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Should We Be Puzzled by Forward Guidance?

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  • Brent Bundick
  • Andrew Lee Smith

Abstract

Although a growing literature argues output is too sensitive to future interest rates in standard macroeconomic models, little empirical evidence has been put forth to evaluate this claim. In this paper, we use a range of vector autoregression models to answer the central question of how much output responds to changes in interest rate expectations following a monetary policy shock. Despite distinct identification strategies and sample periods, we find surprising agreement regarding this elasticity across empirical models. We then show that in a standard model of nominal rigidity estimated using impulse response matching, forward guidance shocks produce an elasticity of output with respect to expected interest rates similar to our empirical estimates. Our results suggest that standard macroeconomic models do not overstate the observed sensitivity of output to expected interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Brent Bundick & Andrew Lee Smith, 2020. "Should We Be Puzzled by Forward Guidance?," Research Working Paper RWP 20-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:87883
    DOI: 10.18651/RWP2020-01
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    File URL: https://www.kansascityfed.org/documents/4285/Should_We_Be_Puzzled_by_Forward_Guidance.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    3. Peter N. Ireland, 2011. "A New Keynesian Perspective on the Great Recession," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(1), pages 31-54, February.
    4. Refet S Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
    5. Ang, Andrew & Piazzesi, Monika, 2003. "A no-arbitrage vector autoregression of term structure dynamics with macroeconomic and latent variables," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 745-787, May.
    6. 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.
    7. Barakchian, S. Mahdi & Crowe, Christopher, 2013. "Monetary policy matters: Evidence from new shocks data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(8), pages 950-966.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gerke, Rafael & Giesen, Sebastian & Kienzler, Daniel, 2020. "Interest rate pegs and the reversal puzzle: On the role of anticipation," Discussion Papers 50/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forward Guidance; Monetary Policy Shocks; Zero Lower Bound; Impulse Response Matching;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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