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Overnight Monetary Policy in the United States: Active or Interest-Rate Smoothing?

This paper investigates the behavior of agents in the United States money and Fed funds markets for the period 1982-2004. It was found that, while agents are forward looking in the money market, their behavior is policy invariant in the Fed funds market. Consequently, the optimal overnight monetary policy would be an interest-ratesmoothing process. It was found, in fact, that such a policy has been followed in the United States. Furthermore, this paper suggests that the lack of a policy invariant relationship between overnight and short-term interest rates is another explanation for conducting an interest-rate-smoothing policy.

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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 05-07.

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Length: 51 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision: Mar 2010
Publication status: Published: in Journal of Macroeconomics, Vol. 32, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 378–391
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:05-07
Note: JEL codes: E43, E51, E52, E58
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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, . "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semi-Classical Structural Model," GSIA Working Papers 1998-22, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  4. Marvin Goodfriend, 1986. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Working Paper 86-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  5. Alvaro Escribano & Santiago Mira, 2001. "Nonlinear error correction models," Documentos de trabajo conjunto ULL-ULPGC 2001-03, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas de la ULPGC.
  6. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  7. Z. Psaradakis & M. Solá, 1993. "On the power of tests for superexogeneity and structural invariance," Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) 0993, Department of Economics - dECON.
  8. Lucio Sarno & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "The dynamic relationship between the federal funds rate and the Treasury bill rate: an empirical investigation," Working Papers 2000-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
  11. Fair, Ray C, 1978. "The Sensitivity of Fiscal Policy Effects to Assumptions about the Behavior of the Federal Reserve," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1165-79, September.
  12. Granger, C. W. J., 1988. "Some recent development in a concept of causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 199-211.
  13. Banerjee, Anindya & Hendry, David F & Mizon, Grayham E, 1996. "The Econometric Analysis of Economic Policy," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 58(4), pages 573-600, November.
  14. Hendry, David F & Ericsson, Neil R, 1991. "An Econometric Analysis of U.K. Money Demand in 'Monetary Trends in the United States and the United Kingdom' by Milton Friedman and Anna Schwartz," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(1), pages 8-38, March.
  15. Smith, R. Todd & van Egteren, Henry, 2005. "Interest rate smoothing and financial stability," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 147-171.
  16. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  17. Carl Walsh, 2001. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 609, CESifo Group Munich.
  18. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1988. "The Information Content of Discount Rate Announcements and Their Effect on Market Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 20(2), pages 167-80, May.
  19. Engle, R. & Hendry, D., 1990. "Testing Super Exogeneity And Invariance In Regression Models," Economics Series Working Papers 99100, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  20. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. 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.
  22. Hansen, Bruce E., 1992. "Testing for parameter instability in linear models," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 517-533, August.
  23. Amir Kia, 2003. "Forward-looking agents and macroeconomic determinants of the equity price in a small open economy," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(1), pages 37-54.
  24. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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