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The effects of policy guidance on perceptions of the Fed’s reaction function

  • Katherine Femia
  • Steven Friedman
  • Brian Sack
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    In the past few years, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) has been using forward guidance about the federal funds rate in a more explicit way than ever before. This paper explores the market reaction to the forward guidance, with particular focus on the use of calendar dates and economic thresholds in the FOMC statement. The results show that market participants interpreted the FOMC’s policy guidance as conveying important information about the Committee’s policy reaction function. In particular, market participants came to expect the FOMC to wait for lower levels of unemployment for a given level of inflation before beginning to raise the target federal funds rate, thereby shifting to a more accommodative policy approach aimed at supporting the economic recovery.

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    Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 652.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:652
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    1. 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.
    2. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy in a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10840, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
    4. Ellen Correia Golay & Steven Friedman & Michael McMorrow, 2013. "Understanding the New York Fed's Survey of Primary Dealers," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 19(Aug).
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