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Dynamics of Monetary Policy Uncertainty and the Impact on the Macroeconomy

Author

Listed:
  • Nicholas Herro

    () (University of Wisconsin La Crosse)

  • James Murray

    () (University of Wisconsin - La Crosse)

Abstract

A large literature lauds the benefits of central bank transparency and credibility, but when a central bank like the U.S. Federal Reserve has a dual mandate, is not specific to the extent it targets employment versus price stability, and is not specific to the magnitude interest rates should change in response to these targets, market participants must depend largely on past data to form expectations about monetary policy. We suppose market participants estimate a Taylor-like regression equation to understand the conduct of monetary policy, which likely guides their short-run and long-run expectations. When the Federal Reserve's actions deviate from its historical targets for macroeconomic variables, an environment of greater uncertainty may be the result. We quantify this degree of uncertainty by measuring and aggregating recent deviations of the federal funds rate from econometric forecasts predicted by constant gain learning. We incorporate this measure of uncertainty into a VAR model with ARCH shocks to measure the effect monetary policy uncertainty has on inflation, output growth, unemployment, and the volatility of these variables. We find that a higher degree of uncertainty regarding monetary policy is associated with greater volatility of inflation and unemployment.

Suggested Citation

  • Nicholas Herro & James Murray, 2013. "Dynamics of Monetary Policy Uncertainty and the Impact on the Macroeconomy," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 33(1), pages 257-270.
  • Handle: RePEc:ebl:ecbull:eb-11-00249
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    File URL: http://www.accessecon.com/Pubs/EB/2013/Volume33/EB-13-V33-I1-P25.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    2. Katerina Smídková & Viktor Kotlán & David Navrátil & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Communication; It Pays Off to Read Inflation Reports," IMF Working Papers 08/234, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Kevin B. Grier & Ólan T. Henry & Nilss Olekalns & Kalvinder Shields, 2004. "The asymmetric effects of uncertainty on inflation and output growth," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(5), pages 551-565.
    5. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Fountas, Stilianos & Karanasos, Menelaos & Kim, Jinki, 2002. "Inflation and output growth uncertainty and their relationship with inflation and output growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(3), pages 293-301, May.
    7. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Stefan Krause, 2002. "Central bank structure, policy efficiency, and macroeconomic performance: exploring empirical relationships," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 47-60.
    8. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
    9. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 983-1022.
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    Cited by:

    1. Murray, James, 2014. "Fiscal Policy Uncertainty and Its Macroeconomic Consequences," MPRA Paper 57409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Christoph S. Weber, 2017. "The Unemployment Effect of Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers 172, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Uncertainty; learning; volatility; Taylor rule; vector autoregression; ARCH;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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