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Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World

  • Glenn D. Rudebusch

Estimates of the Taylor rule using historical data from the past decade or two suggest that monetary policy in the U.S. can be characterized as having reacted in a moderate fashion to output and inflation gaps. In contrast, the parameters of optimal Taylor rules derived using empirical models of the economy often recommend much more vigorous policy responses. This paper attempts to match the historical policy rule with an optimal policy rule by incorporating uncertainty into the derivation of the optimal rule and by examining plausible variations in the policymaker's model and preferences. © 2001 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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File URL: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1162/00346530151143752
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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 83 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 203-217

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:83:y:2001:i:2:p:203-217
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  1. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Working Papers 6512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. Oliner, Stephen D. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Sichel, Daniel, 1996. "The Lucas critique revisited assessing the stability of empirical Euler equations for investment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 291-316, January.
  4. Eric Swanson, 2000. "On Signal Extraction and Non-Certainty-Equivalence in Optimal Monetary Policy Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1085, Econometric Society.
  5. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1993. "The Uncertain Unit Root in Real GNP," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 264-72, March.
  6. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1990. "Trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series: a re-examination," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 105, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Evan F. Koenig, 1996. "Capacity utilization as a real-time predictor of manufacturing output," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 16-23.
  8. Svensson, Lars E O, 1999. " Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 101(3), pages 337-61, September.
  9. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  10. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C, 1997. "The (Un)Importance of Forward-Looking Behavior in Price Specifications," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 338-50, August.
  11. Sharon Kozicki & Peter A. Tinsley, 1997. "Moving endpoints and the internal consistency of agents' ex ante forecasts," Research Working Paper 97-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  12. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  14. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  16. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1996. "Do measures of monetary policy in a VAR make sense?," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  17. Fischer, Stanley & Cooper, J Phillip, 1973. "Stabilization Policy and Lags," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 847-77, July-Aug..
  18. 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.
  19. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense? A Reply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 943-48, November.
  20. Kevin J. Lansing, 2000. "Learning about a shift in trend output: implications for monetary policy and inflation," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  21. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Bomfim, Antulio N & Rudebusch, Glenn D, 2000. "Opportunistic and Deliberate Disinflation under Imperfect Credibility," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 707-21, November.
  23. Bennett T. McCallum, 1999. "Recent developments in the analysis of monetary policy rules," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 3-12.
  24. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-56, July.
  25. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 1999. "The Taylor Rule: A Useful Monetary Policy Benchmark for the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 85-116, April.
  26. Sargent, Thomas J, 1971. "A Note on the 'Accelerationist' Controversy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 721-25, August.
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