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Efrem Castelnuovo

1 September 2003
Announcing a quantitative objective for price developments has become a common practice in modern monetary policy making. While the specific features of such announced objectives vary across countries, a common rationale for this is to help anchoring inflation expectations. We use survey data on long-term inflation expectations in 15 industrial countries since the early nineties to investigate how well anchored are inflation expectations. We find that in all countries except Japan long-term inflation expectations are well anchored and, generally, increasingly so over the past decade. When comparing this evidence across types of announcements of the inflation objectives, we find that the specific features of announcements have no visible effect on the performance at anchoring inflation expectations. In particular, there does not seem to be evidence that the announcement of a quantitative objective in the form of a point or of a range for admissible inflation rates makes any appreciable difference.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
Background study for the evaluation of the ECB's monetary policy strategy
1 May 2003
In this paper we estimate simple Taylor rules paying particular attention to interest rate smoothing. Following English, Nelson, and Sack (2002), we employ a model in first differences to gain some insights into the presence and significance of the degree of partial adjustment as opposed to a serially correlated policy shock. Moreover, we estimate a nested model to take into account both interest rate smoothing and serially correlated deviations from various Taylor rates prescriptions. Our findings suggest that the lagged interest rate enters the Taylor rule in its own right, and may very well coexist with (usually omitted) variables that relate to asymmetric preferences on the output gap, or financial market indicators. Therefore, while we cannot exclude that serially correlated policy shocks may play a role in describing the federal funds rate path, our results significantly support the importance of the lagged interest rate in Taylor-type models.
JEL Code
E4 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit