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Communicational Bias In Monetary Policy: Can Words Forecast Deeds?

  • Pablo Pincheira
  • Mauricio Calani

Communication with the public is an ever-growing practice among central banks and complements their decisions of interest rate setting. In this paper we examine one feature of the communicational practice of the Central Bank of Chile (CBC) which summarizes the assessment of the Board about the most likely future of the monetary policy interest rate. We show that this assessment, known as communicational bias or simply c-bias, contains valuable information regarding the future stance of monetary policy. We do this by comparing, against several benchmarks, the c-bias’s ability to correctly forecast the direction of monetary policy rates. Our results indicate that the CBC has (in our sample period) matched words and deeds. The c-bias is a more accurate predictor of the future direction of monetary policy rates than a random walk and a uniformly-distributed random variable. It also improves the predictive ability of a discrete Taylor-Rule-type model that uses persistence, output gap and inflation-deviation-from-target as arguments. We also show that the c-bias can provide information to improve monetary policy rate forecasts based on the forward rate curve.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 526.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:526
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  1. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Vittorio Corbo & Óscar Landerretche & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Make a Difference?," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 5, pages 221-270 Central Bank of Chile.
  4. Anatoliy Belaygorod & Michael J. Dueker, 2005. "Discrete monetary policy changes and changing inflation targets in estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 719-34.
  5. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 323, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. R. Fuentes S. & A. Jara R. & K. Schmidt-Hebbel D. & M. Tapia G., 2003. "Monetary Policy Nominalization in Chile: an Evaluation," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 6(2), pages 5-35, August.
  7. Francis X. Diebold & Robert S. Mariano, 1994. "Comparing Predictive Accuracy," NBER Technical Working Papers 0169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Rosa, Carlo & Verga, Giovanni, 2007. "On the consistency and effectiveness of central bank communication: Evidence from the ECB," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 146-175, March.
  9. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy become more Efficient? a Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 408-433, 04.
  10. John P. Judd & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1998. "Taylor's rule and the Fed, 1970-1997," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-16.
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