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Federal Reserve Private Information and the Behavior of Interest Rates

  • Christina D. Romer
  • David H. Romer

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w5692.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5692.

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Date of creation: Jul 1996
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Publication status: published as Romer, Christina D. and David H. Romer. "Federal Reserve Information And The Behavior Of Interest Rates," American Economic Review, 2000, v90(3,Jun), 429-457.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5692
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Scharfstein, David. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1988. "Herd behavior and investment," Working papers WP 2062-88., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  2. Robert B. Barsky, 1986. "The Fisher Hypothesis and the Forecastability and Persistence of Inflation," NBER Working Papers 1927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Matthew B. Canzoneri, 1983. "Monetary policy games and the role of private information," International Finance Discussion Papers 249, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  4. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  5. Barro, Robert J., 1976. "Rational expectations and the role of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 1-32, January.
  6. Ehrbeck, Tilman & Waldmann, Robert, 1996. "Why Are Professional Forecasters Biased? Agency versus Behavioral Explanations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(1), pages 21-40, February.
  7. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983. "Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. 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 714-35, September.
  10. 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 241-54, April.
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