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The policy preferences of the US Federal Reserve

  • Richard Dennis

    (Economic Research, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA)

In this paper we model and explain US macroeconomic outcomes subject to the discipline that monetary policy is set optimally. Exploiting the restrictions that come from optimal policymaking, we estimate the parameters in the Federal Reserve's policy objective function together with the parameters in its optimization constraints. For the period following Volcker's appointment as chairman, we estimate the implicit inflation target to be around 1.4% and show that policymakers assigned a significant weight to interest rate smoothing. We show that the estimated optimal policy provides a good description of US data for the 1980s and 1990s. Copyright © 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jae.808
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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2006-v21.1/
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 21 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 55-77

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:21:y:2006:i:1:p:55-77
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  1. Richard Dennis, 2000. "Solving for optimal simple rules in rational expectations models," Working Paper Series 2000-14, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Soderlind, Paul, 1999. "Solution and estimation of RE macromodels with optimal policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 813-823, April.
  3. Rudebusch, G.D. & Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Papers 637, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Alex Cukierman, 1989. "Why does the Fed smooth interest rates?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, pages 111-157.
  5. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 841, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1997. "Inflation forecast targeting: Implementing and monitoring inflation targets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(6), pages 1111-1146, June.
  7. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1980. "Formulating and estimating dynamic linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 7-46, May.
  8. Salemi, Michael K, 1995. "Revealed Preference of the Federal Reserve: Using Inverse-Control Theory to Interpret the Policy Equation of a Vector Autoregression," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(4), pages 419-33, October.
  9. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 2005. "Monetary policy and the term structure of interest rates," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Fall, pages 1-21.
  11. Brian Sack & Volker Wieland, 1999. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  13. Favero, Carlo A & Rovelli, Riccardo, 2003. " Macroeconomic Stability and the Preferences of the Fed: A Formal Analysis, 1961-98," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(4), pages 545-56, August.
  14. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "Stochastic trends and economic fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  15. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, August.
  16. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  17. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  18. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-39, March.
  20. Marvin Goodfriend, 1990. "Interest rates and the conduct of monetary policy," Working Paper 90-06, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  21. Arturo Estrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2002. "Dynamic Inconsistencies: Counterfactual Implications of a Class of Rational-Expectations Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1013-1028, September.
  22. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  24. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Commentary : how should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 277-316.
  26. Richard Dennis, 2003. "Inferring policy objectives from economic outcomes," Working Paper Series 2003-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  27. Ozlale, Umit, 2003. "Price stability vs. output stability: tales of federal reserve administrations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(9), pages 1595-1610, July.
  28. Efrem Castelnuovo & Paolo Surico, 2004. "Model Uncertainty, Optimal Monetary Policy and the Preferences of the Fed," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(1), pages 105-126, 02.
  29. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
  30. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
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