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The central bank as a risk manager: quantifying and forecasting inflation risks

  • Kilian, Lutz
  • Manganelli, Simone

In deciding the monetary policy stance, central bankers need to evaluate carefully the risks the current economic situation poses to price stability. We propose to regard the central banker as a risk manager who aims to contain inflation within pre-specified bounds. We develop formal tools of risk management that may be used to quantify and forecast the risks of failing to attain that objective. We illustrate the use of these risk measures in practice. First, we show how to construct genuine real time forecasts of year-on-year risks that may be used in policy-making. We demonstrate the usefulness of these risk forecasts in understanding the Fed's decision to tighten monetary policy in 1984, 1988, and 1994. Second, we forecast the risks of worldwide deflation for horizons of up to two years. Although recently fears of worldwide deflation have increased, we find that, as of September 2002, with the exception of Japan there is no evidence of substantial deflation risks. We also put the estimates of deflation risk for the United States, Germany and Japan into historical perspective. We find that only for Japan there is evidence of deflation risks that are unusually high by historical standards. JEL Classification: E31, E37, E52, E58, C22

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0226.

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Date of creation: Apr 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030226
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  1. Williams, John C. & Levin, Andrew T. & Wieland, Volker, 2001. "The performance of forecast-based monetary policy rules under model uncertainty," Working Paper Series 0068, European Central Bank.
  2. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Inflation zone targeting," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1351-1387, June.
  3. Inoue, Atsushi & Kilian, Lutz, 2003. "On the Selection of Forecasting Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 3809, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2002. "Inflation targeting: Should it be modeled as an instrument rule or a targeting rule?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 771-780, May.
  5. Basak, Suleyman & Shapiro, Alexander, 2001. "Value-at-Risk-Based Risk Management: Optimal Policies and Asset Prices," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(2), pages 371-405.
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  7. Christina D. Romer and David H. Romer., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Economics Working Papers 89-107, University of California at Berkeley.
  8. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  9. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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  14. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
  15. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2004. "Monetary Policy Rules, Macroeconomic Stability, and Inflation: A View from the Trenches," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 151-75, April.
  16. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  17. Athanasios Orphanides, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1994. "Monetary policy matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 75-88, August.
  19. Fishburn, Peter C, 1977. "Mean-Risk Analysis with Risk Associated with Below-Target Returns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 116-26, March.
  20. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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