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Uncertainty, learning, and gradual monetary policy

  • Brian P. Sack
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    The value of a vast array of financial assets are functions of rates or prices determined in OTC, interbank, or other off-exchange markets. In order to price such derivative assets, underlying rate and price indexes are routinely sampled and estimated. To guard against misreporting, whether unintentional or for market manipulation, many standard contracts utilize a technique known as trimmed-means. This paper points out that this polling problem falls within the statistical framework of robust estimation. Intuitive criteria for choosing among robust valuation procedures are discussed. In particular, the approach taken is to minimize the worst-case scenario arising from a false report. The finite sample performance of the procedures that qualify, the trimmed-mean and the Huber-estimator, are examined in a set of simulation experiments.

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    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 1998-34.

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    Date of creation: 1998
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:1998-34
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    1. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    3. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
    4. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1991. "Interest rates and the conduct of monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 7-30, January.
    5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 1988. "Interest-Rate Smoothing," NBER Working Papers 2581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Marvin Goodfriend, 1987. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Working Paper 87-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    8. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1990. "Should The Fed Smooth Interest Rates? The Case of Seasonal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 3388, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Alan S. Blinder, 1999. "Central Banking in Theory and Practice," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522608, June.
    10. John C. Williams, 1999. "Simple rules for monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-12, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Bertocchi, Graziella & Spagat, Michael, 1991. "Learning, Experimentation and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 1991018, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    12. Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/05, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    13. 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.
    14. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    15. Alex Cukierman, 1989. "Why does the Fed smooth interest rates?," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, pages 111-157.
    16. repec:oup:restud:v:61:y:1994:i:4:p:721-38 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1996. "Monetary Policy as a Process of Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 689-702, September.
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