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The forward guidance puzzle

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With short-term interest rates at the zero lower bound, forward guidance has become a key tool for central bankers, and yet we know little about its effectiveness. This paper first empirically documents the impact of forward guidance announcements on a broad cross section of financial markets data and professional forecasts. We find that Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) announcements containing forward guidance had heterogeneous effects depending on the other content of the statement. We show that once we control for these other elements, forward guidance had, on average, positive and meaningful effects on output and inflation expectations. Using this benchmark, we then show that standard medium-scale DSGE models tend to grossly overestimate the impact of forward guidance on the macroeconomy, a phenomenon we call the ?forward guidance puzzle.? We explain why this is the case and show that incorporating a perpetual youth structure into the benchmark provides a possible resolution to the puzzle.

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  • Marco Del Negro & Marc Giannoni & Christina Patterson, 2012. "The forward guidance puzzle," Staff Reports 574, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:574
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    1. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
    2. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148, Elsevier.
    3. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393, Elsevier.
    4. Del Negro, Marco & Schorfheide, Frank & Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2007. "On the Fit of New Keynesian Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 123-143, April.
    5. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
    6. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
    7. 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.
    8. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2014. "The Signaling Channel for Federal Reserve Bond Purchases," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(3), pages 233-289, September.
    9. J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), 1999. "Handbook of Macroeconomics," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1, December.
    10. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 43(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
    11. Rochelle M. Edge & Refet S. Gurkaynak, 2010. "How Useful Are Estimated DSGE Model Forecasts for Central Bankers?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(2 (Fall)), pages 209-259.
    12. Andrew Filardo & Boris Hofmann, 2014. "Forward guidance at the zero lower bound," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, March.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    unconventional monetary policies; forward guidance; DSGE models; perpetual youth models;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • C54 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Quantitative Policy Modeling
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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