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The Learning Cost of Interest Rate Reversals

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  • Ellison, Martin

Abstract

In this Paper, we suggest a new motivation for why central banks appear averse to reversing recent changes in their interest rate. We show, in a standard monetary model with forward-looking expectations, data uncertainty and parameter uncertainty, that there is a learning cost associated with interest rate reversals. A policy that frequently reverses the interest rate makes it more difficult for the central bank and private agents to learn the key parameters of the model. Optimal monetary policy internalizes this learning cost and therefore has a lower number of interest rate reversals. The incentive to reduce the number of interest rate reversals is in addition to the optimal policy inertia created by the presence of forward-looking expectations and uncertainty in the model.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellison, Martin, 2003. "The Learning Cost of Interest Rate Reversals," CEPR Discussion Papers 4135, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4135
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Svensson, Lars E.O., 2010. "Inflation Targeting," Handbook of Monetary Economics,in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 22, pages 1237-1302 Elsevier.
    2. Mewael F. Tesfaselassie & Eric Schaling & Sylvester Eijffinger, 2011. "Learning about the Term Structure and Optimal Rules for Inflation Targeting," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(8), pages 1685-1706, December.
    3. Volker Wieland, 2009. "Learning, Endogenous Indexation, and Disinflation in the New-Keynesian Model," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 11, pages 413-450 Central Bank of Chile.
    4. Lars E.O. Svensson & Noah Williams, 2009. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Uncertainty in DSGE Models: A Markov Jump-Linear-Quadratic Approach," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 3, pages 077-114 Central Bank of Chile.
    5. Tesfaselassie, M.F. & Schaling, E., 2010. "Managing disinflation under uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(12), pages 2568-2577, December.
    6. Castelnuovo Efrem, 2006. "The Fed's Preference for Policy Rate Smoothing: Overestimation Due to Misspecification?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-22, August.
    7. Bigio, Saki, 2010. "Learning under fear of floating," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(10), pages 1923-1950, October.
    8. Williams, Noah, 2012. "Monetary policy under financial uncertainty," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 449-465.
    9. Anna Florio, 2009. "Asymmetric Preferences For Interest Rate Variability And Non-Linear Monetary Policy Inertia," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 56(5), pages 685-704, November.
    10. Lars E. O. Svensson & Noah Williams, 2008. "Optimal monetary policy under uncertainty: a Markov jump-linear-quadratic approach," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 275-294.
    11. Sánchez, Marcelo, 2009. "Characterising the inflation targeting regime in South Korea," Working Paper Series 1004, European Central Bank.
    12. Tesfaselassie, Mewael F., 2008. "Central bank learning and monetary policy," Kiel Working Papers 1444, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Groth, Charlotta & Wheeler, Tracy, 2008. "The behaviour of the MPC: Gradualism, inaction and individual voting patterns," Discussion Papers 21, Monetary Policy Committee Unit, Bank of England.
    14. Goodhart Charles A.E., 2005. "The Monetary Policy Committee's Reaction Function: An Exercise in Estimation," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-42, August.
    15. Goodhart, Charles, 2004. "The Monetary Policy Committee's reaction function: an exercise in estimation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 24708, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    interest rate smoothing; learning; monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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