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Estimating monetary policy reaction functions : A discrete choice approach

  • Jef Boeckx

    ()

    (National Bank of Belgium, Research Department)

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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbb:reswpp:201102-210
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  1. Richard H. Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2006. "Monetary Policy Inertia: Fact or Fiction?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 2(4), December.
  5. Peter C.B. Phillips & Sainan Jin & Ling Hu, 2005. "Nonstationary Discrete Choice: A Corrigendum and Addendum," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1516, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  6. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2010. "Monetary Policy Lessons from the Crisis," CEPR Discussion Papers 7891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," NBER Working Papers 7750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 861-886.
  10. Gerdesmeier, Dieter & Roffia, Barbara, 2003. "Empirical estimates of reaction functions for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0206, European Central Bank.
  11. 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.
  12. Jonathan H. Wright, 2003. "Forecasting U.S. inflation by Bayesian Model Averaging," International Finance Discussion Papers 780, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Jamie Gascoigne & Paul Turner, 2004. "Asymmetries in Bank of England monetary policy," Applied Economics Letters, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(10), pages 615-618.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  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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