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Is the Fed too timid? Monetary policy in an uncertain world

  • Glenn D. Rudebusch

Estimates of the Taylor rule using historical data from the past decade or two suggest that monetary policy in the U.S. can be characterized as having reacted in a moderate fashion to output and inflation gaps. In contrast, the parameters of optimal Taylor rules derived using empirical models of the economy often recommend much more vigorous policy responses. This paper attempts to match the historical policy rule with an optimal policy rule by incorporating uncertainty into the derivation of the latter.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory with number 99-05.

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Date of creation: 1999
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfap:99-05
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  1. Eric Swanson, 2000. "On Signal Extraction and Non-Certainty-Equivalence in Optimal Monetary Policy Rules," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1085, Econometric Society.
  2. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: Some Extensions," NBER Working Papers 5962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Svensson, Lars E.O. & Rudebusch , Glenn, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," Seminar Papers 637, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  4. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C, 1997. "The (Un)Importance of Forward-Looking Behavior in Price Specifications," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(3), pages 338-50, August.
  6. Rudebusch, G.D., 1996. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," Papers 269, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  7. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Antulio N. Bomfim & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1997. "Opportunistic and deliberate disinflation under imperfect credibility," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 97-07, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense? A Reply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 943-48, November.
  10. Oliner, Stephen D. & Rudebusch, Glenn D. & Sichel, Daniel, 1996. "The Lucas critique revisited assessing the stability of empirical Euler equations for investment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 291-316, January.
  11. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  12. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1990. "Trends and random walks in macroeconomic time series: a re-examination," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 139, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1992. "The uncertain unit root in real GNP," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 193, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  15. Sharon Kozicki & Peter A. Tinsley, 1997. "Moving endpoints and the internal consistency of agents' ex ante forecasts," Research Working Paper 97-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  16. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 1999. "The Taylor Rule: A Useful Monetary Policy Benchmark for the Euro Area?," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 85-116, April.
  17. Evan F. Koenig, 1996. "Capacity utilization as a real-time predictor of manufacturing output," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q III, pages 16-23.
  18. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Kevin J. Lansing, 2002. "Learning about a shift in trend output: implications for monetary policy and inflation," Working Paper Series 2000-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  20. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Bennett T. McCallum, 1999. "Recent developments in the analysis of monetary policy rules," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 3-12.
  22. Sargent, Thomas J, 1971. "A Note on the 'Accelerationist' Controversy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 721-25, August.
  23. Fischer, Stanley & Cooper, J Phillip, 1973. "Stabilization Policy and Lags," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(4), pages 847-77, July-Aug..
  24. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  25. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  26. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1990. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 943, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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