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Actual Federal Reserve policy behavior and interest rate rules

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  • Ray C. Fair

Abstract

A popular way to approximate Federal Reserve policy is through the use of estimated interest rate equations, or policy "rules." In these rules, the dependent variable is the interest rate that the Federal Reserve is assumed to control and the explanatory variables are those factors assumed to affect Federal Reserve behavior. This article presents estimates of such a rule, using data from 1954:1-1999:3 but omitting the 1979:4-1982:3 period, when monetary targets were emphasized. Although the estimated coefficient on inflation is found to be larger in the post-1982 period, the difference is not statistically significant, and statistical tests fail to reject the hypothesis that the interest rate rule is stable across these two periods.

Suggested Citation

  • Ray C. Fair, 2001. "Actual Federal Reserve policy behavior and interest rate rules," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Mar, pages 61-72.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednep:y:2001:i:mar:p:61-72:n:v.7no.1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
    3. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Sensitivity of Fiscal Policy Effects to Assumptions about the Behavior of the Federal Reserve," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1165-1179, September.
    4. 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.
    5. Robert E. Hall & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Nominal Income Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 71-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    7. James W. Christian, 1968. "A Further Analysis Of The Objectives Of American Monetary Policy," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 23(3), pages 465-477, June.
    8. Stephen K. McNees, 1986. "Modeling the Fed: a forward- looking monetary policy reaction function," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 3-8.
    9. Fair, Ray C. & Howrey, E. Philip, 1996. "Evaluating alternative monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 173-193, October.
    10. Martin Feldstein & James H. Stock, 1994. "The Use of a Monetary Aggregate to Target Nominal GDP," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 7-69 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
    12. Taylor, John B., 1985. "What would nominal GNP targetting do to the business cycle?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 61-84, January.
    13. Ray C. Fair, 2000. "Estimated, Calibrated, and Optimal Interest Rate Rules," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1258, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "Monetary Policy Rules, Macroeconomic Stability, and Inflation: A View from the Trenches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 151-175, April.
    2. Katrin Wesche, 2003. "Monetary Policy in Europe: Evidence from Time-Varying Taylor Rules," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse21_2003, University of Bonn, Germany.
    3. Douglas Curtis, 2005. "Monetary Policy and Economic Activity in Canada in the 1990s," Canadian Public Policy, University of Toronto Press, vol. 31(1), pages 59-78, March.
    4. Michael T. Kiley, 2003. "Why Is Inflation Low When Productivity Growth Is High?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 41(3), pages 392-406, July.
    5. Katrin Wölfel & Christoph S. Weber, 2017. "Searching for the Fed’s reaction function," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 52(1), pages 191-227, February.
    6. Luís, Pacheco, 2004. "Asset Prices and Monetary Policy in the Euro Area: a tentative model," MPRA Paper 6579, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Alan G. Ahearne & Joseph E. Gagnon & Jane Haltmaier & Steve Kamin ... [et al.]., 2002. "Preventing deflation: lessons from Japan's experience in the 1990s," International Finance Discussion Papers 729, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Adrienne A. Kearney, 2003. "The Changing Probability of a Monetary Policy Response to Inflation and Employment Announcements," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 29(4), pages 565-574, Fall.
    9. Joseph E. Gagnon & Jane Ihrig, 2004. "Monetary policy and exchange rate pass-through This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the U.S.A," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(4), pages 315-338.
    10. Ling Hu & Peter C.B. Phillips, 2002. "Dynamics of the Federal Funds Target Rate: A Nonstationary Discrete Choice Approach," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1365, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    11. Travaglini, Guido, 2007. "The U.S. Dynamic Taylor Rule With Multiple Breaks, 1984-2001," MPRA Paper 3419, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2007.
    12. Lee A. Smales, 2013. "The Determinants of RBA Target Rate Decisions: A Choice Modelling Approach," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 89(287), pages 556-569, December.
    13. Joseph E. Gagnon & Jane E. Ihrig, 2001. "Monetary policy and exchange rate pass-through," International Finance Discussion Papers 704, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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