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Monetary policy and data uncertainty

  • Jarkko Jääskelä
  • Tony Yates

One of the problems facing policymakers is that recent releases of data are liable to subsequent revisions. This paper discusses how to deal with this, and is in two parts. In the normative part of the paper, we study the design of monetary policy rules in a model that has the feature that data uncertainty varies according to the vintage. We show how coefficients on lagged variables in optimised simple rules for monetary policy increase as the relative measurement error in early vintages of data increases. We also explore scenarios when policymakers are uncertain by how much measurement error in new data exceeds that in old data. An optimal policy can then be one in which it is better to assume that the ratio of measurement error in new compared to old data is larger, rather than smaller. In the positive part of the paper, we show that the response of monetary policy to vintage varying data uncertainty may generate evidence of apparent interest rate smoothing in interest rate reaction functions: but we suggest that it may not generate enough to account for what has been observed in the data.

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File URL: http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/research/Documents/workingpapers/2005/WP281.pdf
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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 281.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:281
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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  2. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," Working Papers 97-32, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. McCallum, Bennett T & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(3), pages 296-316, August.
  4. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  6. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  7. Frank Smets, 2002. "Output gap uncertainty: Does it matter for the Taylor rule?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 113-129.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Working Paper Series 2003-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2000. "Assessing nominal income rules for monetary policy with model and data uncertainty," Working Paper Series 2000-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  10. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Working Paper Series 0012, European Central Bank.
  11. Michael Woodford, 2000. "Pitfalls of Forward-Looking Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 100-104, May.
  12. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  13. Eric T. Swanson, 2000. "On signal extraction and non-certainty-equivalence in optimal monetary policy rules," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. George Kapetanios & Tony Yates, 2004. "Estimating Time-Variation in Measurement Error from Data Revisions: An Application to Forecasting in Dynamic Models," Working Papers 520, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  15. 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.
  16. Sack, Brian & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 205-228.
  17. Roberts, John M., 1997. "Is inflation sticky?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 173-196, July.
  18. 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.
  19. Smets, Frank, 2003. "Maintaining price stability: how long is the medium term?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(6), pages 1293-1309, September.
  20. Richard Harrison & George Kapetanios & Tony Yates, 2004. "Forecasting with Measurement Errors in Dynamic Models," Working Papers 521, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
  21. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  22. Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 861-886.
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