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Central Bank Transparency, the Accuracy of Professional Forecasts, and Interest Rate Volatility

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  • Menno Middeldorp

Abstract

Central banks worldwide have become more transparent. An important reason is that democratic societies expect more openness from public institutions. Policymakers also see transparency as a way to improve the predictability of monetary policy, thereby lowering interest rate volatility and contributing to economic stability. Most empirical studies support this view. However, there are three reasons why more research is needed. First, some (mostly theoretical) work suggests that transparency has an adverse effect on predictability. Second, empirical studies have mostly focused on average predictability before and after specific reforms in a small set of advanced economies. Third, less is known about the effect on interest rate volatility. To extend the literature, I use the Dincer and Eichengreen (2007) transparency index for twenty-four economies of varying income and examine the impact of transparency on both predictability and market volatility. I find that higher transparency improves the accuracy of interest rate forecasts for three months ahead and reduces rate volatility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-12.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1112

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Keywords: central bank communication; interest rate forecasts; central bank transparency; financial market efficiency;

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References

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  1. Michael Ehrmann & Sylvester Eijffinger & Marcel Fratzscher, 2012. "The Role of Central Bank Transparency for Guiding Private Sector Forecasts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 1018-1052, 09.
  2. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2009. "Does central bank communication really lead to better forecasts of policy decisions? New evidence based on a Taylor rule model for the ECB," KOF Working papers 09-236, KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich.
  3. Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2004. "Monetary Policy Transparency:Lessons from Germany and the Eurozone," Working Papers 0410, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  4. Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Transparency, expectations, and forecasts," Working Paper 2006-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Menno Middeldorp, 2011. "FOMC communication policy and the accuracy of Fed Funds futures," Staff Reports 491, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P., 2006. "How transparent are central banks?," Open Access publications from Tilburg University urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-172467, Tilburg University.
  7. Blinder, Alan S. & Ehrmann, Michael & de Haan, Jakob & Fratzscher, Marcel & Jansen, David-Jan, 2008. "Central Bank communication and monetary policy: a survey of theory and evidence," Working Paper Series 0898, European Central Bank.
  8. M. Middeldorp & S. Rosenkranz, 2008. "Central bank communication and crowding out of private information in an experimental asset market," Working Papers 08-26, Utrecht School of Economics.
  9. Monika Piazzesi & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Future prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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  16. Clemens Kool & Menno Middeldorp & Stephanie Rosenkranz, 2011. "Central Bank Transparency and the Crowding Out of Private Information in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(4), pages 765-774, 06.
  17. Christopher Crowe & Ellen E. Meade, 2007. "Central Bank Independence and Transparency: Evolution and Effectiveness," Working Papers 2007-20, American University, Department of Economics.
  18. Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2006. "Monetary Policy Transparency in the UK:The Impact of Independence and Inflation Targeting," Working Papers 0601, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  19. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Craig S. Hakkio, 2010. "Inflation targeting and private sector forecasts," Research Working Paper RWP 10-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
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  21. Maria Demertzis & Marco Hoeberichts, 2006. "The Costs of Increasing Transparency," DNB Working Papers 080, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
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  23. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
  24. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
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  26. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "Forecasting ECB monetary policy: accuracy is (still) a matter of geography," Discussion Papers 2006/11, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
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  28. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
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  30. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob De Haan, 2009. "Has ECB communication been helpful in predicting interest rate decisions? An evaluation of the early years of the Economic and Monetary Union," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(16), pages 1995-2003.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ansgar Belke, 2013. "Non-Standard Monetary Policy Measures – Magic Wand or Tiger by the Tail?," Review of Economics, Lucius & Lucius, vol. 64(3), pages 341-364.
  2. Clemens J.M. Kool & Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "How effective is central bank forward guidance?," Working Papers 2012-063, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Runchana Pongsaparn & Panda Ketruangroch & Dhanaporn Hirunwong, 2012. "Monetary Policy conduct in Review: The Appropriate Choice of Instruments," Working Papers 2012-05, Economic Research Department, Bank of Thailand.
  4. Rhee, Hyuk Jae & Turdaliev, Nurlan, 2013. "Central bank transparency: Does it matter?," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 27(C), pages 183-197.

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