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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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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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 Apr 2014.
  2. Michael D. Bauer, 2011. "Nominal interest rates and the news," Working Paper Series 2011-20, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Signaling Effects of Monetary Policy," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-029, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Michael Weber, 2013. "Are Sticky Prices Costly? Evidence From The Stock Market," NBER Working Papers 18860, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Challe, E. & Giannitsarou, C., 2011. "Stock Prices and Monetary Policy Shocks: A General Equilibrium Approach," Working papers 330, Banque de France.
  6. Guido Ascari & Efrem Castelnuovo & Lorenza Rossi, 2010. "Calvo vs. Rotemberg in a Trend Inflation World: An Empirical Investigation," Quaderni di Dipartimento 108, University of Pavia, Department of Economics and Quantitative Methods.
  7. Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Why Are Target Interest Rate Changes So Persistent?," NBER Working Papers 16707, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Neuenkirch, Matthias & Tillmann, Peter, 2014. "Inflation targeting, credibility, and non-linear Taylor rules," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 30-45.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Stephen Hansen & Michael McMahon & Andrea Prat, 2014. "Transparency and Deliberation within the FOMC: A Computational Linguistics Approach," CEP Discussion Papers dp1276, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  13. Stephen Eliot Hansen & Michael McMahon & Andrea Prat, 2014. "Transparency and deliberation within the FOMC: A computational linguistics approach," Economics Working Papers 1425, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  14. Nikolay Markov & Thomas Nitschka, 2013. "Estimating Taylor Rules for Switzerland: Evidence from 2000 to 2012," Working Papers 2013-08, Swiss National Bank.

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