IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Do asymmetric central bank preferences help explain observed inflation outcomes?

  • Doyle, Matthew
  • Falk, Barry

When the central banker's loss function is asymmetric, changes in the volatility of inflation and/or unemployment affect equilibrium inflation. This suggests that changing macroeconomic volatilities may be an important driving force behind trends in observed inflation. Previous evidence, which has offered support for this idea, suffers from a spurious regression problem. Once this problem is controlled for, the evidence suggests that the volatility of unemployment does not help explain inflation outcomes. There is some evidence of a relationship between inflation and its volatility, but overall the data does not support the view that changing economic volatility, as filtered through asymmetric central bank preferences, is an important driver of inflation trends.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 527-540

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:32:y:2010:i:2:p:527-540
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. David Romer, 1991. "Openness and inflation: theory and evidence," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Nov.
  2. Dolado, Juan J. & Maria-Dolores, Ramon & Naveira, Manuel, 2005. "Are monetary-policy reaction functions asymmetric?: The role of nonlinearity in the Phillips curve," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 485-503, February.
  3. Mackinnon, J.G. & Haug, A.A. & Michelis, L., 1996. "Numerical Distribution Functions of Likelihood Ratio Tests for Cointegration," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a09, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  4. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2004. "The inflation bias when the central bank targets the natural rate of unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 91-107, February.
  5. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 415, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Matteo Ciccarelli & Benoît Mojon, 2005. "Global Inflation," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 357, Central Bank of Chile.
  7. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. D H Kim & D R Osborn & M Sensier, 2002. "Nonlinearity in the Fed's Monetary Policy Rule," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 18, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
  9. Cukierman, Alex & Gerlach, Stefan, 2003. "The Inflation Bias Revisited: Theory and Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3761, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Cukierman, A., 1999. "The Inflation Bias Result Revisited," Papers 38-99, Tel Aviv.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios, 1999. "The Quest for Prosperity Without Inflation," Working Paper Series 93, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  12. Martin, Christopher & Costas Milas, 2002. "Modelling Monetary Policy: Inflation Targeting in Practice," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 137, Royal Economic Society.
  13. Patrick Minford & Naveen Srinivasan, 2008. "Are Central Bank Preferences Asymmetric? A Comment," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 37(1), pages 119-126, 02.
  14. Matthew Doyle & Barry Falk, 2008. "Testing Commitment Models of Monetary Policy: Evidence from OECD Economies," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 409-425, 03.
  15. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary policy rules and the Great Inflation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Cukierman, Alex & Webb, Steven B, 1995. "Political Influence on the Central Bank: International Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 9(3), pages 397-423, September.
  17. Gerlach, Stefan, 2003. "Recession Aversion, Output and the Kydland-Prescott Barro-Gordon Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 3687, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Sturm, Jan-Egbert & Haan, Jakob de, 2001. "Inflation in developing countries: does Central Bank independence matter?," CCSO Working Papers 200101, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  19. Paolo Surico, 2004. "Inflation Targeting and Nonlinear Policy Rules: the Case of Asymmetric Preferences," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 8, Econometric Society.
  20. Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
  21. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
  22. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
  23. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Marta Campillo & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1997. "Why Does Inflation Differ across Countries?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 335-362 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  26. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper No. 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  27. Alan S. Blinder, 1997. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: What Central Bankers Could Learn from Academics--And Vice Versa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 3-19, Spring.
  28. Dolado, Juan J. & María-Dolores, Ramón & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2002. "Non-Linear Monetary Policy Rules: Some New Evidence for the US," CEPR Discussion Papers 3405, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  29. Francisco Javier Ruge-Murcia, 2001. "Inflation Targeting Under Asymmetric Preferences," IMF Working Papers 01/161, International Monetary Fund.
  30. repec:dgr:rugccs:200101 is not listed on IDEAS
  31. Alex Cukierman & Anton Muscatelli, 2001. "Do Central Banks have Precautionary Demands for Expansions and for Price Stability?," Working Papers 2002_4, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Mar 2002.
  32. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  33. A. Robert Nobay & David A. Peel, 2003. "Optimal Discretionary Monetary Policy in a Model of Asymmetric Central Bank Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 657-665, 07.
  34. Manuel M F Martins & Alvaro Aguiar, 2005. "Testing for Asymmetries in the Preferences of the Euro-Area Monetary Policymaker," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2005 41, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  35. Laxton, Douglas & Rose, David & Tambakis, Demosthenes, 1999. "The U.S. Phillips curve: The case for asymmetry," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 23(9-10), pages 1459-1485, September.
  36. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
  37. Charles Goodhart, 1998. "Central Bankers and Uncertainty," FMG Special Papers sp106, Financial Markets Group.
  38. Lane, Philip R., 1997. "Inflation in open economies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 327-347, May.
  39. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, June.
  41. Paolo Surico, 2004. "Inflation Targeting and Nonlinear Policy Rules: The Case of Asymmetric Preferences (new title: The Fed's monetary policy rule and U.S. inflation: The case of asymmetric preferences)," CESifo Working Paper Series 1280, CESifo Group Munich.
  42. Bec Frédérique & Ben Salem Mélika & Collard Fabrice, 2002. "Asymmetries in Monetary Policy Reaction Function: Evidence for U.S. French and German Central Banks," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-22, July.
  43. W.A. Bruinshoofd & B. Candelon, 2004. "Nonlinear monetary policy in europe: fact or myth?," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 758, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  44. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
  45. Alvaro Aguiar & Manuel Martins, 2005. "Testing the significance and the non-linearity of the Phillips trade-off in the Euro Area," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 30(3), pages 665-691, October.
  46. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  47. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco J., 2003. "Does the Barro-Gordon model explain the behavior of US inflation? A reexamination of the empirical evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1375-1390, September.
  48. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  49. Musso, Alberto & Stracca, Livio & van Dijk, Dick, 2007. "Instability and nonlinearity in the euro area Phillips curve," Working Paper Series 0811, European Central Bank.
  50. Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2003. "Globalization and global disinflation," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 77-112.
  51. Surico, Paolo, 2007. "The Fed's monetary policy rule and U.S. inflation: The case of asymmetric preferences," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(1), pages 305-324, January.
  52. Paolo Surico, 2003. "Asymmetric Reaction Functions for the Euro Area," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 19(1), pages 44-57.
  53. Friedman, Milton, 1977. "Nobel Lecture: Inflation and Unemployment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 451-72, June.
  54. RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J., 2001. "A Prudent Central Banker," Cahiers de recherche 2001-07, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  55. Özer Karagedikli & Kirdan Lees, 2004. "Do inflation targeting central banks behave asymmetrically? Evidence from Australia and New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP 2004/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:32:y:2010:i:2:p:527-540. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.