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Monetary Policy Transparency in the UK:The Impact of Independence and Inflation Targeting

  • Iris Biefang-Frisancho Mariscal
  • Peter Howells

    ()

    (School of Economics, University of the West of England)

There is a widespread belief that the transparency of UK monetary policy has increased substantially as a result of the introduction of inflation targeting in 1992 and a number of procedural and institutional reforms which accompanied and followed it. In this paper, we use money market responses (and other data) to test the possibility that improved anticipation of policy moves may be the result of developments other than the institutional reforms popularly cited. We find overwhelming evidence that the switch to inflation targeting itself significantly reduced monetary policy surprises, while subsequent reforms have contributed little. Where we advance substantially on earlier work is to look at the cross-sectional dispersion of agents’ anticipation. If the benefit of transparency is the elimination of policy surprise, there is little benefit if the averagely correct anticipations of agents conceal a wide dispersion of view. The most striking feature is the general decline in cross-sectional one year-ahead forecast uncertainty of the interbank rate. So, even though we do not find that agents on average have improved monetary policy anticipation since 1997, we do find that they have become more unanimous about forecasting future money market rates. However, further testing reveals that it is a simultaneous fall in the dispersion of inflation rate forecasts that explains the increased consensus on interest rates, rather than institutional reforms in 1997 and later.

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File URL: http://carecon.org.uk/DPs/0601.pdf
File Function: First version, 2006
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Paper provided by Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance, Bristol Business School, University of the West of England, Bristol in its series Working Papers with number 0601.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:uwe:wpaper:0601
Contact details of provider: Postal: 0117 328 3610
Phone: 0117 328 3610
Web page: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/bl/research/bristoleconomics.aspx
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  1. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 5797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chadha, Jagjit S. & Nolan, Charles, 2001. "Inflation Targeting, Transparency and Interest Rate Volatility: Ditching Monetary Mystique in the U.K," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 349-366, July.
  3. John C. B. Cooper, 2004. "Dollarisation in Theory and Practice," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 5(4), pages 79-89, October.
  4. Kuttner, Kenneth N., 2001. "Monetary policy surprises and interest rates: Evidence from the Fed funds futures market," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 523-544, June.
  5. Guglielmo Maria Caporale & Andrea Cipollini, 2002. "The Euro and Monetary Policy Transparency," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 28(1), pages 59-70, Winter.
  6. Charles Bean, 2005. "Monetary Policy in an Uncertain World," World Economics, World Economics, Economic & Financial Publishing, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 6(1), pages 31-53, January.
  7. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-62, May.
  8. Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou & James Proudman & John Spicer, 2000. "Persistence and volatility in short-term interest rates," Bank of England working papers 116, Bank of England.
  9. Georgios Chortareas & David Stasavage & Gabriel Sterne, 2003. "Does monetary policy transparency reduce disinflation costs?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 71(5), pages 521-540, 09.
  10. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  11. Andrew Clare & Roger Courtenay, 2001. "Assessing the impact of macroeconomic news announcements on securities prices under different monetary policy regimes," Bank of England working papers 125, Bank of England.
  12. Petra M. Geraats, 2002. "Central Bank Transparency," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(483), pages 532-565, November.
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