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The Taylor Rule and “Opportunistic” Monetary Policy

  • Helle Bunzel


    (Department of Economics, Iowa State University and CREATES)

  • Walter Enders


    (Department of Economics, Finance & Legal Studies, University of Alabama)

We investigate the possibility that the Taylor rule should be formulated as a threshold process such that the Federal Reserve acts more aggressively in some circumstances than in others. It seems reasonable that the Federal Reserve would act more aggressively when inflation is high than when it is low. Similarly, it might be expected that the Federal Reserve responds more to a negative than a positive output gap. Although these specifications receive some empirical support, we find that a modified threshold model that is consistent with “opportunistic” monetary policy makes significant progress towards explaining Federal Reserve behavior.

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Paper provided by School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus in its series CREATES Research Papers with number 2010-04.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 06 Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2010-04
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  1. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. 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.
  3. Denise R. Osborn & Dong Heon Kim & Marianne Sensier, 2005. "Nonlinearity in the Fed's monetary policy rule," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(5), pages 621-639.
  4. Francisco Javier Ruge-Murcia, 2001. "Inflation Targeting Under Asymmetric Preferences," IMF Working Papers 01/161, International Monetary Fund.
  5. A. Robert Nobay & David A. Peel, 2003. "Optimal Discretionary Monetary Policy in a Model of Asymmetric Central Bank Preferences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(489), pages 657-665, 07.
  6. Andrew T. Levin & Volker W. Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of simple monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Elliott, Graham & Rothenberg, Thomas J & Stock, James H, 1996. "Efficient Tests for an Autoregressive Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(4), pages 813-36, July.
  8. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  9. Jeffery D. Amato & Thomas Laubach, 1999. "The value of interest rate smoothing : how the private sector helps the Federal Reserve," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q III, pages 47-64.
  10. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  11. 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.
  12. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  13. Dolado, Juan J. & Maria-Dolores, Ramon & Naveira, Manuel, 2005. "Are monetary-policy reaction functions asymmetric?: The role of nonlinearity in the Phillips curve," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 485-503, February.
  14. Ulrich K. M¸ller & Graham Elliott, 2003. "Tests for Unit Roots and the Initial Condition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1269-1286, 07.
  15. William B. English & William R. Nelson & Brian P. Sack, 2002. "Interpreting the significance of lagged interest rate in estimated monetary policy rules," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-24, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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