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Dynamics of Monetary Policy Uncertainty and the Impact on the Macroeconomy

  • Herro, Nicholas
  • Murray, James
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    A large literature lauds the benefits of central bank transparency and credibility, but when a central bank like the U.S. Federal Reserve has a dual mandate, is not specific to the extent it targets employment versus price stability, and is not specific to the magnitude interest rates should change in response to these targets, market participants must depend largely on past data to form expectations about monetary policy. We suppose market participants estimate a Taylor-like regression equation to understand the conduct of monetary policy, which likely guides their short-run and long-run expectations. When the Federal Reserve's actions deviate from its historical targets for macroeconomic variables, an environment of greater uncertainty may be the result. We quantify this degree of uncertainty by measuring and aggregating recent deviations of the federal funds rate from econometric forecasts predicted by constant gain learning. We incorporate this measure of uncertainty into a VAR model with ARCH shocks to measure the effect monetary policy uncertainty has on inflation, output growth, unemployment, and the volatility of these variables. We find that a higher degree of uncertainty regarding monetary policy is associated with greater volatility of output growth and unemployment.

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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/30387/1/MPRA_paper_30387.pdf
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    Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 30387.

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    Date of creation: 19 Apr 2011
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    Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:30387
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    1. Katerina Smídková & Viktor Kotlán & David Navrátil & Ales Bulir, 2008. "Inflation Targeting and Communication; It Pays off to Read Inflation Reports," IMF Working Papers 08/234, International Monetary Fund.
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    3. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    8. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility?: An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 9, pages 247-274 Central Bank of Chile.
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    10. Stilianos Fountas & Menelaos Karanasos & Jinki Kim, 2006. "Inflation Uncertainty, Output Growth Uncertainty and Macroeconomic Performance," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 68(3), pages 319-343, 06.
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    13. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Stefan Krause, 2002. "Central bank structure, policy efficiency, and macroeconomic performance: exploring empirical relationships," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 47-60.
    14. 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.
    15. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy become more Efficient? a Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 408-433, 04.
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