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First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics

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  • Hansen, Stephen
  • McMahon, Michael

Abstract

We provide the first direct empirical support for the relevance of signalling in monetary policy. In our dynamic model, central bankers make policy under uncertain inflationary conditions and place different weights on output fluctuations. Signalling leads all bankers to be tougher on inflation initially, but to become less tough with experience. This evolution is more pronounced for members who weight output more ("doves"), which provides an additional test of our model. We structurally estimate the model using Bank of England data and confirm both predictions. Signalling increases the probability new members vote for high interest rates by up to 35%.

Suggested Citation

  • Hansen, Stephen & McMahon, Michael, 2013. "First Impressions Matter: Signalling as a Source of Policy Dynamics," CEPR Discussion Papers 9607, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:9607
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policy-Makers' Beliefs and U. S. Postwar Stabilization Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 867-901.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Neuenkirch, Matthias & Tillmann, Peter, 2014. "Superstar Central Bankers," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100489, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Riboni, Alessandro & Ruge-Murcia, Francisco, 2014. "Dissent in monetary policy decisions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C), pages 137-154.
    3. Carlos Carvalho & Tiago Fl´orido & Eduardo Zilberman, "undated". "Transitions in Central Bank Leadership," Textos para discussão 657, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    4. Malmendier, Ulrike M. & Nagel, Stefan & Yan, Zhen, 2017. "The Making of Hawks and Doves: Inflation Experiences on the FOMC," CEPR Discussion Papers 11902, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. repec:eee:wdevel:v:106:y:2018:i:c:p:40-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Matthias Neuenkirch & Peter Tillmann, 2016. "Does A Good Central Banker Make A Difference?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(3), pages 1541-1560, July.
    7. Matthias Neuenkirch & Florian Neumeier, 2015. "Party affiliation rather than former occupation: the background of central bank governors and its effect on monetary policy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(17), pages 1424-1429, November.
    8. Matthias Neuenkirch, 2015. "Establishing a hawkish reputation: interest rate setting by newly appointed central bank governors," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 22(5), pages 391-396, March.
    9. Hansen, Stephen & McMahon, Michael & Velasco Rivera, Carlos, 2014. "Preferences or private assessments on a monetary policy committee?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 16-32.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    committees; monetary policy; signalling;

    JEL classification:

    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • 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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