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Federal Reserve Private Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates

Author

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  • Christina D. Romer
  • David H. Romer

Abstract

Many authors argue that asymmetric information between the Federal Reserve and the public is important to the conduct and the effects of monetary policy. This paper tests for the existence of such asymmetric information by examining Federal Reserve and commercial inflation forecasts. We demonstrate that the Federal Reserve has considerable information about inflation beyond what is known to commercial forecasters. We also provide evidence that monetary policy actions provide signals of the Federal Reserve's private information and that commercial forecasters modify their forecasts in response to those signals. These findings may explain why long-term interest rates typically rise in response to shifts to tighter monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1996. "Federal Reserve Private Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 5692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5692 Note: EFG ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Canzoneri, Matthew B, 1985. "Monetary Policy Games and the Role of Private Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(5), pages 1056-1070, December.
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    3. Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H, 1986. "A Theory of Ambiguity, Credibility, and Inflation under Discretion and Asymmetric Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(5), pages 1099-1128, September.
    4. Barsky, Robert B., 1987. "The Fisher hypothesis and the forecastability and persistence of inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 3-24, January.
    5. Keane, Michael P & Runkle, David E, 1990. "Testing the Rationality of Price Forecasts: New Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 714-735, September.
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    7. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-254, April.
    8. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Marvin J. Barth III & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "The Cost Channel of Monetary Transmission," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 199-256 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    3. Reifschneider, David L. & Stockton, David J. & Wilcox, David W., 1997. "Econometric models and the monetary policy process," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-37, December.
    4. Bharat Barot, 2004. "How accurate are the Swedish forecasters on GDB-Growth, CPI-inflation and unemployment? (1993 - 2001)," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 47(2), pages 249-278.
    5. Geraats, Petra M., 2000. "Why Adopt Transparency? The Publication of Central Bank Forecasts," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0hw7h7cp, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
    6. Kevin L. Kliesen & Frank A. Schmid, 2004. "Do productivity growth, budget deficits, and monetary policy actions affect real interest rates? evidence from macroeconomic announcement data," Working Papers 2004-019, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Artis, Michael J & Mizen, Paul & Kontolemis, Zenon, 1998. "Inflation Targeting: What Can the ECB Learn from the Recent Experience of the Bank of England?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(451), pages 1810-1825, November.
    8. Peek, Joe & Rosengren, Eric S. & Tootell, Geoffrey M. B., 2003. "Does the federal reserve possess an exploitable informational advantage?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(4), pages 817-839, May.
    9. Helge Berger & Marcel Thum, 2000. "News Management in Monetary Policy: When Central Banks Should Talk to the Government," German Economic Review, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 1(4), pages 465-493, November.
    10. Thorbecke, Willem, 2000. "Monetary Policy, Time-Varying Risk, and the Bond Market Debacle of 1994," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 159-174, January.
    11. Andrew G Haldane & Vicky Read, 2000. "Monetary policy surprises and the yield curve," Bank of England working papers 106, Bank of England.
    12. Siviero, S. & Terlizzese, D. & Visco, I., 1999. "Are Model-Based Inflation Forecasts Used in Monetary Policymaking? A Case Study," Papers 357, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
    13. Alan S. Blinder, 1997. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: What Central Bankers Could Learn from Academics--And Vice Versa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 3-19, Spring.
    14. Tootell, Geoffrey M. B., 1999. "Whose monetary policy is it anyway?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 217-235, February.
    15. Reckwerth, Jürgen, 1997. "Der Zusammenhang zwischen Inflation und Output in Deutschland unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Inflationserwartungen," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 1997,05, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    16. Johnson, Robert R. & Buetow, Gerald W. & Jensen, Gerald R. & Reilly, Frank K., 2003. "Monetary policy and fixed income returns," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 133-146.
    17. Andrew G Haldane, 1997. "Designing Inflation Targets," RBA Annual Conference Volume,in: Philip Lowe (ed.), Monetary Policy and Inflation Targeting Reserve Bank of Australia.
    18. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1998. "Does the Federal Reserve have an informational advantage? you can bank on it," Working Papers 98-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    19. Joe Peek & Eric S. Rosengren & Geoffrey M. B. Tootell, 1997. "Is banking supervision central to central banking?," Working Papers 97-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design

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