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The timing of central bank communication

  • Ehrmann, Michael
  • Fratzscher, Marcel

This paper explores whether there are systematic patterns as to when members of the decision-making committees of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank communicate with the public, and under what circumstances such communication has the ability to move financial markets. The findings suggest that communication is generally seen as a tool to prepare markets for upcoming decisions, as it becomes more intense before committee meetings, and particularly so prior to interest rate changes. At the same time, markets react more strongly to communication prior to policy changes. Other instances where communication becomes more intense, or where financial markets become more responsive are also identified; even though these are more specific to the individual central banks, they are consistent with differences in the central banks’ monetary policy strategies and communication policies. JEL Classification: E43, E52, E58, G12

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0565.

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Date of creation: Dec 2005
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20050565
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  1. Daniel Kahneman, 2003. "Maps of Bounded Rationality: Psychology for Behavioral Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1449-1475, December.
  2. Reeves, Rachel & Sawicki, Michael, 2007. "Do financial markets react to Bank of England communication?," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 207-227, March.
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  4. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Hoeberichts, M.M. & Tesfaselassie, M.F., 2009. "Central bank communication and output stabilization," Other publications TiSEM ea078ea2-6ec7-461f-9545-6, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
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  7. Otmar Issing, 2005. "Communication, transparency, accountability: monetary policy in the twenty-first century," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 65-83.
  8. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "Communication and decision-making by central bank committees: different strategies, same effectiveness?," Working Paper Series 0488, European Central Bank.
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  11. Demiralp, Selva & Jorda, Oscar, 2004. "The Response of Term Rates to Fed Announcements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(3), pages 387-405, June.
  12. Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "The Fed and short-term rates: Is it open market operations, open mouth operations or interest rate smoothing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 475-498, March.
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  15. Heinemann, Friedrich & Ullrich, Katrin, 2005. "Does it Pay to Watch Central Bankers' Lips? The Information Content of ECB Wording," ZEW Discussion Papers 05-70, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  16. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2005. "Transparency, disclosure and the federal reserve," Working Paper Series 0457, European Central Bank.
  17. Gerlach, Stefan, 2004. "Interest Rate Setting by the ECB: Words and Deeds," CEPR Discussion Papers 4775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
  19. Berger, Helge & de Haan, Jakob & Sturm, Jan-Egbert, 2006. "Does money matter in the ECB strategy? New evidence based on ECB communication," Discussion Papers 2006/1, Free University Berlin, School of Business & Economics.
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