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Jan Marc Berk

1 February 2000
The focus of this paper is on the use of the yield curve in monetary policy making. Theoretical arguments and a multi-country empirical analysis with an explicit focus on the euro area suggest the need for caution in case the Eurosystem uses the yield curve as an information variable for monetary policy, because multiple theoretical explanations exist for an observed movement in the yield curve, suggesting that policy reactions cannot be prescribed unambiguously. In addition, the empirical analysis shows that, in contrast with earlier findings of, for example, Hardouvelis (1994) and Bernard and Gerlach (1996), the information content of the yield curve is fairly limited. For the individual European countries participating in the Eurosystem as well as for the euro area as a whole, the yield spread possesses only very limited information relating to future movements in the inflation rate and output growth, over-and-above the information contained in the history of the latter variables.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
16 July 2009
Monetary Policy Committees differ in the way the interest rate proposal is prepared and presented in the policy meeting. In this paper we show analytically how different arrangements could affect the voting behaviour of individual MPC members and therefore policy outcomes. We then apply our results to the Bank of England and the Federal Reserve. A general finding is that when MPC members are not too diverse in terms of expertise and experience, policy discussions should not be based on pre- prepared policy options. Instead, interest rate proposals should arise endogenously as a majority of views expressed by the members, as is the case at the Bank of England and appears to be the case in the FOMC under Chairman Bernanke.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
D71 : Microeconomics→Analysis of Collective Decision-Making→Social Choice, Clubs, Committees, Associations
D78 : Microeconomics→Analysis of Collective Decision-Making→Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation