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Describing the Fed's conduct with Taylor rules: is interest rate smoothing important?

  • Castelnuovo, Efrem

In this paper we estimate simple Taylor rules paying particular attention to interest rate smoothing. Following English, Nelson, and Sack (2002), we employ a model in first differences to gain some insights into the presence and significance of the degree of partial adjustment as opposed to a serially correlated policy shock. Moreover, we estimate a nested model to take into account both interest rate smoothing and serially correlated deviations from various Taylor rates prescriptions. Our findings suggest that the lagged interest rate enters the Taylor rule in its own right, and may very well coexist with (usually omitted) variables that relate to asymmetric preferences on the output gap, or financial market indicators. Therefore, while we cannot exclude that serially correlated policy shocks may play a role in describing the federal funds rate path, our results significantly support the importance of the lagged interest rate in Taylor-type models. JEL Classification: E4, E5

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0232.

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Date of creation: May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20030232
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  8. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1999. "Rethinking the Role of NAIRU in Monetary Policy: Implications of Model Formulation and Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 405-436 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Sharon Kozicki, 1999. "How useful are Taylor rules for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-33.
  13. Brian Sack & Volker Wieland, 1999. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-39, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Monetary Policy Shocks: What Have We Learned and to What End?," NBER Working Papers 6400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Surico, Paolo, 2003. "Measuring the time-inconsistency of US monetary policy," Working Paper Series 0291, European Central Bank.
  16. Efrem Castelnuovo & Paolo Surico, 2004. "Model Uncertainty, Optimal Monetary Policy and the Preferences of the Fed," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 51(1), pages 105-126, 02.
  17. Gerlach, Stefan & Schnabel, Gert, 1999. "The Taylor Rule and Interest Rates in the EMU Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 2271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, May.
  19. Domenech, Rafael & Ledo, Mayte & Taguas, David, 2002. "Some new results on interest rate rules in EMU and in the US," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 431-446.
  20. Alex Cukierman & Anton Muscatelli, 2001. "Do Central Banks have Precautionary Demands for Expansions and for Price Stability?," Working Papers 2002_4, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Mar 2002.
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  22. Cecchetti, Stephen G, 2000. "Making Monetary Policy: Objectives and Rules," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 16(4), pages 43-59, Winter.
  23. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2002. "Squeezing the Interest Rate Smoothing Weight with a Hybrid Expectations Model," Macroeconomics 0211006, EconWPA.
  24. Philip Lowe & Luci Ellis, 1997. "The Smoothing of Official Interest Rates," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Philip Lowe (ed.), Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
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