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Central bank transparency, the accuracy of professional forecasts, and interest rate volatility

  • Menno Middeldorp

Central banks worldwide have become more transparent. An important reason is that democratic societies expect more openness from public institutions. Policymakers also see transparency as a way to improve the predictability of monetary policy, thereby lowering interest rate volatility and contributing to economic stability. Most empirical studies support this view. However, there are three reasons why more research is needed. First, some (mostly theoretical) work suggests that transparency has an adverse effect on predictability. Second, empirical studies have mostly focused on average predictability before and after specific reforms in a small set of advanced economies. Third, less is known about the effect on interest rate volatility. To extend the literature, I use the Dincer and Eichengreen (2007) transparency index for twenty-four economies of varying income and examine the impact of transparency on both predictability and market volatility. I find that higher transparency improves the accuracy of interest rate forecasts for three months ahead and reduces rate volatility.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 496.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:496
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  1. Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Transparency, expectations and forecasts," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 1-25.
  2. Menno Middeldorp, 2011. "FOMC communication policy and the accuracy of Fed Funds futures," Staff Reports 491, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Eijffinger, S.C.W. & Geraats, P.M., 2004. "How Transparent Are Central Banks?," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0411, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2006. "Monetary Policy Transparency in the UK:The Impact of Independence and Inflation Targeting," Working Papers 0601, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  6. van der Cruijsen, C.A.B. & Eijffinger, S.C.W., 2007. "The Economic Impact of Central Bank Transparency : A Survey," Discussion Paper 2007-06, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Christopher Crowe & Ellen E. Meade, 2007. "Central Bank Independence and Transparency: Evolution and Effectiveness," Working Papers 2007-20, American University, Department of Economics.
  8. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2009. "Does Central Bank Communication really Lead to better Forecasts of Policy Decisions? New Evidence Based on a Taylor Rule Model for the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 2760, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Craig Hakkio, 2009. "Inflation targeting and private sector forecasts," NBER Working Papers 15424, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
  11. Monika Piazzesi & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Futures Prices as Risk-adjusted Forecasts of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2007. "Social value of public information: testing the limits to transparency," Working Paper Series 0821, European Central Bank.
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  14. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob De Haan, 2009. "Has ECB communication been helpful in predicting interest rate decisions? An evaluation of the early years of the Economic and Monetary Union," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(16), pages 1995-2003.
  15. Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2004. "Monetary Policy Transparency:Lessons from Germany and the Eurozone," Working Papers 0410, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  16. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "Forecasting ECB monetary policy: accuracy is (still) a matter of geography," Working Paper Series 0578, European Central Bank.
  17. repec:ner:tilbur:urn:nbn:nl:ui:12-172467 is not listed on IDEAS
  18. Jonathan Coppel & Ellis Connolly, 2003. "What Do Financial Market Data Tell Us about Monetary Policy Transparency?," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2003-05, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  19. M. Middeldorp & S. Rosenkranz, 2008. "Central bank communication and crowding out of private information in an experimental asset market," Working Papers 08-26, Utrecht School of Economics.
  20. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  21. 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, 09.
  22. 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.
  23. Maria Demertzis & Marco Hoeberichts, 2007. "The Costs of Increasing Transparency," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 263-280, July.
  24. Mizen, Paul, 2009. "What can we learn from central bankers' words? Some nonparametric tests for the ECB," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 29-32, April.
  25. Maria Demertzis & Marco Hoeberichts, 2006. "The Costs of Increasing Transparency," DNB Working Papers 080, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  26. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  27. Clemens Kool & Menno Middeldorp & Stephanie Rosenkranz, 2011. "Central Bank Transparency and the Crowding Out of Private Information in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(4), pages 765-774, 06.
  28. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
  29. repec:dgr:kubcen:200706 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. John B. Carlson & Ben Craig & Patrick Higgins & William R. Melick, 2006. "FOMC communications and the predictability of near-term policy decisions," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jun.
  31. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  32. 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.
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