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Transparency, expectations, and forecasts

  • Bauer, Andrew
  • Eisenbeis, Robert
  • Waggoner, Daniel
  • Zha, Tao

In 1994 the FOMC began to release statements after each meeting. This paper investigates whether the public’s views about the current path of the economy and of future policy have been affected by changes in the Federal Reserve’s communications policy as reflected in private sector’s forecasts of future economic conditions and policy moves. In particular, has the ability of private agents to predict where the economy is going improved since 1994? If so, on which dimensions has the ability to forecast improved? We find evidence that the individuals’ forecasts have been more synchronized since 1994, implying the possible effects of the FOMC’s transparency. On the other hand, we find little evidence that the common forecast errors, which are the driving force of overall forecast errors, have become smaller since 1994. JEL Classification: E59, C33

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0637.

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Date of creation: Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20060637
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  1. Robertson, John C & Tallman, Ellis W, 2001. "Improving Federal-Funds Rate Forecasts in VAR Models Used for Policy Analysis," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(3), pages 324-30, July.
  2. Robert Eisenbeis & Daniel Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2002. "Evaluating Wall Street Journal survey forecasters: a multivariate approach," Working Paper 2002-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Donald L. Kohn & Brian P. Sack, 2003. "Central bank talk: does it matter and why?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-55, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. John C. Robertson & Ellis W. Tallman, 1999. "Vector autoregressions: forecasting and reality," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q1, pages 4-18.
  6. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the business cycle changed?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 9-56.
  7. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central Bank Communication and Policy Effectiveness," NBER Working Papers 11898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Andy Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2003. "Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q2, pages 17-31.
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