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Uncovering the Hit List for Small Inflation Targeters: A Bayesian Structural Analysis

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  • TIMOTHY KAM
  • KIRDAN LEES
  • PHILIP LIU

Abstract

We estimate underlying structural macroeconomic policy objectives of three of the earliest explicit inflation targeters within the context of a small open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. We assume central banks set policy optimally, such that we can reverse engineer policy objectives from observed time series data. Joint tests of the posterior distributions of these policy preference parameters suggest that the central banks are very similar in their overall objective. None of the central banks show a concern for stabilizing the real exchange rate. All three central banks share a concern for minimizing the volatility in the change in the nominal interest rate. We also show that the resulting optimal policy rule responds to exchange rate movements, even in the case where the central banks do not explicitly care about exchange rate stabilization. This result is also corroborated by results from an alternative simple-rule characterization and estimation of central bank behavior. These last two findings point to the pitfalls of making inferences, from the level of "ad hoc" simple rules, about what central banks may care about. Copyright (c) 2009 The Ohio State University.

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy Kam & Kirdan Lees & Philip Liu, 2009. "Uncovering the Hit List for Small Inflation Targeters: A Bayesian Structural Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(4), pages 583-618, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcb:jmoncb:v:41:y:2009:i:4:p:583-618
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    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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