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Modeling and identifying central banks' preferences

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  • Carlo A. Favero
  • Riccardo Rovelli

Abstract

In this paper we propose an approach to identify indipendently the parameters describing the structure of the economy from the parameters describing central bank preferences. We first estimate the parameters describing the structure of the US economy by considering a parsimonious specification for inflation, the output-gap and the commodity price index. We then proceed to the identification of central bank preferences by estimating by GMM the Euler equations for the solution of the intertemporal optimization problem relevant to the central banker. We then compare optimal and actual interest rate behavior to select a structure of central bank's preferences. Our main results are as follows. First, persistence in interest rates could be explained by the structure of the economy. Second, "strict" inflation targeting dominates "flexible" inflation targeting. Third, the actual behavior of the policy rates cannot be described by the pure "strict" inflation targeting model, which would imply a much more aggressive monetary policy than the observed one. Fourth, when the inflation targeting model is extended to consider Brainard-type uncertainty and real interest rates smoothing, the latter is preferred hypothesis to reconcile actual and optimal interest rates behavior.

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Paper provided by IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University in its series Working Papers with number 148.

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Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:148

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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," NBER Working Papers 6254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  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. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," Economics Series 10, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. 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.
  6. John B. Taylor, 1996. "How should monetary policy respond to shocks while maintaining long-run price stability? Conceptual issues," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 181-195.
  7. Marvin Goodfriend, 1986. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Working Paper 86-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  8. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  9. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Richard H. Clarida & Mark Gertler, 1997. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 363-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Svensson, Lars, 1999. "Does the P* Model provide Any Rationale for Monetary Targeting?," Seminar Papers 671, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  12. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1999. "Policymakers' revealed preferences and the output-inflation variability trade-off: implications for the European system of central banks," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy rules for inflation targeting," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  14. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  15. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  16. 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.
  17. Brian Sack, 1998. "Does the Fed act gradually? a VAR analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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Cited by:
  1. Anton Muscatelli & Patrzio Tirelli & Carmine Trecroci, 1998. "Does Institutional Change Really Matter? Inflation Targets, Central Bank Reform And Interest Rate Policy In The Oecd Countries," Working Papers 1999_20, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jul 1999.
  2. Gilles Saint Paul & Samuel Bentolila, 2000. "Will EMU increase eurosclerosis?," Economics Working Papers 449, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  3. Ruth, Karsten, 2004. "Interest rate reaction functions for the euro area Evidence from panel data analysis," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,33, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Rotondi, Zeno, 2000. "Designing instrument rules for monetary stability: the optimality of interest-rate smoothing," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0008, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
  5. Anton Muscatelli & Patrizio Tirelli & Carmine Trecroci, 2002. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions over the Cycle: Some Empirical Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 817, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. Karsten Ruth, 2007. "Interest rate reaction functions for the euro area," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 33(3), pages 541-569, November.
  7. Helge Berger & Ulrich Woitek, 1999. "Does Conservatism Matter? A Time Series Approach to Central Banking," CESifo Working Paper Series 190, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Xavier Debrun, 2000. "Fiscal Rules in a Monetary Union: A Short-Run Analysis," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(4), pages 323-358, October.
  9. Fabio Balboni & Marco Buti & Martin Larch, 2007. "ECB vs Council vs Commission: Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in the EMU when cyclical conditions are uncertain," European Economy - Economic Papers 277, Directorate General Economic and Monetary Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
  10. Stefan Krause & Fabio Méndez, 2005. "Policy Makers' Preferences, Party Ideology, and the Political Business Cycle," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 752-767, April.
  11. Brzozowski, Michal, 2004. "Identifying central bank’s preferences: the case of Poland," Working Papers in Economics 143, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
  12. Stefan Krause, 2003. "Measuring Monetary Policy Efficiency in European Union Countries: The Pre-EMU Years," Emory Economics 0311, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  13. Marc-Alexandre Sénégas, 2002. "La politique monétaire face à l'incertitude : un survol méthodologique des contributions relatives à la zone euro," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 65(1), pages 177-200.
  14. Marco Buti & Martin Larch & Fabio Balboni, 2009. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in the EMU when cyclical conditions are uncertain," Empirica, Springer, vol. 36(1), pages 21-44, February.

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