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1584-1609, May.
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  9. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  10. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "What Can Survey Forecasts Tell Us about Information Rigidities?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 120(1), pages 116 - 159.
  11. Mark Carlson, 2006. "A brief history of the 1987 stock market crash with a discussion of the Federal Reserve response," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-13, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  14. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2009. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," 2009 Meeting Papers 21, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  18. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2010. "Information Rigidity and the Expectations Formation Process: A Simple Framework and New Facts," Working Papers 102, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
  19. Peter N. Ireland, 2010. "A New Keynesian Perspective on the Great Recession," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 735, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  23. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2005. "Monetary policy inertia: fact or fiction?," Working Paper Series 2005-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2012. "Inflation Targeting, Credibility, and Non-Linear Taylor Rules," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201235, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. John Y. Campbell & Carolin Pflueger & Luis M. Viceira, 2013. "Monetary Policy Drivers of Bond and Equity Risks," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-031, Harvard Business School, revised Mar 2014.
  3. Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Signaling effects of monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Edouard Challe & Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2012. "Stock Prices And Monetary Policy Shocks: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working Papers hal-00719956, HAL.
  5. Guido Ascari & Efrem Castelnuovo & Lorenza Rossi, 2010. "Calvo vs. Rotemberg in a Trend Inflation World: An Empirical Investigation," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0116, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  6. Nikolay Markov & Thomas Nitschka, 2013. "Estimating Taylor Rules for Switzerland: Evidence from 2000 to 2012," Working Papers 2013-08, Swiss National Bank.
  7. Nicolas Pinkwart, 2013. "Quantifying The European Central Bank'S Interest Rate Smoothing Behavior," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 81(4), pages 470-492, 07.
  8. Carlos Carvalho & Fernanda Nechio, 2012. "Real exchange rate dynamics in sticky-price models with capital," Working Paper Series 2012-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Michael D. Bauer, 2011. "Nominal interest rates and the news," Working Paper Series 2011-20, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Nikolay Markov & Carlos de Porres, 2011. "Is the Taylor Rule Nonlinear? Empirical Evidence from a Semi-Parametric Modeling Approach," Research Papers by the Department of Economics, University of Geneva 11052, Département des Sciences Économiques, Université de Genève.

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