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Does the Term Spread play a role in the FED's reaction function? An Empirical Investigation

  • Vázquez Pérez, Jesús

Using US data for the period 1967:5-2002:4, this paper empirically investigates the performance of a Fed€ٳ reaction function (FRF) that (i) allows for the presence of switching regimes, (ii) considers the long-short term spread in addition to the typical variables, (iii) uses an alternative monthly indicator of general economic activity suggested by Stock and Watson (1999), and (iv) considers interest rate smoothing. The estimation results show the existence of three switching regimes, two characterized by low volatility and the remaining regime by high volatility. Moreover, the scale of the responses of the Federal funds rate to movements in the rate of inflation and the economic activity index depends on the regime. The estimation results also show robust empirical evidence that the importance of the term spread in the FRF has increased over the sample period and the FRF has been more stable during the term of office of Chairman Greenspan than in the pre-Greenspan period.

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Paper provided by University of the Basque Country - Department of Foundations of Economic Analysis II in its series DFAEII Working Papers with number 2004-02.

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Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehu:dfaeii:200402
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Order Information: Postal: Dpto. de Fundamentos del Análisis Económico II, = Facultad de CC. Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad del País Vasco, Avda. Lehendakari Aguirre 83, 48015 Bilbao, Spain

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  1. Arturo Estrella & Gikas A. Hardouvelis, 1989. "The term structure as a predictor of real economic activity," Research Paper 8907, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Dolado, Juan J. & Maria-Dolores, Ramon & Naveira, Manuel, 2005. "Are monetary-policy reaction functions asymmetric?: The role of nonlinearity in the Phillips curve," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 485-503, February.
  3. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  4. Giorgio Valente, 2003. "Monetary policy rules and regime shifts," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(7), pages 525-535.
  5. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2003. "Backward-Looking Interest-Rate Rules, Interest-Rate Smoothing, and Macroeconomic Instability," Departmental Working Papers 200304, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  6. Ait-Sahalia, Yacine, 1996. "Testing Continuous-Time Models of the Spot Interest Rate," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 9(2), pages 385-426.
  7. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 5797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Bec Frédérique & Ben Salem Mélika & Collard Fabrice, 2002. "Asymmetries in Monetary Policy Reaction Function: Evidence for U.S. French and German Central Banks," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(2), pages 1-22, July.
  9. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy: Expanded Version," NBER Technical Working Papers 0233, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Sims, Christopher A, 1998. "Comment on Glenn Rudebusch's "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?"," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 933-41, November.
  11. Estrella, Arturo & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1997. "The predictive power of the term structure of interest rates in Europe and the United States: Implications for the European Central Bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1375-1401, July.
  12. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Jess Benhabib & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 167-186, March.
  13. Bernanke, Ben S & Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Inflation Forecasts and Monetary Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(4), pages 653-84, November.
  14. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Rudebusch, G.D., 1996. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," Papers 269, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  16. Orphanides, Athanasios & Porter, Richard D. & Reifschneider, David & Tetlow, Robert & Finan, Frederico, 2000. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 117-141.
  17. Gerlach-Kristen Petra, 2004. "Interest-Rate Smoothing: Monetary Policy Inertia or Unobserved Variables?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, March.
  18. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert, 2002. "Short rate nonlinearities and regime switches," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 26(7-8), pages 1243-1274, July.
  19. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  20. Carey Kevin, 2001. "Testing for Stabilizing Monetary Policy Rules: How Robust to Alternative Specifications?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 1(1), pages 1-18, September.
  21. J. J. Dolado & R. Maria-Dolores & F. J. Ruge-Murcia, 2002. "Nonlinear Monetary Policy Rules: Some New Evidence For The Us," Economics Working Papers we022910, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  22. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  23. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Working Paper Series 2001-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  24. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:105:y:1990:i:3:p:815-28 is not listed on IDEAS
  25. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2000. "Forecasting inflation with a lot of data," Chicago Fed Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Mar.
  26. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1989. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," NBER Working Papers 3126, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2002. "Macroeconomic switching," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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