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Can VAR's describe monetary policy?

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  • Charles L. Evans
  • Kenneth N. Kuttner

Abstract

Recent research has questioned the usefulness of Vector Autoregression (VAR) models as a description of monetary policy, especially in light of the low correlation between forecast errors from VARs and those derived from Fed funds futures rates. This paper presents three findings on VARs' ability to describe monetary policy. First, the correlation between forecasts errors is a misleading measure of how closely the VAR forecast mimics the futures market's. In particular, the low correlation is partly due to a week positive correlation between the VAR forecasts and the futures market errors. Second, Fed funds rate forecasts from common VAR specifications do tend to be noisy, but this can be remedied by estimating more parsimonious models on post-1982 data. Third, time aggregation problems caused by the structure of the Fed funds futures market can distort the timing and magnitude of shocks derived from futures rates, and complicate comparisons with VAR-based forecasts.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles L. Evans & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1998. "Can VAR's describe monetary policy?," Working Paper Series WP-98-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-98-19
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    Cited by:

    1. Kwamie Dunbar, 2008. "The Impact of the FOMC's Monetary Policy Actions on the growth of Credit Risk: the Monetary Policy - Liquidity Paradox," Working papers 2008-05, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    2. Ben S. Bernanke & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2005. "What Explains the Stock Market's Reaction to Federal Reserve Policy?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(3), pages 1221-1257, June.
    3. Robertson, John C & Tallman, Ellis W & Whiteman, Charles H, 2005. "Forecasting Using Relative Entropy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(3), pages 383-401, June.
    4. Paul R. Bergin & Òscar Jordà, 2017. "Measuring Monetary Policy Interdependence," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Macroeconomic Interdependence, chapter 14, pages 387-415 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
    6. David Mayes & Matti Virén, 2000. "The exchange rate and monetary conditions in the Euro area," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 136(2), pages 199-231, June.
    7. Kjellberg, David, 2006. "Measuring Expectations," Working Paper Series 2006:9, Uppsala University, Department of Economics.
    8. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Predicting monetary policy using federal funds future prices," Working Paper Series 85, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
    9. Grammig, Joachim & Kehrle, Kerstin, 2008. "A new marked point process model for the federal funds rate target: Methodology and forecast evaluation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 2370-2396, July.
    10. 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 324-330, July.
    11. Gupta, Abhay, 2004. "Comparing Bank Lending Channel in India and Pakistan," MPRA Paper 9281, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    12. Pavel Vidal & Gilberto Ramírez & Lya Paola Sierra, 2018. "¿Por qué el Valle del Cauca ha crecido más que el promedio nacional? Un análisis regional de los ciclos y los choques económicos," Working Papers 33, Faculty of Economics and Management, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana Cali.
    13. Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Real-time Taylor rules and the federal funds futures market," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 44-55.
    14. Carlos A. Rodríguez Ramos, 2003. "The P* model as a general identity to analyze and forecast the behavior of the inflation rate in the economy of Puerto Rico," Econometrics 0302002, EconWPA.
    15. Lee, Jim, 2006. "The impact of federal funds target changes on interest rate volatility," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 241-259.
    16. González, Fernando & Launonen, Simo, 2005. "Towards European monetary integration: the evolution of currency risk premium as a measure for monetary convergence prior to the implementation of currency unions," Working Paper Series 569, European Central Bank.
    17. Aaron Drew & Ben Hunt, 1998. "The Forecasting and Policy System: stochastic simulations of the core model," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G98/6, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    18. Jean Boivin & Marc Giannoni, 2002. "Assessing changes in the monetary transmission mechanism: a VAR approach," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 97-111.
    19. Farka, Mira & DaSilva, Amadeu, 2011. "The fed and the term structure: Addressing simultaneity within a structural VAR model," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 935-952.
    20. Jelena Zubkova & Egils Kauzens & Ivars Tillers & Martins Prusis, 2002. "Financial Market in Latvia," Working Papers 2002/02, Latvijas Banka.

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