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Efficient forecast tests for conditional policy forecasts

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  • Faust, Jon
  • Wright, Jonathan H.

Abstract

Central Banks regularly make forecasts, such as the Fed's Greenbook forecast, that are conditioned on hypothetical paths for the policy interest rate. While there are good public policy reasons to evaluate the quality of such forecasts, up until now, the most common approach has been to ignore their conditional nature and apply standard forecast efficiency tests. In this paper we derive tests for the efficiency of conditional forecasts. Intuitively, these tests involve implicit estimates of the degree to which the conditioning path is counterfactual and the magnitude of the policy feedback over the forecast horizon. We apply the tests to the Greenbook forecast and the Bank of England's inflation report forecast, finding some evidence of forecast inefficiency. Nonetheless, we argue that the conditional nature of the forecasts made by central banks represents a substantial impediment to the analysis of their quality--stronger assumptions are needed and forecast inefficiency may go undetected for longer than would be the case if central banks were instead to report unconditional forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2008. "Efficient forecast tests for conditional policy forecasts," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(2), pages 293-303, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:146:y:2008:i:2:p:293-303
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Faust Jon & Swanson Eric T & Wright Jonathan H, 2004. "Do Federal Reserve Policy Surprises Reveal Superior Information about the Economy?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-31, October.
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    7. Jon Faust & Dale W. Henderson, 2004. "Is inflation targeting best-practice monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 117-144.
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    14. Cragg, John G. & Donald, Stephen G., 1993. "Testing Identifiability and Specification in Instrumental Variable Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 9(02), pages 222-240, April.
    15. Faust, Jon & Rogers, John H. & Wang, Shing-Yi B. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2007. "The high-frequency response of exchange rates and interest rates to macroeconomic announcements," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1051-1068, May.
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    20. Jon Faust, 1998. "The robustness of identified VAR conclusions about money," International Finance Discussion Papers 610, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. John C. Bluedorn & Christopher Bowdler & Christoffer Koch, 2017. "Heterogeneous Bank Lending Responses to Monetary Policy: New Evidence from a Real-Time Identification," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 13(1), pages 95-149, February.
    2. repec:spr:empeco:v:53:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s00181-016-1182-5 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Knüppel, Malte & Schultefrankenfeld, Guido, 2013. "The Empirical (Ir)Relevance of the Interest Rate Assumption for Central Bank Forecasts," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 80042, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    4. Bedri Kamil Onur Taş, 2016. "Does the Federal Reserve have Private Information about its Future Actions?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(331), pages 498-517, July.
    5. Chanont Banternghansa & Michael W. McCracken, 2009. "Forecast disagreement among FOMC members," Working Papers 2009-059, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    6. Andrew J. Patton & Allan Timmermann, 2011. "Forecast Rationality Tests Based on Multi-Horizon Bounds," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 1-17, June.
    7. John C. Bluedorn & Christopher Bowdler, 2010. "The Empirics of International Monetary Transmission: Identification and the Impossible Trinity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(4), pages 679-713, June.
    8. Faust, Jon & Wright, Jonathan H., 2013. "Forecasting Inflation," Handbook of Economic Forecasting, Elsevier.
    9. Sylvia Kaufmann & Peter Kugler, 2010. "A monetary real-time conditional forecast of euro area inflation," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 388-405.
    10. Jon Faust & Jonathan H. Wright, 2007. "Comparing Greenbook and Reduced Form Forecasts using a Large Realtime Dataset," NBER Working Papers 13397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. João Valle e Azevedo, 2011. "Rational vs. professional forecasts," Economic Bulletin and Financial Stability Report Articles, Banco de Portugal, Economics and Research Department.
    12. Paul Hubert, 2015. "Do Central Bank Forecasts Influence Private Agents? Forecasting Performance versus Signals," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 47(4), pages 771-789, June.
    13. Paul Hubert, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Imperfect Information and the Expectations Channel," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1u, Sciences Po.
    14. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f4rshpf3v1umfa09lat09b1bg is not listed on IDEAS

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