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Alternative Monetary Policy Rules: A Comparison with Historical Settings for the United States, the United Kingdom, and Japan

  • Bennett T. McCallum

This paper conducts counterfactual historical analysis of several monetary policy rules by contrasting actual settings of instrument variables with values that would have been specified by the rules in response to prevailing conditions. Of particular interest is whether major policy mistakes, judged ex post, would have been prevented by candidate rules. The rules studied include those of Taylor and McCallum, previously considered by Alison Stuart, plus several additional combinations of instrument and target variables. The time spans examined are 1962-1998 for the U.S. and U.K., and 1972-1998 for Japan. In addition to various substantive findings, the paper develops several methodological arguments. A surprising result is that rules' messages are evidently more dependent upon the specification of their instrument than their target variable.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w7725.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 7725.

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Date of creation: Jun 2000
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Publication status: published as Economic Quarterly - Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Vol. 86/1 (Winter 2000): pp. 49-79
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:7725
Note: EFG ME
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  1. McCallum, Bennett T. & Nelson, Edward, 1999. "Nominal income targeting in an open-economy optimizing model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 553-578, June.
  2. Sharon Kozicki, 1999. "How useful are Taylor rules for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q II, pages 5-33.
  3. Robert E. Hall & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Nominal Income Targeting," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 71-94 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert J. Hodrick & Edward Prescott, 1981. "Post-War U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Discussion Papers 451, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. 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.
  6. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," NBER Working Papers 6790, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1.
  9. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1999. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semiclassical Structural Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 15-56 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
  12. 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.
  13. Bennett T. McCallum, 1987. "The case for rules in the conduct of monetary policy: a concrete example," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Sep, pages 10-18.
  14. Meltzer, Allan H, 1987. "Limits of Short-run Stabilization Policy: Presidential Address to the Western Economic Association, July 3, 1986," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 1-14, January.
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