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The Role of the Bias in Crafting Consensus: FOMC Decision Making in the Greenspan Era

Author

Listed:
  • Henry W. Chappell, Jr.

    (Department of Economics, University of South Carolina)

  • Rob Roy McGregor

    (Department of Economics, University of North Carolina at Charlotte)

  • Todd A. Vermilyea

    (Supervision, Regulation, and Credit, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

Abstract

We examine the role of the "bias" associated with a monetary policy directive - wording in the directive that concerns possible policy shifts in the period between one FOMC meeting and the next - in FOMC decision making in the Greenspan years. Previous studies have suggested that the bias provided the Chairman a tool for orchestrating Committee consensus. Our evidence shows that when the bias had meaningful implications for intermeeting funds rate changes (1987-92), it influenced voting by FOMC members. Biases both provoked and discouraged dissents, depending on the direction of the bias and the preferences of individual Committee members. When the bias did not have meaningful implications for intermeeting policy adjustments (1993-99), we find no evidence that it affected members' voting choices. Overall, our results are consistent with the view that FOMC members voted on the basis of a rational assessment of the policy content of proposed directives.

Suggested Citation

  • Henry W. Chappell, Jr. & Rob Roy McGregor & Todd A. Vermilyea, 2007. "The Role of the Bias in Crafting Consensus: FOMC Decision Making in the Greenspan Era," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 3(2), pages 39-60, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2007:q:2:a:2
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Jung, Alexander, 2016. "Have minutes helped to predict fed funds rate changes?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 18-32.
    2. repec:fce:doctra:13-03 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Lähner, Tom, 2015. "Inconsistent voting behavior in the FOMC," Hannover Economic Papers (HEP) dp-546, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät.
    4. Paul Hubert, 2015. "The Influence and Policy Signalling Role of FOMC Forecasts," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(5), pages 655-680, October.
    5. El-Shagi, Makram & Jung, Alexander, 2015. "Does the Greenspan era provide evidence on leadership in the FOMC?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 173-190.
    6. Zhang, Xinyu & Lu, Zudi & Zou, Guohua, 2013. "Adaptively combined forecasting for discrete response time series," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 176(1), pages 80-91.
    7. Jan Marc Berk & Beata K. Bierut, 2010. "Monetary Policy Committees: Meetings And Outcomes," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 28(4), pages 569-588, October.
    8. Mikael Apel & Carl Andreas Claussen & Petra Gerlach-Kristen & Petra Lennartsdotter & Øistein Røisland, 2013. "Monetary policy decisions – comparing theory and “inside” information from MPC members," Working Paper 2013/03, Norges Bank.
    9. Jung, Alexander, 2016. "Have FOMC minutes helped markets to predict FED funds rate changes?," Working Paper Series 1961, European Central Bank.
    10. Charemza, Wojciech & Ladley, Daniel, 2016. "Central banks’ forecasts and their bias: Evidence, effects and explanation," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 804-817.
    11. Hamza Bennani, 2012. "National influences inside the ECB: an assessment from central bankers' statements," Working Papers hal-00992646, HAL.
    12. Tillmann, Peter, 2011. "Strategic forecasting on the FOMC," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 547-553, September.
    13. Sylvester Eijffinger & Ronald Mahieu & Louis Raes, 2016. "Monetary Policy Committees, Voting Behavior and Ideal Points," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1628, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    14. Peter Tillmann, 2011. "Reputation and Forecast Revisions: Evidence from the FOMC," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201128, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
    15. Wojciech Charemza & Daniel Ladley, 2012. "MPC Voting, Forecasting and Inflation," Discussion Papers in Economics 12/23, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Jan 2013.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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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