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Doves, Hawks and Pigeons: Behavioral Monetary Policy and Interest Rate Inertia

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  • Federico Favaretto
  • Donato Masciandaro

Abstract

Behavioral bias – loss aversion – can explain monetary policy inertia in setting interest rates. Economic literature has tended to explain inertia in monetary policymaking in terms of frictions and delays, or has stressed the role of governance rules. We introduce a new driver of inertia, independent from frictions and central bank governance settings: a Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) that takes decisions on interest rates by voting according to a majority rule, in an economy with nominal price rigidities and rational expectations. Central bankers are senior officials, high-ranking bureaucrats who care about their careers and can be divided into three groups, depending on their level of inflation conservatism: doves, pigeons, and hawks. While a conservative stance doesn’t necessarily produce monetary inertia, we show that introducing loss aversion in individual behavior influences the stance of monetary policy under three different but convergent perspectives. First of all, a Moderation Effect can emerge, i.e. the number of pigeons increases. At the same time also a Hysteresis Effect can become relevant, whereby both doves and hawks soften their attitudes. Finally a Smoothing Effect tends to stabilize the number of pigeons. Together, the three effects consistently cause higher monetary policy inertia.

Suggested Citation

  • Federico Favaretto & Donato Masciandaro, 2016. "Doves, Hawks and Pigeons: Behavioral Monetary Policy and Interest Rate Inertia," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1621, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
  • Handle: RePEc:baf:cbafwp:cbafwp1621
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    Cited by:

    1. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2017. "Twin Peaks And Central Banks: Economics, Political Economy And Comparative Analysis," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1768, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    2. Donato Masciandaro & Davide Romelli, 2018. "To Be or not to Be a Euro Country? The Behavioural Political Economics of Currency Unions," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1883, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    3. Paulo R. Mota & Abel L. C. Fernandes, 2019. "The Dynamic Adjustment Of Central Banks’ Target Interest Rate: The Case Of The Ecb," FEP Working Papers 613, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    4. Emanuele Borgonovo & Stefano Caselli & Alessandra Cillo & Donato Masciandaro, 2017. "Beyond Bitcoin And Cash: Do We Like A Central Bank Digital Currency? A Financial And Political Economics Approach," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1765, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.

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    Keywords

    Monetary Policy; Behavioral Economics;

    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit

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