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Is a Word to the Wise Indeed Enough? ECB Statements and the Predictibility of Interest Rate Decisions

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  • David-Jan Jansen
  • Jakob de Haan

Abstract

We show that comments by euro area central bankers contain information on future ECB interest rate decisions, but that the comments mainly reflect recent developments in macroeconomic variables. Furthermore, models using only communication variables are outperformed by straightforward Taylor rule models. During the first years of the European Economic and Monetary Union, comments by ECB Executive Board members and high-level Bundesbank policy-makers were more informative than comments by national central bank presidents. We also find that differences of opinion were informative when they concerned the outlook for economic growth. Finally, our results suggest that the ECB used communication especially to signal interest rate increases.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department in its series DNB Working Papers with number 075.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:dnb:dnbwpp:075

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Keywords: central bank communication; interest rate decisions; ECB; Taylor rule; ordered probit models;

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  1. Friedrich Heinemann & Katrin Ullrich, 2007. "Does it Pay to Watch Central Bankers’ Lips? The Information Content of ECB Wording," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 143(II), pages 155-185, June.
  2. Michael R. Pakko, 2003. "On the information content of asymmetric FOMC policy statements: evidence from a Taylor-rule perspective," Working Papers 2003-016, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "Communication and decision-making by central bank committees: different strategies, same effectiveness?," Working Paper Series 0488, European Central Bank.
  4. Coenen, Günter & Levin, Andrew & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Data Uncertainty and the Role of Money as an Information Variable for Monetary Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 3812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Gurkaynak, Refet S & Sack, Brian & Swanson, Eric T, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," MPRA Paper 820, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Carlo Rosa & Giovanni Verga, 2005. "Is ECB Communication Effective?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0682, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary Policy Alternatives at the Zero Bound: An Empirical Assessment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 35(2), pages 1-100.
  8. Donald L. Kohn & Brian P. Sack, 2003. "Central bank talk: does it matter and why?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2004. "Look Who's Talking: ECB communication during the first years of EMU," DNB Working Papers 007, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  10. Gerlach, Stefan, 2004. "Interest Rate Setting by the ECB: Words and Deeds," CEPR Discussion Papers 4775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  12. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2007. "Communication by Central Bank Committee Members: Different Strategies, Same Effectiveness?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 509-541, 03.
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