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Starting from a blank page? Semantic similarity in central bank communication and market volatility

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  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Talmi, Jonathan

Abstract

Central banks often draft press releases announcing monetary policy decisions starting from the previous release. This makes it straightforward to see how the content has evolved, but may make substantial updates harder to interpret, as markets learn to expect only minor updates. Using variation in the drafting process at the Bank of Canada, this paper finds that similar press releases reduce market volatility, whereas volatility rises when substantial changes occur after sequences of similar statements. A comparison over time and across central banks shows that market sensitivity to similarity adjusts to the drafting practice of central banks.

Suggested Citation

  • Ehrmann, Michael & Talmi, Jonathan, 2020. "Starting from a blank page? Semantic similarity in central bank communication and market volatility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 48-62.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:moneco:v:111:y:2020:i:c:p:48-62
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmoneco.2019.01.028
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    3. Hubert, Paul & Labondance, Fabien, 2021. "The signaling effects of central bank tone," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 133(C).
    4. Paul Hubert & Fabien Labondance, 2019. "Central bank tone and the dispersion of views within monetary policy committees," Sciences Po publications 2019 – 08, Sciences Po.
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    7. Munday, Tim & Brookes, James, 2021. "Mark my words: the transmission of central bank communication to the general public via the print media," Bank of England working papers 944, Bank of England.
    8. Bodilsen, Simon & Eriksen, Jonas N. & Grønborg, Niels S., 2021. "Asset pricing and FOMC press conferences," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 128(C).
    9. Siklos, Pierre, 2017. "What Has Publishing Inflation Forecasts Accomplished? Central Banks And Their Competitors," LCERPA Working Papers 0098, Laurier Centre for Economic Research and Policy Analysis, revised 01 Apr 2017.
    10. Juan de Lucio & Juan S. Mora-Sanguinetti, 2021. "New dimensions of regulatory complexity and their economic cost. An analysis using text mining," Working Papers 2107, Banco de España.
    11. Hüning, Hendrik, 2020. "Swiss National Bank communication and investors’ uncertainty," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C).
    12. Saskia ter Ellen & Vegard H. Larsen & Leif Anders Thorsrud, 2019. "Narrative monetary policy surprises and the media," Working Papers No 06/2019, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    13. Guo, Junjie & Guo, Yumei & Miao, Shan & Pang, Xin, 2021. "An investigation of semantic similarity in PBOC’s communication on RMB volatility," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 441-455.
    14. Bernd Hayo & Kai Henseler & Marc Steffen Rapp & Johannes Zahner, 2020. "Complexity of ECB Communication and Financial Market Trading," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201919, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    15. Armelius, Hanna & Bertsch, Christoph & Hull, Isaiah & Zhang, Xin, 2020. "Spread the Word: International spillovers from central bank communication," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 103(C).
    16. Narayan Bulusu, 2020. "Why Do Central Banks Make Public Announcements of Open Market Operations?," Staff Working Papers 20-35, Bank of Canada.
    17. Möller, Rouven & Reichmann, Doron, 2021. "ECB language and stock returns – A textual analysis of ECB press conferences," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 590-604.
    18. Schmeling, Maik & Wagner, Christian, 2019. "Does Central Bank Tone Move Asset Prices?," CEPR Discussion Papers 13490, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Ales Bulir & Martin Cihak & David-Jan Jansen, 2018. "Does the Clarity of Monetary Policy Reports Reduce Volatility in Financial Markets?," Czech Journal of Economics and Finance (Finance a uver), Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, vol. 68(1), pages 2-17, February.
    20. Assenmacher, Katrin & Glöckler, Gabriel & Holton, Sarah & Trautmann, Peter & Ioannou, Demosthenes & Mee, Simon & Alonso, Conception & Argiri, Eleni & Arigoni, Filippo & Bakk-Simon, Klára & Bergbauer, , 2021. "Clear, consistent and engaging: ECB monetary policy communication in a changing world," Occasional Paper Series 274, European Central Bank.
    21. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli & Gaia Rubera, 2020. "Tweeting on Monetary Policy and Market Sentiments: The Central Bank Surprise Index," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 20134, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    22. Domenico Lombardi & Pierre L. Siklos & Samantha St. Amand, 2019. "Asset Price Spillovers from Unconventional Monetary Policy: A Global Empirical Perspective," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 15(2), pages 43-74, June.
    23. Bholat, David & Broughton, Nida & Ter Meer, Janna & Walczak, Eryk, 2019. "Enhancing central bank communications using simple and relatable information," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-15.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Central bank communication; Semantic similarity; Volatility; ARCH models; Interest rates;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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