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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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    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. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Shields, KalvInder & Kevin B Grier & Olan T Henry & Nilss Olekalns, 2003. "The Asymmetric Effects of Uncertainty on Inflation and Output Growth," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2003 187, Royal Economic Society.
    3. Evans, George & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2008. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," SIRE Discussion Papers 2008-03, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
    9. Athanasios Orphanides, 2003. "Historical monetary policy analysis and the Taylor rule," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-36, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. 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.
    11. Fountas, Stilianos & Karanasos,Menelaos, 2001. "Inflation and Output Growth Uncertainty and their Relationship with Inflation and Output Growth," Working Papers 0053, National University of Ireland Galway, Department of Economics, revised 2001.
    12. Slobodyan, Sergey & Wouters, Raf, 2012. "Learning in an estimated medium-scale DSGE model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 26-46.
    13. Fountas, Stilianos & Karanasos, Menelaos, 2007. "Inflation, output growth, and nominal and real uncertainty: Empirical evidence for the G7," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 229-250, March.
    14. Kevin B. Grier & Mark J. Perry, 2000. "The effects of real and nominal uncertainty on inflation and output growth: some garch-m evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 45-58.
    15. 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.
    16. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2004. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Efficient? A Cross Country Analysis," NBER Working Papers 10973, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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