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Strict and Flexible Inflation Forecast Targets: An Empirical Investigation

We examine whether models of inflation forecast targeting are consistent with the observed behaviour of the central banks of Australia, Canada, and the United States. The target criteria from these models restrict the conditionally expected paths of variables targeted by the central bank, in particular inflation and the output gap. We estimate various moment conditions, providing a description of monetary policy for each central bank under different maintained hypotheses. We then test whether these estimated conditions satisfy the predictions of models of optimal monetary policy. The overall objective is to examine the extent to which and the manner in which these central banks successfully balance inflation and output objectives over the near term. For all three countries, we obtain reasonable estimates for both the strict and flexible inflation forecast targeting models, though with some qualifications. Most notably, for Australia and the United States there are predictable deviations from forecasted targets, which is not consistent with models of inflation targeting. In contrast, the results for Canada lend considerable support to simple models of flexible inflation forecast targeting.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Victoria in its series Department Discussion Papers with number 0902.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 16 Jun 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:vic:vicddp:0902
Note: ISSN 1914-2838
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Web page: http://web.uvic.ca/econ

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  2. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  3. Kenneth N. Kuttner, 2004. "The role of policy rules in inflation targeting," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 89-112.
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  5. Bennett T. McCallum, 1997. "Issues in the Design of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6016, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
  7. Svensson, L.E.O., 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," Papers 646, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Hansen, Lars Peter & Hodrick, Robert J, 1980. "Forward Exchange Rates as Optimal Predictors of Future Spot Rates: An Econometric Analysis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(5), pages 829-53, October.
  9. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1997. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Seminar Papers 615, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  10. John Shea, 1996. "Instrument Relevance in Multivariate Linear Models: A Simple Measure," NBER Technical Working Papers 0193, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. McCallum, Bennett T, 2000. "The Present and Future of Monetary Policy Rules," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 273-86, July.
  12. Michael Woodford, 2007. "Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy: Policy Rules in Practice," NBER Working Papers 13716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Richard Dennis, 2006. "The policy preferences of the US Federal Reserve," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(1), pages 55-77.
  14. Marc Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 93-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. S. G. B Henry & A. R. Pagan, 2004. "The Econometrics of the New Keynesian Policy Model: Introduction," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 66(s1), pages 581-607, 09.
  16. Rudd, Jeremy & Whelan, Karl, 2005. "Modelling Inflation Dynamics: A Critical Review of Recent Research," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/05, Central Bank of Ireland.
  17. Richard Dennis, 2003. "Inferring policy objectives from economic outcomes," Working Paper Series 2003-05, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  18. Stock, James H & Wright, Jonathan H & Yogo, Motohiro, 2002. "A Survey of Weak Instruments and Weak Identification in Generalized Method of Moments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 20(4), pages 518-29, October.
  19. Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation targeting and optimal monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 15-42.
  20. Carlo A. Favero, . "Macroeconomic stability and the preferences of the Fed. A formal analysis, 1961-98," Working Papers 200, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
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