Do the Central Banks of Australia and New Zealand Behave Asymmetrically? Evidence from Monetary Policy Reaction Functions
We test for evidence of asymmetric behaviour in the monetary policy reaction functions of the central banks of Australia and New Zealand. For the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, we found little evidence of asymmetric behaviour, whereas the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) appears to react more aggressively to negative output relative to positive output gaps of the same size. We impose additional structure on our model to help distinguish whether the asymmetric response originates from non-linearity in the inflation equation or from non-linearity in an approximate representation of the RBA's preferences over macroeconomic outcomes. We find that the preferences of the RBA may drive the asymmetry: the RBA appears to dislike negative output gaps more than positive output gaps of the same magnitude. We show this generates only a small increase in the conditional mean of inflation that is statistically indistinguishable from the target rate of inflation. Copyright © 2007 The Economic Society of Australia.
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Volume (Year): 83 (2007)
Issue (Month): 261 (06)
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