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Did the FED Surprise the Markets in 2001? A Case Study for Vars with Sign Restrictions

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  • Uhlig, H.F.H.V.S.

    (Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research)

Abstract

In 2001, the Fed has lowered interest rates in a series of cuts, starting from 6.5 % at the end of 2000 to 2.0 % by early November.This paper asks, whether the Federal Reserve Bank has been surprising the markets, taking as given the conventional view about the effect of monetary policy shocks.New econometric techniques turn out to be particularly suitable for answering this question: this paper can be viewed as a showcase and case study for their application.In order to concentrate on the Greenspan period, a vector autoregression is fitted to US data, starting in 1986 and ending in September 2001.Monetary policy shocks are identified, using the new sign restriction methodology of Uhlig (1999), imposing the "conventional view" that contractionary policy shocks lead to a rise in interest rates and declines in nonborrowed reserves, prices and output.We find that neither the Fed policy choices in 2001 nor those of 2000 were surprising.We provide a method to "explain" these interest rate movements by decomposing them into their sources. Finally, we argue that constant-interest-rate projections like those popular at many central banks are of limited informational value, can be highly misleading, and should instead be replaced by on-the-equilibrium-path projections.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research in its series Discussion Paper with number 2001-88.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:kubcen:200188

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Keywords: monetary policy; vector autoregressive models;

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  2. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "Bayesian methods for dynamic multivariate models," Working Paper 96-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  7. Fabio Canova & Gianni De Nicolo, 2000. "Monetary disturbances matter for business fluctuations in the G-7," International Finance Discussion Papers 660, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Eric Leeper & Tao Zha, 2002. "Empirical analysis of policy interventions," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  9. Scott, Alasdair, 2003. "APPLIED MACROECONOMETRICS Carlo A. Favero Oxford University Press, 2001," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 313-315, April.
  10. Cochrane, John H, 1994. "Permanent and Transitory Components of GNP and Stock Prices," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(1), pages 241-65, February.
  11. Faust, Jon, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 207-244, December.
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Cited by:
  1. BAUWENS, Luc & KOROBILIS, Dimitris, 2011. "Bayesian methods," CORE Discussion Papers 2011061, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Hristov, Nikolay & Hülsewig, Oliver & Wollmershäuser, Timo, 2012. "Loan supply shocks during the financial crisis: Evidence for the Euro area," Munich Reprints in Economics 19367, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Jagjit S. Chadha & Luisa Corrado & Qi Sun, 2008. "Money, Prices and Liquidity Effects: Separating Demand from Supply," Studies in Economics 0817, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
  4. Marco Del Negro & Christopher Otrok, 2005. "Monetary policy and the house price boom across U.S. states," Working Paper 2005-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Mackowiak, Bartosz, 2006. "What does the Bank of Japan do to East Asia?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 253-270, September.
  6. Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "Modeling Volcker as a non-absorbing state: agnostic identification of a Markov-switching VAR," Working Papers 2002-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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