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Do inflation targeting central banks behave asymmetrically? Evidence from Australia and New Zealand

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Abstract

This paper tests the standard quadratic approximation to central bank preferences on data from Australia and New Zealand, two of the earliest explicit inflation targeting countries. The standard linear-quadratic monetary policy model assumes central bank preferences over key macroeconomic variables, such as inflation and output, can be usefully approximated by a quadratic function. This approximation implies that a deviation from a target is considered to be equally costly irrespective of whether the deviation is positive or negative. Combined with a linear model of the economy, quadratic preferences are useful because they yield a first order condition that implies a linear interest rate reaction function. This paper relaxes the assumption of quadratic preferences by allowing central banks to regard the costs associated with positive and negative output gaps differently. Our models also test for the possibility that positive and negative deviations of inflation from target to be treated differently. During the inflation targeting period in both countries, evidence suggests that we cannot reject quadratic preferences over inflation deviations (from target). We cannot reject that New Zealand's preferences regarding deviations of output from trend are quadratic, but Australia's behaviour does not appear to be consistent with quadratic preferences. Instead, the preferences of the Reserve Bank of Australia appear to be more accurately modelled with an asymmetric loss such that the Reserve Bank of Australia views negative output gaps as more costly than positive output gaps.

Suggested Citation

  • Özer Karagedikli & Kirdan Lees, 2004. "Do inflation targeting central banks behave asymmetrically? Evidence from Australia and New Zealand," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP 2004/02, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  • Handle: RePEc:nzb:nzbdps:2004/02
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    Cited by:

    1. Fabián Gredig, 2007. "Asymmetric Monetary Policy Rules and the Achievement of the Inflation Target: The Case of Chile," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 451, Central Bank of Chile.
    2. Yosra Baaziz, 2015. "Estimating Interest Rate Setting Behavior in Brazil: A LSTR Model Approach," Economies, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(2), pages 1-17, April.
    3. Cinzia Alcidi & Alessandro Flamini & Andrea Fracasso, 2011. "Policy Regime Changes, Judgment and Taylor rules in the Greenspan Era," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 78(309), pages 89-107, January.
    4. Doyle, Matthew & Falk, Barry, 2010. "Do asymmetric central bank preferences help explain observed inflation outcomes?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, pages 527-540.
    5. Alvaro Aguiar & Manuel Martins, 2008. "Testing for asymmetries in the preferences of the euro-area monetary policymaker," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(13), pages 1651-1667.
    6. Shawn Chen-Yu Leu & Jeffrey Sheen, 2006. "Asymmetric Monetary Policy in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 85-96, September.
    7. Philip Liu, 2004. "Improving implementation of inflation targeting in New Zealand: an investigation of the Reserve Bank's inflation errors," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series DP 2004/06, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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