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Operational Independence, Inflation Targeting and UK Monetary Policy

  • Alexander Mihailov

    ()

This paper recovers empirically and evaluates the feedback and stance of monetary policy in the United Kingdom throughout the inflation targeting period, implemented since October 1992. Its principal contribution is in comparing two subsamples, before the Bank of England was granted operational independence in May 1997 and after that. Our econometric approach is theoretically motivated by the New Keynesian model and relies on estimating forward-looking Taylor rules via the Generalized Method of Moments from quarterly data. Both final and real-time data, with alternative variable proxies and regression specifications, were used, to find that Taylor rules based on real-time data provide a more reasonable description of British monetary policy. Interestingly, the operational independence subperiod has differed from the pre-independence one - according to our real-time data set - in terms of a weaker response of the Bank of England to inflation but stronger sensitivity to the output gap and a less restrictive stance of monetary policy. Such a reaction would, first of all, characterize the Bank as a flexible inflation targeter, as should be expected by its legal mandate, and not a strict one; secondly, the asymmetry in the feedback function appears justified once the stage in the business cycle is also taken into consideration.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 602.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:602
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  1. Martin, Christopher & Costas Milas, 2002. "Modelling Monetary Policy: Inflation Targeting in Practice," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 137, Royal Economic Society.
  2. Muscatelli, V Anton & Tirelli, Patrizio & Trecroci, Carmine, 2002. "Does Institutional Change Really Matter? Inflation Targets, Central Bank Reform and Interest Rate Policy in the OECD Countries," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 487-527, Special I.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Nelson, Edward & Nikolov, Kalin, 2003. "UK inflation in the 1970s and 1980s: the role of output gap mismeasurement," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 353-370.
  5. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
  6. Nelson, Edward, 2001. "UK Monetary Policy 1972-97: A Guide Using Taylor Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2931, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Alexander Mihailov, 2005. "Has More Independence Affected Bank of England's Reaction Function under Inflation Targeting? Lessons from Taylor Rule Empirics," Economics Discussion Papers 601, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
  8. Henderson, Dale W. & McKibbin, Warwick J., 1993. "A comparison of some basic monetary policy regimes for open economies: implications of different degrees of instrument adjustment and wage persistence," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 221-317, December.
  9. M Kesriyeli & D R Osborn & M Sensier, 2004. "Nonlinearity and Structural Change in Interest Rate Reaction Functions for the US, UK and Germany," Centre for Growth and Business Cycle Research Discussion Paper Series 44, Economics, The Univeristy of Manchester.
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