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Learning and the effectiveness of central bank forward guidance

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  • Cole, Stephen

Abstract

The unconventional monetary policy of forward guidance operates through the management of expectations about future paths of interest rates. This paper examines the link between expectations formation and the effectiveness of forward guidance. A standard New Keynesian model is extended to include forward guidance shocks in the monetary policy rule. Agents form expectations about future macroeconomic variables via either the standard rational expectations hypothesis or a more plausible theory of expectations formation called adaptive learning. The results show the efficacy of forward guidance depends on the manner in which agents form their expectations. In response to forward guidance, the paths of the output gap and inflation under adaptive learning overshoot and undershoot those implied by rational expectations. The adaptive learning impulse responses of the endogenous variables to a forward guidance shock exhibit more persistence before and after the forward guidance shock has been realized upon the economy. During an economic crisis (e.g. a recession), the assumption of rational expectations overstates the effects of forward guidance relative to adaptive learning. Specifically, the output gap is higher under rational expectations than adaptive learning. Thus, if monetary policy is based on a model with rational expectations, which is the standard assumption in the macroeconomic literature, the results of forward guidance could be potentially misleading.

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  • Cole, Stephen, 2015. "Learning and the effectiveness of central bank forward guidance," MPRA Paper 65207, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:65207
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/65207/1/MPRA_paper_65207.pdf
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James & Singh, Aarti & Suda, Jacek, 2015. "Incomplete Credit Markets and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 2015-12, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Feb 2017.
    2. Cole, Stephen, 2016. "The limits of central bank forward guidance under learning," MPRA Paper 70862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. repec:eee:jmacro:v:55:y:2018:i:c:p:146-161 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Bullard, James B. & Singh, Aarti, 2016. "Incomplete Credit Markets and Monetary Policy with Heterogeneous Labor Supply : a presentation at Bank of Korea 2016 Conference, Employment and Growth, Seoul, Korea, May 30, 2016," Speech 270, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    5. Cole, Stephen J., 2018. "The effectiveness of central bank forward guidance under inflation and price-level targeting," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 146-161.
    6. Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James B. & Singh, Aarti & Suda, Jacek, 2015. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound," Working Papers 2015-10, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    7. Stephen Cole & Fabio Milani, 2014. "The Misspecification of Expectations in New Keynesian Models: A DSGE-VAR Approach," Working Papers 131407, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Forward Guidance; Monetary Policy; Adaptive Learning; Expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General

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