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Using Taylor Rules to Understand European Central Bank Monetary Policy

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  • Stephan Sauer
  • Jan‐Egbert Sturm

Abstract

. Over the last decade, the simple instrument policy rule developed by Taylor has become a popular tool for evaluating the monetary policy of central banks. As an extensive empirical analysis of the European Central Bank's (ECB) past behaviour still seems to be in its infancy, we estimate several instrument policy reaction functions for the ECB to shed some light on actual monetary policy in the euro area under the presidency of Wim Duisenberg and answer questions like whether the ECB has actually followed a stabilizing or a destabilizing rule so far. Looking at contemporaneous Taylor rules, the evidence presented suggests that the ECB is accommodating changes in inflation and hence follows a destabilizing policy. However, this impression seems to be largely due to the lack of a forward‐looking perspective in such specifications. Either assuming rational expectations and using a forward‐looking specification, or using expectations as derived from surveys result in Taylor rules that do imply a stabilizing role of the ECB. The use of real‐time industrial production data does not seem to play such a significant role as in the case of the United States.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephan Sauer & Jan‐Egbert Sturm, 2007. "Using Taylor Rules to Understand European Central Bank Monetary Policy," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 8(3), pages 375-398, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:germec:v:8:y:2007:i:3:p:375-398
    DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0475.2007.00413.x
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