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Anticipation of monetary policy in UK financial markets

  • Peter Lildholdt
  • Anne Vila Wetherilt

This paper examines the question of whether the ability of market interest rates to predict future policy rate changes in the United Kingdom has changed markedly over the period 1975-2003. Such improvements in predictability could arise from greater transparency in the monetary policy process, together with greater credibility of the Bank of England. Empirical tests, using a simple term structure model, show that predictability has indeed improved over the sample period as a whole, and most markedly after the introduction of inflation targeting in 1992. But closer inspection of the data reveals that predictability did not rise smoothly over time, nor is it possible to generalise this result across maturities. Furthermore, attempts to identify structural breakpoints in a formal way were on the whole unsuccessful. Nonetheless, the paper concludes that, over the longer sample period, the data show a clear improvement in the ability of market participants to predict policy rate changes by the Bank of England.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 241.

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Date of creation: Nov 2004
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:241
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  1. Carlson, John B. & Craig, Ben & Schwarz, Jeffrey C., 2000. "Structural uncertainty and breakpoint tests: an application to equilibrium velocity1," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 101-115.
  2. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. Perron, P. & Bai, J., 1995. "Estimating and Testing Linear Models with Multiple Structural Changes," Cahiers de recherche 9552, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  4. Shiller, Robert & Campbell, John, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Scholarly Articles 3221490, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2002. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Working Papers 118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  7. Christoffersen, Peter F. & Diebold, Francis X., 1997. "Optimal Prediction Under Asymmetric Loss," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(06), pages 808-817, December.
  8. Gabriel Pérez Quirós & Jorge Sicilia, 2002. "Is the European Central Bank (and the United States Federal Reserve) predictable?," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0229, Banco de Espa�a.
  9. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  10. Bekaert, Geert & Hodrick, Robert J. & Marshall, David A., 1997. "On biases in tests of the expectations hypothesis of the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 309-348, June.
  11. BAI, Jushan & PERRON, Pierre, 1998. "Computation and Analysis of Multiple Structural-Change Models," Cahiers de recherche 9807, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  12. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
  13. Jushan Bai & Pierre Perron, 2003. "Critical values for multiple structural change tests," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 6(1), pages 72-78, 06.
  14. Sharon Kozicki & P.A.Tinsley, 2001. "What do you expect? : imperfect policy credibility and tests of the expectations hypothesis?," Research Working Paper RWP 01-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  15. Goodhart, Charles, 1989. "The Conduct of Monetary Policy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(396), pages 293-346, June.
  16. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  17. 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.
  18. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  19. Lange, Joe & Sack, Brian & Whitesell, William, 2003. " Anticipations of Monetary Policy in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 35(6), pages 889-909, December.
  20. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
  21. Eric T. Swanson, 2004. "Federal Reserve transparency and financial market forecasts of short-term interest rates," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-06, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  22. Marvin Goodfriend, 1998. "Using the term structure of interest rates for monetary policy," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sum, pages 13-30.
  23. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  24. Andrew G Haldane & Vicky Read, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and the yield curve," Bank of England working papers 106, Bank of England.
  25. repec:cup:etheor:v:13:y:1997:i:6:p:808-17 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Hodrick, Robert J, 1992. "Dividend Yields and Expected Stock Returns: Alternative Procedures for Inference and Measurement," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 5(3), pages 357-86.
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