Is the ECB so special? A qualitative and quantitative analysis
This paper analyses the European Central Bank (ECB) monetary policy over the period 1999-2005, both from a qualitative and a quantitative perspective, and compares it with the Federal Reserve Bank. The qualitative approach builds on information conveyed by various speeches of the central bank officers, mainly the President of the ECB, Jean-Claude Trichet. The quantitative analysis provides several estimates of what could have been the ECB and Fed interest rate rules. It also develops a VAR model of both the Euro zone and the US economy so as to analyze dynamic effects of an interest rate shock. Both the qualitative and quantitative analyses point to the difficult task of the ECB, which must build credibility while managing monetary policy under major uncertainty about the structure of the new Euro area. They also suggest that, apart from the ECB’s credibility building, differences between the observed behaviour of the ECB and the Fed over the time period under investigation should be accounted for by differences in the economic outlook of the two areas, rather than in the goals of the central bankers.
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