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A defence of the FOMC

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  • Martin Ellison
  • Thomas J. Sargent

Abstract

We defend the forecasting performance of the FOMC from the recent criticism of Christina and David Romer.� Our argument is that the FOMC forecasts a worst-case scenario that it uses to design decisions that will work well enough (are robust) despite possible misspecification of its model.� Because these FOMC forecasts are not predictions of what the FOMC expects to occur under its model, it is inappropriate to compare their performance in a horse race against other forecasts.� Our interpretation of the FOMC as a robust policymaker can explain all the findings of the Romers and rationalises differences between FOMC forecasts and forecasts published in the Greenbook by the staff of the Federal Reserve System.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 457.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:457

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Keywords: Forecasting; Monetary policy; Robustness;

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References

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  1. Richard Dennis & Kai Leitemo & Ulf Soderstrom, 2006. "Methods for Robust Control," 2006 Meeting Papers 493, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Michael Woodford, 2006. "An Example of Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near-Rational Expectations," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 4(2-3), pages 386-395, 04-05.
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  4. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 2000. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty in a Small Model of the U.S. Economy," NBER Working Papers 7490, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Peter Tillmann, 2009. "The Fed’s perceived Phillips curve: Evidence from individual FOMC forecasts," MAGKS Papers on Economics 200946, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  2. Claussen, Carl Andreas & Matsen, Egil & Røisland, Øistein & Torvik, Ragnar, 2012. "Overconfidence, monetary policy committees and chairman dominance," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 699-711.
  3. Gadi Barlevy, 2011. "Robustness and Macroeconomic Policy," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 1-24, 09.
  4. Chanont Banternghansa & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Forecast disagreement among FOMC members," Working Papers 2009-059, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. Hansen, Lars Peter & Mayer, Ricardo & Sargent, Thomas, 2010. "Robust hidden Markov LQG problems," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1951-1966, October.
  6. Christian Pierdzioch & Jan-Christoph Rülke & Peter Tillmann, 2013. "Using forecasts to uncover the loss function of FOMC members," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201302, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  7. Jung, Alexander & El-Shagi, Makram & Giesen, Sebastian, 2013. "Does Central Bank Staff Beat Private Forecasters?," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79925, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  8. Richard Dennis, 2012. "Sources of Disagreement in Inflation Forecasts: An International Empirical Investigation," CAMA Working Papers 2012-42, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  9. Kliem, Martin & Kriwoluzky, Alexander, 2013. "Reconciling narrative monetary policy disturbances with structural VAR model shocks?," Discussion Papers 23/2013, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Ravn, Søren Hove, 2014. "Asymmetric monetary policy towards the stock market: A DSGE approach," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 39(PA), pages 24-41.

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