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The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve

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  • N. Gregory Mankiw
  • Jeffrey A. Miron
  • David N. Weil

Abstract

The founding of the Federal Reserve System in 1914 led to a substantial change in the behavior of nominal interest rates. We examine the timing of this change and the speed with which it was effected. We then use data on the term structure of interest rates to determine how expectations responded. Our results indicate that the change in policy regime was rapid and that individuals quickly understood the new environment they were facing.

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  • N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron & David N. Weil, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," NBER Working Papers 2124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2124
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    1. Huizinga, John & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1986. "Monetary policy regime shifts and the unusual behavior of real interest rates," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 231-274, January.
    2. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Can the Fed Control Real Interest Rates?," NBER Chapters,in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 117-167 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Richard H. Clarida & Benjamin M. Friedman, 1983. "Why Have Short-Term Interest Rates Been So High?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 553-586.
    4. Holbert, Donald, 1982. "A Bayesian analysis of a switching linear model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 77-87, May.
    5. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-228.
    6. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(1), pages 173-224.
    7. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1984. "The Lucas Critique and the Volcker Deflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 211-215, May.
    8. Clark, Truman A, 1986. "Interest Rate Seasonals and the Federal Reserve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 76-125, February.
    9. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
    10. Friedman, Benjamin M., 1979. "Optimal expectations and the extreme information assumptions of `rational expectations' macromodels," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 23-41, January.
    11. Christopher A. Sims, 1982. "Policy Analysis with Econometric Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 107-164.
    12. Taylor, John B, 1975. "Monetary Policy during a Transition to Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(5), pages 1009-1021, October.
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