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Modelling and Identifying Central Banks' Preferences

  • Favero, Carlo A.
  • Rovelli, Riccardo

We propose an approach to identify independently the parameters describing the structure of the economy from those describing central bank preferences. We first estimate a parsimonious structural model for US inflation, US output-gap and the world commodity price index. We then proceed to the identification of central bank preferences by estimating by GMM the Euler equations for the solution of the intertemporal optimization problem relevant to the central bank. The empirical analysis of the structural model shows that the persistency of real interest rates effects on aggregate demand is sufficient to generate an autoregressive structure in any interest rate rule. From estimation of the Euler equations, we infer that strict inflation targeting together with real interest rate smoothing delivers an optimal policy rule capable of replicating the observed path of real interest rates over the sample 1983:1 - 1998:3. Our empirical findings imply that the output gap enters into the optimal interest rate rule only as a leading indicator of future inflation, and we reject the hypothesis that output stabilization is an independent argument in the loss of function of the Fed.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2178.

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Date of creation: Jun 1999
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2178
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  1. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1987. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 335-348, May.
  3. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1999. "Is the Fed too timid? Monetary policy in an uncertain world," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 99-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  5. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Clarida, R. & Gertler, M., 1996. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," Working Papers 96-14, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  8. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Rudebusch , Glenn, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Seminar Papers 637, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  9. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Brian P. Sack, 1998. "Does the Fed act gradually? a VAR analysis," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2000. "Does the P* Model Provide Any Rationale for Monetary Targeting?," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(1), pages 69-81, 02.
  12. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  13. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  14. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  15. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  16. Cecchetti, Stephen G & McConnell, Margaret M & Perez-Quiros, Gabriel, 2002. "Policymakers' Revealed Preferences and the Output-Inflation Variability Trade-Off: Implications for the European System of Central Banks," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 596-618, Special I.
  17. John B. Taylor, 1996. "How should monetary policy respond to shocks while maintaining long-run price stability? Conceptual issues," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 181-195.
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