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Interpreting the significance of lagged interest rate in estimated monetary policy rules

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  • William B. English
  • William R. Nelson
  • Brian P. Sack
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    Abstract

    Many researchers have found that the lagged interest rate enters estimated monetary policy rules with overwhelming significance. However, a recent paper by Rudebusch (2002) argues that the lagged interest rate is not a fundamental component of the U.S. policy rule, and that its significance arises from the omission of serially correlated variables from the policy rule. This paper demonstrates that, contrary to Rudebusch's claims, these two hypotheses can be directly distinguished in the estimation of the policy rule. Our findings indicate that while serially correlated omitted variables may be present, the lagged interest rate enters the policy rule on its own right and plays an important role in describing the behavior of the federal funds rate.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2002-24.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2002-24

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    Keywords: Interest rates ; Monetary policy;

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    References

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    1. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    2. Volker Wieland, . "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," Computing in Economics and Finance 1997 11, Society for Computational Economics.
    3. John C. Williams, 2003. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 1-12.
    4. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Brian Sack & Volker Wieland, 1999. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of simple monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 605-631, April.
    8. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 537-577, November.
    10. Dean Croushore & Tom Stark, 2000. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists: does data vintage matter for forecasting?," Working Papers 00-6, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    11. Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
    12. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
    13. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 1999. "The value of interest rate smoothing : how the private sector helps the Federal Reserve," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 47-64.
    14. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1999. "Is the Fed too timid? Monetary policy in an uncertain world," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    15. 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.
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