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Central Bank Transparency, the Accuracy of Professional Forecasts, and Interest Rate Volatility

Central banks worldwide have become more transparent. An important reason is that democratic societies expect more openness from public institutions. Policymakers also see transparency as a way to improve the predictability of monetary policy, thereby lowering interest rate volatility and contributing to economic stability. Most empirical studies support this view. However, there are three reasons why more research is needed. First, some (mostly theoretical) work suggests that transparency has an adverse effect on predictability. Second, empirical studies have mostly focused on average predictability before and after specific reforms in a small set of advanced economies. Third, less is known about the effect on interest rate volatility. To extend the literature, I use the Dincer and Eichengreen (2007) transparency index for twenty-four economies of varying income and examine the impact of transparency on both predictability and market volatility. I find that higher transparency improves the accuracy of interest rate forecasts for three months ahead and reduces rate volatility.

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Paper provided by Utrecht School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 11-12.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:use:tkiwps:1112
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  1. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Geraats, Petra M, 2002. "How Transparent are Central Banks?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3188, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2006. "Monetary Policy Transparency in the UK:The Impact of Independence and Inflation Targeting," Working Papers 0601, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  3. Alan S. Blinder & Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher & Jakob De Haan & David-Jan Jansen, 2008. "Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 46(4), pages 910-45, December.
  4. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin & Hui Tong, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con: Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 453-455, March.
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  6. Menno Middeldorp, 2011. "FOMC communication policy and the accuracy of Fed Funds futures," Staff Reports 491, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Ehrmann, Michael & Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2009. "The role of central bank transparency for guiding private sector forecasts," CEPR Discussion Papers 7585, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Stephen Morris & Hyun Song Shin, 2002. "Social Value of Public Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1521-1534, December.
  9. David-Jan Jansen & Jakob De Haan, 2009. "Has ECB communication been helpful in predicting interest rate decisions? An evaluation of the early years of the Economic and Monetary Union," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(16), pages 1995-2003.
  10. Monika Piazzesi & Eric Swanson, 2004. "Futures Prices as Risk-adjusted Forecasts of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 10547, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. Berger, Helge & Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2006. "Forecasting ECB monetary policy: accuracy is (still) a matter of geography," Working Paper Series 0578, European Central Bank.
  13. Peter Lildholdt & Anne Vila Wetherilt, 2004. "Anticipation of monetary policy in UK financial markets," Bank of England working papers 241, Bank of England.
  14. Jan-Egbert Sturm & Jakob de Haan, 2009. "Does Central Bank Communication really Lead to better Forecasts of Policy Decisions? New Evidence Based on a Taylor Rule Model for the ECB," CESifo Working Paper Series 2760, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. N. Nergiz Dincer & Barry Eichengreen, 2007. "Central Bank Transparency: Where, Why, and with What Effects?," NBER Working Papers 13003, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal & Peter Howells, 2004. "Monetary Policy Transparency:Lessons from Germany and the Eurozone," Working Papers 0410, Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol.
  17. Ehrmann, Michael & Fratzscher, Marcel, 2007. "Social value of public information: testing the limits to transparency," Working Paper Series 0821, European Central Bank.
  18. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  19. Eijffinger, Sylvester C W & van der Cruijsen, Carin A B, 2007. "The Economic Impact of Central Bank Transparency: A Survey," CEPR Discussion Papers 6070, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. M. Middeldorp & S. Rosenkranz, 2008. "Central bank communication and crowding out of private information in an experimental asset market," Working Papers 08-26, Utrecht School of Economics.
  21. Mizen, Paul, 2009. "What can we learn from central bankers' words? Some nonparametric tests for the ECB," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 103(1), pages 29-32, April.
  22. Andrew Bauer & Robert A. Eisenbeis & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Transparency, expectations and forecasts," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q 1, pages 1-25.
  23. Swanson, Eric T., 2006. "Have Increases in Federal Reserve Transparency Improved Private Sector Interest Rate Forecasts?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(3), pages 791-819, April.
  24. Clemens Kool & Menno Middeldorp & Stephanie Rosenkranz, 2011. "Central Bank Transparency and the Crowding Out of Private Information in Financial Markets," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 43(4), pages 765-774, 06.
  25. Crowe, Christopher & Meade, Ellen E., 2008. "Central bank independence and transparency: Evolution and effectiveness," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 763-777, December.
  26. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2006. "Social Value of Public Information: Comment: Morris and Shin (2002) Is Actually Pro-Transparency, Not Con," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 448-452, March.
  27. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Craig S. Hakkio, 2010. "Inflation targeting and private sector forecasts," Research Working Paper RWP 10-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  28. Maria Demertzis & Marco Hoeberichts, 2007. "The Costs of Increasing Transparency," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(3), pages 263-280, July.
  29. Stambaugh, Robert F., 1988. "The information in forward rates : Implications for models of the term structure," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 41-70, May.
  30. John B. Carlson & Ben R. Craig & Patrick C. Higgins & William R. Melick, 2006. "FOMC communications and the predictability of near-term policy decisions," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Jun.
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