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Estimating monetary policy reaction functions : A discrete choice approach

Listed author(s):
  • Jef Boeckx

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

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    I propose a discrete choice method for estimating monetary policy reaction functions based on research by Hu and Phillips (2004). This method distinguishes between determining the underlying desired rate which drives policy rate changes and actually implementing interest rate changes. The method is applied to ECB rate setting between 1999 and 2010 by estimating a forward-looking Taylor rule on a monthly basis using real-time data drawn from the Survey of Professional Forecasters. All parameters are estimated significantly and with the expected sign. Including the period of financial turmoil in the sample delivers a less aggressive policy rule as the ECB was constrained by the lower bound on nominal interest rates. The ECB's non-standard measures helped to circumvent that constraint on monetary policy, however. For the pre-turmoil sample, the discrete choice model's estimated desired policy rate is more aggressive and less gradual than least squares estimates of the same rule specification. This is explained by the fact that the discrete choice model takes account of the fact that central banks change interest rates by discrete amounts. An advantage of using discrete choice models is that probabilities are attached to the different outcomes of every interest rate setting meeting. These probabilities correlate fairly well with the probabilities derived from surveys among commercial bank economists.

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    File URL: https://www.nbb.be/doc/oc/repec/reswpp/wp210en.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bank of Belgium in its series Working Paper Research with number 210.

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    Length: 40 pages
    Date of creation: Feb 2011
    Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201102-210
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    1. Graciela Kaminsky & Saul Lizondo & Carmen M. Reinhart, 1998. "Leading Indicators of Currency Crises," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(1), pages 1-48, March.
    2. Phillips, Peter C.B. & Jin, Sainan & Hu, Ling, 2007. "Nonstationary discrete choice: A corrigendum and addendum," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1115-1130, December.
    3. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    4. Athanasios Orphanides, 2011. "Monetary Policy Lessons from the Crisis," Chapters,in: Handbook of Central Banking, Financial Regulation and Supervision, chapter 2 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    5. Jonathan H. Wright, 2009. "Forecasting US inflation by Bayesian model averaging," Journal of Forecasting, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 131-144.
    6. Michael J. Dueker, 1999. "Measuring monetary policy inertia in target Fed funds rate changes," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 3-10.
    7. Janko Gorter & Jan Jacobs & Jakob de Haan, 2008. "Taylor Rules for the ECB using Expectations Data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 110(3), pages 473-488, 09.
    8. Jamie Gascoigne & Paul Turner, 2004. "Asymmetries in Bank of England monetary policy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(10), pages 615-618.
    9. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2006. "Monetary Policy Inertia: Fact or Fiction?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.
    10. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2009. "Forecasting ECB monetary policy: Accuracy is a matter of geography," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(8), pages 1028-1041, November.
    11. Xavier Sala-I-Martin & Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller, 2004. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 813-835, September.
    12. Richard H. Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
    13. John S. Lapp & Douglas K. Pearce & Surachit Laksanasut, 2003. "The Predictability of FOMC Decisions: Evidence from the Volcker and Greenspan Chairmanships," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 70(2), pages 312-327, October.
    14. Dieter Gerdesmeier & Barbara Roffia, 2004. "Empirical Estimates of Reaction Functions for the Euro Area," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 140(I), pages 37-66, March.
    15. Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 861-886.
    16. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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