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Communicational Bias in Monetary Policy: Can Words Forecast Deeds?

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  • Pablo Pincheira

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  • Mauricio Calani

    ()

Abstract

Communication with the public is an ever-growing practice among central banks and complements their decisions of interest rate setting. In this paper we examine one feature of the communicational practice of the Central Bank of Chile which summarizes the assessment of the Board about the most likely future of monetary policy. We show that this assessment, which is called communicational bias or simply c-bias, contains valuable information regarding the future stance of monetary policy. We do this by comparing, against several benchmarks, the c-bias ability to correctly forecast the direction of monetary policy rates. Our results are consistent with the hypothesis that the Central Bank of Chile has (in our sample period) matched words and deeds. In fact, the c-bias is a more accurate predictor than two versions of random walks and than a uniformly-distributed random variable. It also outperforms, at some horizons, the predictive ability of a discrete Taylor-rule-type model that uses persistence, output gap and inflation-deviation-from-target as arguments. Furthermore, the c-bias is more accurate than survey-based forecasts at several forecasting horizons. We also show that the c-bias can provide information to improve monetary policy rate forecasts based on the forward rate curve.

Suggested Citation

  • Pablo Pincheira & Mauricio Calani, 2010. "Communicational Bias in Monetary Policy: Can Words Forecast Deeds?," ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, ECONOMIA JOURNAL OF THE LATIN AMERICAN AND CARIBBEAN ECONOMIC ASSOCIATION, vol. 0(Fall 2010), pages 103-152, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:col:000425:008451
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    1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 910-945.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters,in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary Policy; Predictive Ability; Discrete Taylor Rule; Communicational toolkit.;

    JEL classification:

    • E47 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy

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