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The Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate: A Time-Varying Monetary Policy Priority Index for the United States


  • René Lalonde
  • Nicolas Parent


In the United States, the Federal Reserve has a dual mandate of promoting stable inflation and maximum employment. Since the Fed directly controls only one instrument-the federal funds rate-the authors argue that the Fed's priorities continuously alternate between inflation and economic activity. In this paper, the authors assume that the effective weights put by the Fed on different indicators vary over time. To test this assumption, they estimate a monetary policy priority index by adding non-linear endogenous weights to a conventional Taylor-type rule.

Suggested Citation

  • René Lalonde & Nicolas Parent, 2006. "The Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate: A Time-Varying Monetary Policy Priority Index for the United States," Staff Working Papers 06-11, Bank of Canada.
  • Handle: RePEc:bca:bocawp:06-11

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert L. Hetzel, 2000. "The Taylor rule : is it a useful guide to understanding monetary policy?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 1-33.
    2. 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.
    3. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
    4. Hamilton, James D, 2001. "A Parametric Approach to Flexible Nonlinear Inference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(3), pages 537-573, May.
    5. Bec Frédérique & Ben Salem Mélika & Collard Fabrice, 2002. "Asymmetries in Monetary Policy Reaction Function: Evidence for U.S. French and German Central Banks," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-22, July.
    6. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wilcox, David W, 2002. "The Opportunistic Approach to Disinflation," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 47-71, Spring.
    7. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1991. "Interest rates and the conduct of monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 7-30, January.
    8. I-Lok Chang & P.A.V.B. Swamy & George S. Tavlas, 2003. "How stable are monetary policy rules: Estimating the time-varying coefficients in a monetary policy reaction function for the U.S," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 89, Society for Computational Economics.
    9. 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.
    10. Andrew Rennison, 2003. "Comparing Alternative Output-Gap Estimators: A Monte Carlo Approach," Staff Working Papers 03-8, Bank of Canada.
    11. Gabriel Srour, 2001. "Why Do Central Banks Smooth Interest Rates?," Staff Working Papers 01-17, Bank of Canada.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ming Liu & Sumner la Croix, 2013. "A Cross-Country Index of Intellectual Property Rights in Pharmaceutical Innovations," Working Papers 201313, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.

    More about this item


    Monetary policy framework; Monetary policy implementation; Econometric and statistical methods;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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