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Inflation targeting and private sector forecasts

Author

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  • Stephen G. Cecchetti
  • Craig S. Hakkio

Abstract

Transparency is one of the biggest innovations in central bank policy of the past quarter century. Modern central bankers believe that they should be as clear about their objectives and actions as possible. However, is greater transparency always beneficial? Recent work suggests that when private agents have diverse sources of information, public information can cause them to overreact to the signals from the central bank, leading the economy to be too sensitive to common forecast errors. Greater transparency could be destabilizing. While this theoretical result has clear intuitive appeal, it turns on a combination of assumptions and conditions, so it remains to be established that it is of empirical relevance. ; In this paper we study the degree to which increased information about monetary policy might lead to individuals coordinating their forecasts. Specifically, we estimate a series of simple models to measure the impact of inflation targeting on the dispersion of private sector forecasts of inflation. Using a panel data set that includes 15 countries over 20 years we find no convincing evidence that adopting an inflation targeting regime leads to a reduction in the dispersion of private sector forecasts of inflation. While for some specifications adoption of inflation target does seem to reduce the standard deviation of inflation forecasts, the impact is rarely precise and always small.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen G. Cecchetti & Craig S. Hakkio, 2010. "Inflation targeting and private sector forecasts," Research Working Paper RWP 10-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedkrw:rwp10-01
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Christopher F Baum, 2006. "An Introduction to Modern Econometrics using Stata," Stata Press books, StataCorp LP, number imeus, December.
    2. David H. Romer & Christina D. Romer, 2000. "Federal Reserve Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 429-457, June.
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    4. Levin, Andrew T. & Piger, Jeremy M. & Natalucci, Fabio M., 2004. "Explicit inflation objectives and macroeconomic outcomes," Working Paper Series 383, European Central Bank.
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    6. Edwin M. Truman, 2003. "Inflation Targeting in the World Economy," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 346.
    7. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
    8. Michael Woodford, 2005. "Central bank communication and policy effectiveness," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 399-474.
    9. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2005. "Central Bank Transparency and the Signal Value of Prices," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(2), pages 1-66.
    10. N. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Central Bank Transparency: Where, Why, and with What Effects?," NBER Working Papers 13003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Trabelsi, Emna, 2016. "Central bank transparency and the consensus forecast: What does The Economist poll of forecasters tell us?," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 338-359.
    2. Masazumi Hattori & Steven Kong & Frank Packer & Toshitaka Sekine, 2016. "The effects of a central bank's inflation forecasts on private sector forecasts: Recent evidence from Japan," BIS Working Papers 585, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. repec:fce:doctra:13-03 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Pierdzioch, Christian & Rülke, Jan-Christoph, 2013. "Do inflation targets anchor inflation expectations?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 214-223.
    5. Paul Hubert, 2015. "The Influence and Policy Signalling Role of FOMC Forecasts," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(5), pages 655-680, October.
    6. Jan Filáček & Branislav Saxa, 2012. "Central Bank Forecasts as a Coordination Device: Evidence from the Czech Republic," Czech Economic Review, Charles University Prague, Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Economic Studies, vol. 6(3), pages 244-264, October.
    7. Ardakani, Omid & Kishor, N. Kundan, 2014. "Examining the Success of the Central Banks in Inflation Targeting Countries: The Dynamics of Inflation Gap and the Institutional Characteristics," MPRA Paper 58402, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Creel, Jérôme & Hubert, Paul, 2015. "Has Inflation Targeting Changed The Conduct Of Monetary Policy?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(01), pages 1-21, January.
    9. Paul Hubert, 2015. "ECB Projections as a Tool for Understanding Policy Decisions," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(7), pages 574-587, November.
    10. repec:fce:doctra:13-04 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Paul Hubert, 2013. "ECB projections as a tool for understanding policy decisions," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2013-04, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    12. Michael Ehrmann & Sylvester Eijffinger & Marcel Fratzscher, 2012. "The Role of Central Bank Transparency for Guiding Private Sector Forecasts," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(3), pages 1018-1052, September.
    13. M. Middeldorp, 2011. "Central Bank Transparency, the Accuracy of Professional Forecasts, and Interest Rate Volatility," Working Papers 11-12, Utrecht School of Economics.
    14. Bloch, Laurence, 2012. "Product market regulation, trend inflation and inflation dynamics in the new Keynesian Phillips curve," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(5), pages 2058-2070.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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