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Michael Ehrmann

Research

Division

Monetary Policy Research

Current Position

Head of Division

Fields of interest

Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics,International Economics

Email

michael.ehrmann@ecb.europa.eu

Other current responsibilities
2019-

Research Fellow, Centre for Economic Policy Research

2016-

Editorial Board of the ECB’s Research Bulletin (European Central Bank)

2016-

Member of Wim Duisenberg Fellow Selection Committee (European Central Bank)

Education
1996-2000

PhD in Economics, European University Institute, Florence, Italy

Professional experience
2016-

Head of Division - Monetary Policy Research Division, Directorate General Research, European Central Bank

2015-2016

Chief of Economic and Financial Research - Bank of Canada

2013-2015

Research Director - Bank of Canada

2000-2013

Various positions - Directorate General Research and Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

Teaching experience
2007-2012

Goethe University, Frankfurt, Germany

2006

Free University Berlin, Germany

1 May 2000
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 21
Details
Abstract
Using business survey data on German manufacturing firms, this paper provides tests for hypotheses formulated in capital market imperfection theories that predict distributional effects in the transmission mechanism of monetary policy. Effects of monetary policy shocks on the business conditions of firms of several size classes are analysed, with the finding of considerable asymmetry. As predicted by theory, small firms are affected more strongly than large firms. To test whether these effects are reinforced when the economy is in a business cycle downturn, the paper employs a new estimation strategy: impulse response analysis conditional on Markov-switching regimes. The findings are supportive of the theoretical hypotheses: in a business cycle downturn, the distributional effects of monetary policy transmission are indeed reinforced.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
1 April 2001
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 59
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Abstract
This paper uses a small, calibrated forward-looking model of the euro-area economy to investigate the implications of incomplete information about potential output for the conduct and the design of monetary policy. Three sets of issues are examined. First, the certainty-equivalent optimal policy under both commitment and discretion is characterised. In both cases, incomplete information about potential output leads to very persistent deviations between the actual and the perceived output gap in response to supply and cost-push shocks. The costs of imperfect information are quite large. Second, the implications for simple policy rules such as Taylor or inflation-forecast rule are examined. In first-difference form, both rules continue to perform relatively well with imperfect information as long as the output gap and the inflation forecast are optimally estimated. Third, the implications of potential output uncertainty for the optimal delegation to an independent central bank are examined. Incomplete information implies that it is optimal to appoint a more 'hawkish' central bank.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E17 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
1 July 2001
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 73
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Abstract
This paper presents empirical evidence on the behaviour of interbank lending in Germany after a monetary policy impulse. Our VAR analysis shows that following a monetary contraction, the banking system as a whole attracts additional funds from foreign banks. Whereas small cooperative and savings banks do not seem to directly access the interbank market themselves, they do so indirectly through the head institutions of their sectors, i.e. the savings banks` and credit cooperative sector, respectively. The interbank flows within these two sectors allow small banks to access funds that might help them in keeping their loan portfolio relatively unaffected. This may explain why the evidence for a bank lending channel in Germany seems to be weaker compared to other countries, e.g. the US.
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
1 December 2001
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 105
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Abstract
This paper offers a comprehensive comparison of the structure of banking and financial markets in the euro area. Based on this, several hypotheses about the role of banks in monetary policy transmission are developed. Many of the predictions that have been proposed for the U.S. are deemed unlikely to apply in Europe. Testing these hypotheses we find that monetary policy does alter bank loan supply, with the effects most dependent on the liquidity of individual banks. Unlike in the US, the size of a bank does generally not explain its lending reaction. We also show that the standard publicly available database, BankScope, obscures the heterogeneity across banks. Indeed, for several types of questions BankScope data suggest very different answers than more complete data that reside at national central banks
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
1 December 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 200
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Abstract
This paper investigates whether the degree and nature of interdependence between the United States and the euro area have changed with the advent of EMU. Using real-time data, it addresses this issue from the perspective of financial markets by analysing the effects of monetary policy announcements and macroeconomic news on daily interest rates in the United States and the euro area. The paper finds that the interdependence of money markets has steadily increased over time, with the spillover effects from the United States to the euro area being somewhat stronger than in the opposite direction. Moreover, for the early stages of EMU, we find evidence that the markets were going through a learning process about the ECB monetary policy. Towards the end of our sample period, the importance attached to euro area consumer prices and M3 has reached levels that are remarkably similar to the role of German consumer prices and M3 for German interest rates prior to EMU.
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
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
1 July 2003
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 240
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Abstract
We examine the euro area monetary policy transmission process using post-1999 data, with two main questions in mind: has it changed after
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
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
27 April 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 342
Details
Abstract
This paper investigates whether the degree and the nature of economic and monetary policy interdependence between the United States and the euro area have changed with the advent of EMU. Using real-time data, it addresses this issue from the perspective of financial markets by analysing the effects of monetary policy announcements and macroeconomic news on daily interest rates in the United States and the euro area. First, the paper finds that the interdependence of money markets has increased strongly around EMU. Although spillover effects from the United States to the euro area remain stronger than in the opposite direction, we present evidence that US markets have started reacting also to euro area developments since the onset of EMU. Second, beyond these general linkages, the paper finds that certain macroeconomic news about the US economy have a large and significant effect on euro area money markets, and that these effects have become stronger in recent years. Finally, we show that US macroeconomic news have become good leading indicators for economic developments in the euro area. This indicates that the higher money market interdependence between the United States and the euro area is at least partly explained by the increased real integration of the two economies in recent years.
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
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
Network
International research forum on monetary policy
6 May 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 354
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Abstract
This paper analyses the effects of US monetary policy on stock markets. We find that, on average, a tightening of 50 basis points reduces returns by about 3%. Moreover, returns react more strongly when no change had been expected, when there is a directional change in the monetary policy stance and during periods of high market uncertainty. We show that individual stocks react in a highly heterogeneous fashion and relate this heterogeneity to financial constraints and Tobin's q. First, we show that there are strong industry-specific effects of US monetary policy. Second, we find that for the individual stocks comprising the S&P500 those with low cashflows, small size, poor credit ratings, low debt to capital ratios, high price-earnings ratios or high Tobin's q are affected significantly more. The use of propensity score matching allows us to distinguish between firmand industry-specific effects, and confirms that both play an important role.
JEL Code
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
3 June 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 365
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Abstract
This paper analyses the link between economic fundamentals and exchange rates by investigating the importance of real-time data. We find that such economic news in the United States, Germany and the euro area have indeed been a driving force behind daily US dollar - euro/DEM exchange rate developments in the period 1993-2003. The larger importance of US macroeconomic news is at least partly explained by their earlier release time compared to corresponding German and euro area news. The exchange rate is also shown to respond more strongly to news in periods of large market uncertainty and when negative or large shocks occur. Overall, the model based on real-time data is capable of explaining about 75% of the monthly directional changes of the US dollar-euro exchange rate, although it does not explain well the magnitude of the exchange rate changes.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
7 September 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 388
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Abstract
We build a stylised 12-country model of the euro area and use it to analyse why differences in national inflation and growth rates arise within the European monetary union. We find that inflation persistence is a key potential explanatory factor. Other more frequently mentioned reasons, like country-specific shocks or differences in the monetary transmission mechanism across countries, count less. We also look at how a monetary policy geared to area-wide average inflation affects these differentials. Our model suggests that area-wide inflation stability and low inflation differentials are complementary.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
16 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 452
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Abstract
The paper presents a framework for analyzing the degree of financial transmission between money, bond and equity markets and exchange rates within and between the United States and the euro area. We find that asset prices react strongest to other domestic asset price shocks, and that there are also substantial international spillovers, both within and across asset classes. The results underline the dominance of US markets as the main driver of global financial markets: US financial markets explain, on average, more than 25% of movements in euro area financial markets, whereas euro area markets account only for about 8% of US asset price changes. The international propagation of shocks is strengthened in times of recession, and has most likely changed in recent years: prior to EMU, the paper finds smaller international spillovers.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
30 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 457
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Abstract
This paper assesses the change in Federal Reserve policy introduced in 1999, with the publication of statements about the outlook for monetary policy (and later about the balance of risks) immediately after each FOMC meeting. We find that markets anticipated monetary policy decisions equally well under this new disclosure regime than before, but arrived at their expectations in different ways. Under the new regime, markets extract information from the statements, whereas before, they needed to revert to other types of Fed communication in the inter-meeting periods, and come to their own assessment of the implications of macroeconomic data releases. Taken together, these findings suggest that the Fed's new disclosure practice may indeed have improved transparency in the sense that information is now released to the markets at an earlier time and with clearer signals, but that the Fed can extract less information from observing market reactions to macroeconomic data releases.
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
23 May 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 488
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Abstract
The paper assesses the communication strategies of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank and their effectiveness. We find that the effectiveness of communication is not independent from the decisionmaking process in the committee. The paper shows that the Federal Reserve has been pursuing a rather individualistic communication strategy amid a collegial approach to decision-making, while the Bank of England is using a collegial communication strategy and highly individualistic decision-making. The ECB has chosen a collegial approach both in its communication and in its decisionmaking. Assessing these strategies, we find that predictability of policy decisions and the responsiveness of financial markets to communication are equally good for the Federal Reserve and the ECB. This suggests that there may not be a single best approach to designing a central bank communication and decisionmaking strategy.
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
25 November 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 557
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Abstract
The paper shows that central bank communication is a key determinant of the market's ability to anticipate monetary policy decisions and the future path of interest rates. Comparing communication policies by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the ECB since 1999, we find that communicating the diversity of views among committee members about monetary policy lowers the market's ability to anticipate policy decisions as well as the future path of interest rates. This effect is sizeable, accounting for instance for one third to half of the prediction errors of FOMC policy decisions. By contrast, individualistic communication regarding the economic outlook is found to be beneficial for the Federal Reserve, enabling market participants to better anticipate the future path of interest rates. Thus, it is the collegiality of views on monetary policy but the diversity of views on the economic outlook that enhance the effectiveness of central bank communication.
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
22 December 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 565
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Abstract
This paper explores whether there are systematic patterns as to when members of the decision-making committees of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank communicate with the public, and under what circumstances such communication has the ability to move financial markets. The findings suggest that communication is generally seen as a tool to prepare markets for upcoming decisions, as it becomes more intense before committee meetings, and particularly so prior to interest rate changes. At the same time, markets react more strongly to communication prior to policy changes. Other instances where communication becomes more intense, or where financial markets become more responsive are also identified; even though these are more specific to the individual central banks, they are consistent with differences in the central banks' monetary policy strategies and communication policies.
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
16 January 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 578
Details
Abstract
Monetary policy in the euro area is conducted within a multi-country, multicultural, and multi-lingual context involving multiple central banking traditions. How does this heterogeneity affect the ability of economic agents to understand and to anticipate monetary policy by the ECB? Using a database of surveys of professional ECB policy forecasters in 24 countries, we find remarkable differences in forecast accuracy, and show that they are partly related to geography and clustering around informational hubs, as well as to country-specific economic conditions and traditions of independent central banking in the past. In large part this heterogeneity can be traced to differences in forecasting models. While some systematic differences between analysts have been transitional and are indicative of learning, others are more persistent.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
22 February 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 588
Details
Abstract
This paper uses the euro cash changeover to test theories of finite informationprocessing capacities on the side of consumers. It argues that the denomination of prices in a new currency has increased the information-processing requirements for consumers by more than for sellers, a wedge that can lead to price increases. The size of the wedge should depend on the complexity of the currency conversion rates. In line with this theory, the paper finds that the evolution of prices for food products around the cash changeover varied across countries, depending on the complexity of conversion rates. These changeover effects are found in particular for goods with prices below one euro sold in mid-priced stores. The paper also finds that cross-country differences in the mismatch of perceived and actual inflation in the aftermath of the cash changeover are linked to differences in the complexity of conversion rates.
JEL Code
D84 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Expectations, Speculations
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
L11 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance→Production, Pricing, and Market Structure, Size Distribution of Firms
28 April 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 616
Details
Abstract
The paper shows that US monetary policy has been an important determinant of global equity markets. Analysing 50 equity markets worldwide, we find that returns fall on average around 3.8% in response to a 100 basis point tightening of US monetary policy, ranging from a zero response in some to a reaction of 10% or more in other countries, as well as significant cross-sector heterogeneity. Distinguishing different transmission channels, we find that in particular the transmission via US and foreign short-term interest rates and the exchange rate play an important role. As to the determinants of the strength of transmission to individual countries, we test the relevance of their macroeconomic policies and the degree of real and financial integration, thus linking the strength of asset price transmission to underlying trade and asset holdings, and find that in particular the degree of global integration of countries
JEL Code
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
1 June 2006
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 46
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Abstract
This paper provides a summary of current knowledge on inflation persistence and price stickiness in the euro area, based on research findings that have been produced in the context of the Inflation Persistence Network. The main findings are: i) Under the current monetary policy regime, the estimated degree of inflation persistence in the euro area is moderate; ii) Retail prices in the euro area are more sticky than in the US; iii) There is significant sectoral heterogeneity in the degree of price stickiness; iv) Price decreases are not uncommon. The paper also investigates some of the policy implications of these findings.
JEL Code
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
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
29 September 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 679
Details
Abstract
Media coverage of monetary policy actions is a central channel of a central bank’s communication with the wider public, and thus an important factor for its credibility and policy effectiveness. This paper analyses the coverage which ECB monetary policy decisions receive in the print media, and the determinants of its extent and of its favorableness. We find that that the press critically discusses the ECB’s policy decisions in the context of prior market expectations and of the inflation environment, and that the media’s coverage of decisions is generally highly responsive to ECB communication – in particular its Press Conference on meeting days. However, the paper also finds clear limitations in this regard, thus underlining the critical monitoring role assumed by the media.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
17 November 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 695
Details
Abstract
The paper shows that there is a substantial degree of heterogeneity in forecast accuracy among Fed watchers. Based on a novel database for 268 professional forecasters since 1999, the average forecast error of FOMC decisions varies 5 to 10 basis points between the best and worst-performers across the sample. This heterogeneity is found to be related to both the skills of analysts – such as their educational and employment backgrounds – and to geography. In particular, there is evidence that forecasters located in regions which experience more idiosyncratic economic conditions perform worse in anticipating monetary policy. Moreover, systematic forecaster heterogeneity is economically important as it leads to greater financial market volatility after FOMC meetings. Finally, Fed communication may exert an influence on forecast accuracy.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
13 June 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 767
Details
Abstract
The question how best to communicate monetary policy decisions remains a highly topical issue among central banks. Focusing on the experience of the European Central Bank, this paper studies how explanations of monetary policy decisions at press conferences are perceived by financial markets. The empirical findings show that ECB press conferences provide substantial additional information to financial markets beyond that contained in the monetary policy decisions, and that the information content is closely linked to the characteristics of the decisions. Press conferences indeed have on average had larger effects on financial markets than even the corresponding policy decisions, and with lower effects on volatility. Moreover, the Q&A part of the press conference fulfils a clarification role about the economic outlook, in particular during periods of large macroeconomic uncertainty.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
18 October 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 817
Details
Abstract
We study the convergence of European bond markets and the anchoring of inflation expectations in euro area countries using high-frequency bond yield data for France, Germany, Italy and Spain. We find that Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has led to substantial convergence in euro area sovereign bond markets in terms of interest rate levels, unconditional daily fluctuations, and conditional responses to major macroeconomic data announcements. Our findings also suggest a substantial increase in the anchoring of long-term inflation expectations since EMU, particularly for Italy and Spain, which since monetary union have seen their long-term interest rates become much lower, much less volatile, and much better anchored in response to news. Finally, the reaction of far-ahead forward interest rates to macroeconomic announcements has converged substantially across euro area countries and even been eliminated over time, thus underlining not only market integration but also the credibility that financial markets attach to monetary policy in the euro area.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
Network
ECB Lamfalussy Fellowship Programme
23 October 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 821
Details
Abstract
Transparency has become an almost universal virtue among central banks. The paper tests empirically, for the case of the Federal Reserve, two hypotheses about central bank transparency derived from the debate of Morris and Shin (2002) and Svensson (2006). First, the paper finds that the precision of communication is a key determinant of the predictability of both FOMC decisions as well as the future policy path. Second, the effectiveness of communication is found to depend on the market environment. Specifically, a given statement may enhance predictability in an environment of high market uncertainty, but may reduce it when uncertainty is low. The findings underline the limits to transparency and stress the need for communication to be flexible and adjust to market conditions in order for central banks to achieve their ultimate objectives.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
D82 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Asymmetric and Private Information, Mechanism Design
23 February 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 868
Details
Abstract
Despite substantial differences in monetary policy and communication strategies, many central banks share the practice of purdah, a self-imposed guideline of abstaining from communication around policy meetings or other important events. This practice is remarkable, as it seems to contradict the virtue of transparency by requiring central banks to withhold information precisely when it is sought after intensely. However, imposing such a limit to communication has often been justified on grounds that such communication may create excessive market volatility and unnecessary speculation. This short paper assesses the purdah for the Federal Reserve. The empirical results confirm the conjecture that financial markets are substantially more sensitive to central bank communication around policy meetings. Short-term interest rates react three to four times more strongly to statements in the purdah before FOMC meetings than during other times, and market volatility increases (compared to a volatility reduction induced by statements otherwise). The findings thus offer relevant insights about the limits to central bank transparency.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
12 March 2008
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 83
Details
Abstract
Current best practice in central banking views a high level of monetary policy predictability as desirable. A clear distinction, however, has to be made between short-term and longer-term predictability. While short-term predictability can be narrowly defined as the ability of the public to anticipate monetary policy decisions correctly over short horizons, the broader, ultimately more meaningful concept of longer-term predictability also encompasses the ability of the private sector to understand the monetary policy framework of a central bank, i.e. its objectives and systematic behaviour in reacting to different circumstances and contingencies. In this broader sense, longer-term predictability is also closely related to the credibility of the central bank. This paper reviews the main conceptual issues relating to predictability, both in its short and longer-term dimensions, and discusses how a transparent monetary policy strategy can be - and indeed has been - instrumental in achieving this purpose. This latter aspect is investigated in an overview of the empirical literature, highlighting how financial markets have been increasingly able to correctly anticipate monetary policy decisions for a number of large central banks, including the ECB. The paper also reviews several possible empirical proxies for the less-explored concept of longer-term predictability, which is inherently more difficult to measure.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
14 May 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 898
Details
Abstract
Over the last two decades, communication has become an increasingly important aspect of monetary policy. These real-world developments have spawned a huge new scholarly literature on central bank communication -mostly empirical, and almost all of it written in this decade. We survey this evergrowing literature. The evidence suggests that communication can be an important and powerful part of the central bank's toolkit since it has the ability to move financial markets, to enhance the predictability of monetary policy decisions, and potentially to help achieve central banks' macroeconomic objectives. However, the large variation in communication strategies across central banks suggests that a consensus has yet to emerge on what constitutes an optimal communication strategy.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
9 January 2009
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 100
Details
Abstract
The first part of this paper provides a brief survey of the recent literature that employs survey data on household finance and consumption. Given the breadth of the topic, it focuses on issues that are particularly relevant for policy, namely: i) wealth effects on consumption, ii) housing prices and household indebtedness, iii) retirement income, consumption and pension reforms, iv) access to credit and credit constraints, v) financial innovation, consumption smoothing and portfolio selection and vi) wealth inequality. The second part uses concrete examples to summarise how results from such surveys feed into policy-making within the central banks that already conduct such surveys.
JEL Code
C42 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Survey Methods
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
18 August 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1077
Details
Abstract
How do financial markets price new information? This paper analyzes price setting at the intersection of private and public information, by testing whether and how the reaction of financial markets to public signals depends on the relative importance of private information in agents’ information sets at a given point in time. It studies the reaction of UK short-term interest rates to the Bank of England’s inflation report and to macroeconomic announcements. Due to the quarterly frequency at which the Bank of England releases one of its main publications, it can become stale over time. In the course of this process, financial market participants need to rely more on private information. The paper develops a stylized model which predicts that, the more time has elapsed since the latest release of an inflation report, market volatility should increase, the price response to macroeconomic announcements should be more pronounced, and macroeconomic announcements should play a more important role in aligning agents’ information set, thus leading to a stronger volatility reduction. The empirical evidence is fully supportive of these hypotheses.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
23 September 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1095
Details
Abstract
Inflation has been well contained over the last decades in most industrialized countries. This implies, however, that memories of high inflation are likely to fade, because over time larger parts of the population have never experienced high inflation, whereas those who have might forget. This paper tests whether memories of high inflation affect agents’ preferences about the importance attached to price stability, using a large database covering over 52,000 survey responses from 23 countries over the years 1981-2000. It finds that memories of hyperinflation are there to last, whereas those of less drastic inflation experiences tend to erode after around 10 to 15 years. The recent decline in the importance attached to price stability does therefore most likely reflect mitigated inflation concerns in an environment of low and stable inflation, but also the consequences of fading memories of high inflation. The longer central banks have successfully delivered price stability, the more important it is for them to engage in a proactive communication, especially with the younger generations, about the merits of low and stable inflation.
JEL Code
D10 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→General
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
21 January 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1146
Details
Abstract
There is a broad consensus in the literature that costs of information processing and acquisition may generate costly disagreements in expectations among economic agents, and that central banks may play a central role in reducing such dispersion in expectations. This paper analyses empirically whether enhanced central bank transparency lowers dispersion among professional forecasters of key economic variables, using a large set of proxies for central bank transparency in 12 advanced economies. It finds evidence for a significant and sizeable effect of central bank transparency on forecast dispersion, be it by means of announcing a quantified inflation objective, other forms of communication, or by publishing central banks’ inflation and output forecasts. However, there also appear to be limits to central bank transparency, with decreasing marginal returns to enhancing (economic) transparency, and given our findings that disagreement among inflation expectations in the general public is not affected by the various central bank transparency measures analyzed in this paper.
JEL Code
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
20 April 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1332
Details
Abstract
Central banks regularly communicate about financial stability issues, by publishing Financial Stability Reports (FSRs) and through speeches and interviews. The paper asks how such communications affect financial markets. Building a unique dataset, it provides an empirical assessment of the reactions of stock markets to more than 1000 releases of FSRs and speeches by 37 central banks over the past 14 years. The findings suggest that FSRs have a significant and potentially long-lasting effect on stock market returns, and also tend to reduce market volatility. Speeches and interviews, in contrast, have little effect on market returns and do not generate a volatility reduction during tranquil times, but have had a substantial effect during the 2007-10 financial crisis. The findings suggest that financial stability communication by central banks are perceived by markets to contain relevant information, and they underline the importance of differentiating between communication tools, their content and the environment in which they are employed.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
12 September 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1381
Details
Abstract
Using the 2007-2009 financial crisis as a laboratory, we analyze the transmission of crises to country-industry equity portfolios in 55 countries. We use an asset pricing framework with global and local factors to predict crisis returns, defining unexplained increases in factor loadings as indicative of contagion. We find evidence of systematic contagion from US markets and from the global financial sector, but the effects are very small. By contrast, there has been systematic and substantial contagion from domestic equity markets to individual domestic equity portfolios, with its severity inversely related to the quality of countries' economic fundamentals and policies. Consequently, we reject the globalization hypothesis that links the transmission of the crisis to the extent of global exposure. Instead, we confirm the old
JEL Code
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
Network
Macroprudential Research Network
13 February 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1424
Details
Abstract
At the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, many soccer matches were played during stock market trading hours, providing us with a natural experiment to analyze fluctuations in investor attention. Using minute-by-minute trading data for fifteen international stock exchanges, we present three key findings. First, when the national team was playing, the number of trades dropped by 45%, while volumes were 55% lower. Second, market activity was influenced by match events. For instance, a goal caused an additional drop in trading activity by 5%. The magnitude of this reduction resembles what is observed during lunchtime, and as such might not be indicative for shifts in attention. However, our third finding is that the comovement between national and global stock market returns decreased by over 20% during World Cup matches, whereas no comparable decoupling can be found during lunchtime. We conclude that stock markets were following developments on the soccer pitch rather than in the trading pit, leading to a changed price formation process.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
13 December 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1501
Details
Abstract
We study the determinants of trust in the ECB as measured by the European Commission's Eurobarometer survey. The formulation of the corresponding question in this survey is very general, and compatible with very different notions of "trust" by respondents. In particular, the survey does not ask whether respondents trust that the ECB delivers on its mandate. Still, the ECB started with a relatively high level of trust right from the outset, especially in comparison with national institutions (other than central banks). However, with the onset of the global financial crisis, trust started to fall. It also continued to fall after 2010, a period not covered by our analysis. We find that the fall in trust until spring 2010 can be rather well explained based on the pre-crisis determinants, and show that it reflected the macroeconomic deterioration, a more generalised fall in the trust in European institutions in the wake of the crisis as well as the severity of the banking sector's problems, with which the ECB was associated in the public opinion. Finally, we show that a higher degree of knowledge about the ECB generates more trust in normal times and even more so during the financial crisis.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
Z13 : Other Special Topics→Cultural Economics, Economic Sociology, Economic Anthropology→Economic Sociology, Economic Anthropology, Social and Economic Stratification
5 March 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1520
Details
Abstract
Against the background of the current debate about fiscal sustainability in several advanced economies, this paper estimates determinants of G7 sovereign bond spreads, using high-frequency proxies for market expectations about macroeconomic fundamentals and allowing for time-varying parameters. The paper finds substantial asymmetry in the importance of country fundamentals and considerable time variations in the pricing of risks. There has been a reduced pricing of several risk factors in the years preceding the financial crisis, and either an overpricing of risk or the pricing of a re-denomination risk of euro area bonds during the European sovereign debt crisis.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
15 April 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1532
Details
Abstract
This paper studies the determinants of the euro exchange rate during the European sovereign debt crisis, allowing a role for macroeconomic fundamentals, policy actions and the public debate by policy makers. It finds that the euro exchange rate mainly danced to its own tune, with a particularly low explanatory power for macroeconomic fundamentals. Among the few factors that are found to have affected changes in exchanges rate levels are policy actions at the EU level and by the ECB. The findings of the paper also suggest that financial markets might have been less reactive to the public debate by policy makers than previously feared. Still, there are instances where exchange rate volatility was increasing in response to news, such as on days when several politicians from AAA-rated countries went public with negative statements, suggesting that communication by policy makers at times of crisis should be cautious about triggering undesirable financial market reactions.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
29 January 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1631
Details
Abstract
Mortgages constitute the largest part of household debt. An essential choice when taking out a mortgage is between fixed-interest-rate mortgages (FRMs) and adjustable-interest-rate mortgages (ARMs). However, so far, no comprehensive cross-country study has analysed what determines household demand for mortgage types, a task that this paper takes up using new data for the euro area. Our results support the hypothesis of Campbell and Cocco (2003) that the decision is best described as one of household risk management: income volatility reduces the take-out of ARMs, while increasing duration and relative size of the mortgages increase it. Controlling for other supply factors through country fixed effects, loan pricing also matters, as expected, with ARMs becoming more attractive when yield spreads rise. The paper also conducts a simulation exercise to identify how the easing of monetary policy during the financial crisis affected mortgage holders. It shows that the resulting reduction in mortgage rates produced a substantial decline in debt burdens among mortgage-holding households, especially in countries where households have higher debt burdens and a larger share of ARMs, as well as for some disadvantaged groups of households, such as those with low income.
JEL Code
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
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
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
12 March 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1652
Details
Abstract
This paper studies to what extent the experiences of households shape their willingness to take financial risks. It follows the methodology of Malmendier and Nagel (2011) and applies it to a novel data set on household finances covering euro area households. We show that experienced stock market returns matter in a statistically significant and economically substantial fashion: better experiences increase the financial risk households are willing to take as well as stock market participation along the intensive and the extensive margin. We find that more distant experiences receive a somewhat lower (but still substantial) weight than the corresponding findings suggest for the United States. Furthermore, there are additional effects stemming from the experience of extreme stock market downturns. Households in countries that witnessed a particularly severe 2008 stock market crash give substantially more weight to the most recent experience, suggesting that in these countries an even more pronounced underinvestment in the stock market should be expected in the years to come. The evidence highlights the relevance of personal experiences for household behaviour.
JEL Code
D03 : Microeconomics→General→Behavioral Microeconomics, Underlying Principles
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
20 January 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1990
Details
Abstract
This paper studies the determinants of being unbanked in the euro area and the United States as well as the effects of being unbanked on wealth accumulation. Based on household-level data from the euro area Household Finance and Consumption Survey and the U.S. Survey of Consumer Finance, it first documents that there are, respectively, 3.6% and 7.5% of unbanked households in the two economies. Low-income households, unemployed households and those with a poor education are the most likely to be affected, and remarkably more so in the United States than in the euro area. At the same time, there is a role for government policies in fostering financial inclusion. Using a propensity score matching approach to estimate the effects of being unbanked, it is found that banked households report substantially higher net wealth than their unbanked counterparts, with a gap of around
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
22 February 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2023
Details
Abstract
Press releases announcing and explaining monetary policy decisions play a critical role in the communication strategy of central banks. Due to their market-moving potential, it is particularly important how they are drafted. Often, central banks start from the previous statement, and update the earlier text at the margin. This makes it straightforward to compare statements and see how the central bank
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
19 April 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2047
Details
Abstract
We ask whether recent changes in monetary policy due to the financial crisis will be temporary or permanent. We present evidence from two surveys—one of central bank governors, the other of academic specialists. We find that central banks in crisis countries are more likely to have resorted to new policies, to have had discussions about mandates, and to have communicated more. But the thinking has changed more broadly—for instance, central banks in non-crisis countries also report having implemented macro-prudential measures. Overall, we expect central banks in the future to have broader mandates, use macro-prudential tools more widely, and communicate more actively than before the crisis. While there is no consensus yet about the usefulness of unconventional monetary policies, we expect most of them will remain in central banks’ toolkits, as governors who gain experience with a particular tool are more likely to assess that tool positively.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
21 June 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2080
Details
Abstract
Monetary policy communication is particularly important during unconventional times because high uncertainty about the economy, the introduction of new policy tools and possible limits to the central bank’s toolkit could hamper the predictability of policy actions. We study how monetary policy communication should and has worked under such circumstances. Our main results relate to announcements of asset purchase programmes and the use of forward guidance. We show that announcements of asset purchase programmes have lowered market uncertainty, particularly when accompanied by a contextual release of implementation details such as the envisaged size of the programme. We also show that forward guidance reduces uncertainty more effectively when it is state‐contingent or when it provides guidance about a long horizon than when it is open‐ended or covers only a short horizon, and that the credibility of forward guidance is strengthened if the central bank also has embarked on an asset purchase programme.
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
Network
Discussion papers
18 October 2017
RESEARCH BULLETIN - No. 39
Details
Abstract
The conduct of monetary policy has changed dramatically since the financial crisis in several dimensions. This article asks whether these changes will be temporary or permanent based on surveys of central bank heads and academic economists.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
25 June 2018
ECONOMIC BULLETIN - ARTICLE
Economic Bulletin Issue 4, 2018
Details
Abstract
Headline inflation can be noisy, blurring the signal on the medium-term inflationary pressure relevant for monetary policy. To help distinguish signal from noise in the data, central banks monitor measures of underlying inflation. As there are many ways of measuring underlying inflation, it is important to understand the properties of the various indicators and what factors may account for any divergence between them. This article describes in detail the measures of underlying inflation typically used at the ECB and evaluates them against a set of empirical criteria. Our results suggest that no one measure of underlying inflation is superior in all situations as the performance of the indicators varies over time. In practice, each indicator comes with merits and shortcomings, which calls for monitoring the full range of measures of underlying inflation.
JEL Code
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
C82 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology, Computer Programs→Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data, Data Access
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
15 April 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2263
Details
Abstract
Central banks have used different types of forward guidance, where the forward guidance horizon is related to a state contingency, a calendar date or left open-ended. This paper reports cross-country evidence on the impact of these different types of forward guidance on the sensitivity of bond yields to macroeconomic news, and on forecaster disagreement about the future path of interest rates. We show that forward guidance mutes the response to macroeconomic news in general, but that calendar-based forward guidance with a short horizon counterintuitively raises it. Using a model where agents learn from market signals, we show that the release of more precise public information about future rates lowers the informativeness of market signals and, as a consequence, may increase uncertainty and amplify the reaction of expectations to macroeconomic news. However, when the increase in precision of public information is sufficiently large, uncertainty is unambiguously reduced.
JEL Code
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
30 July 2019
RESEARCH BULLETIN - No. 61
Details
Abstract
Forward guidance, i.e. communication by a central bank about the likely future path of interest rates, usually reduces uncertainty. But it matters how this is done in practice, because forward guidance with a short time horizon can raise uncertainty. This occurs if the forward guidance impairs the aggregation of private information in financial markets, thus making market prices less informative.
JEL Code
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
19 May 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2412
Details
Abstract
This paper tests whether fluctuations in investors' attention affect stock return comovement with national and global markets, and which stocks are most affected. We measure fluctuations in investor attention using 59 high-profile soccer matches played during stock market trading hours at the three editions of the FIFA World Cup between 2010 and 2018. Using intraday data for more than 750 firms in 19 countries, we find that distracted investors shift attention away from firm-specific and from global news. When movements in global stock markets are large, the pricing of global news reverts back to normal, but firm-specific news keep being priced less, leading to increased comovement of stock returns with the national stock market. This increase is economically large, and particularly strong for those stocks that typically comove little with the national market, thereby leading to a convergence in betas across stocks.
JEL Code
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
G41 : Financial Economics
31 May 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2562
Details
Abstract
Inflation targeting is implemented in different ways – most often by adopting point targets, by having tolerance bands around a point target, or by specifying target ranges. Using data for 20 economies, this paper tests whether the various target types affect the anchoring of inflation expectations at shorter horizons differently. It tests two contradictory hypotheses, namely that targets with intervals lead to (i) less anchoring, e.g. because they provide more flexibility to the central bank, or (ii) better anchoring, because they are missed less often, leading to an enhanced credibility. The evidence refutes the first hypothesis, and generally finds that target ranges or (in some cases) tolerance bands outperform the other types. However, the effects partially depend on the economic context and no target type consistently outperforms all others. This suggests that there are some benefits to adopting intervals, but the central bank can anchor inflation expectations also by other means.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
21 June 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2569
Details
Abstract
Whether Federal Reserve Bank presidents have the right to vote on the U.S. monetary policy committee depends on a mechanical, yearly rotation scheme. Rotation is without exclusion: also nonvoting presidents attend and participate in the meetings of the committee. Does voting status change behavior? We find that the data go against the hypothesis that without the voting right, presidents use their public speeches and their meeting interventions to compensate for the loss of formal influence; rather, they support the hypothesis that the voting right makes presidents more involved. We also find that speeches move financial markets less in years that presidents vote. We argue that these discounts are consistent with their communication behavior.
JEL Code
D71 : Microeconomics→Analysis of Collective Decision-Making→Social Choice, Clubs, Committees, Associations
D72 : Microeconomics→Analysis of Collective Decision-Making→Political Processes: Rent-Seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
2021
Journal of International Economics
Point Targets, Tolerance Bands, or Target Ranges?Inflation Target Types and the Anchoring of Inflation Expectations
  • M. Ehrmann
2021
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Exploring Differences in Household Debt across Euro Area Countries and the United States
  • Christelis, D., M. Ehrmann and D. Georgarakos
2020
Journal of Monetary Economics
Starting from a Blank Page? Semantic Similarity in Central Bank Communication and Market Volatility
  • Ehrmann, M. and J. Talmi
2020
Journal of Economic Policy Reform
The European Systemic Risk Board – Governance and Early Experience
  • Ehrmann, M. and P. Schure
2019
Journal of Monetary Economics
Can More Public Information Raise Uncertainty? The International Evidence on Forward Guidance
  • Ehrmann, M., G. Gaballo, P. Hoffmann and G. Strasser
2017
European Economic Review
Macroeconomic Experiences and Risk-Taking of Euro Area Households
  • Ehrmann, M. and Ampudia, M.
2017
Journal of International Money and Finance
Euro Area Government Bonds—Fragmentation and Contagion During the Sovereign Debt Crisis
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2017
Economic Policy
Necessity as the Mother of Invention: Monetary Policy after the Crisis
  • Blinder, A., Ehrmann, M., De Haan, J. and Jansen, D.J.
2017
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Household Risk Management and Actual Mortgage Choice in the Euro Area
  • Ehrmann, M. and Ziegelmeyer, M.
2017
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
The Pitch Rather Than The Pit: Investor Inattention During FIFA World Cup Matches
  • Ehrmann, M. and Jansen, D.J.
2017
International Journal of Central Banking
Consumers’ Attitudes and their Inflation Expectations
  • Ehrmann, M., Pfajfar, D. and Santoro, E.
2016
Review of Finance
It Hurts (Stock Prices) When Your Team is About to Lose a Soccer Match
  • Ehrmann, M. and Jansen, D.J.
2015
International Journal of Central Banking
Targeting Inflation from Below – How do Inflation Expectations Behave?
  • Ehrmann, M.
2014
Journal of Finance
The Global Crisis and Equity Market Contagion
  • Bekaert, G., Ehrmann, M., Fratzscher, M. and Mehl, A.
2014
Journal of Banking and Finance
The Pricing of G7 Sovereign Bond Spreads – The Times, They are A-Changin
  • D'Agostino, A. and Ehrmann, M.
2014
Journal of International Money and Finance
The Euro Exchange Rate during the European Sovereign Debt Crisis – Dancing to its own Tune?
  • Ehrmann, M., Osbat, C., Uusküla, L. and Strasky, J.
2014
Economic Journal
Central Bank Communication on Financial Stability
  • Born, B., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2013
Public Choice
Dispersed Communication by Central Bank Committees and the Predictability of Monetary Policy Decisions
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2013
Scandinavian Journal of Economics
Explaining EU Citizens’ Trust in the ECB in Normal and Crisis Times
  • Ehrmann, M., Soudan, M. and Stracca, L.
2012
International Journal of Central Banking
The News Content of Macroeconomic Announcements - What if Central Bank Communication Becomes Stale?
  • Ehrmann, M. and Sondermann, D.
2012
International Finance
Communicating About Macroprudential Supervision – a New Challenge for Central Banks
  • Born, B., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2012
Scandinavian Journal of Economics
The Role of Central Bank Transparency for Guiding Private Sector Forecasts
  • Ehrmann, M., Eijffinger, S. and Fratzscher, M.
2012
European Journal of Political Economy
Memories of High Inflation
  • Ehrmann, M. and Tzamourani, T.
2011
Journal of Applied Econometrics
Stocks, Bonds, Money Markets and Exchange Rates: Measuring International Financial Transmission
  • Ehrmann, M., Fratzscher, M. and Rigobon, R.
2011
Review of Economics and Statistics
Politics and Monetary Policy
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2011
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Monetary Policy in the Media
  • Berger, H., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2011
Journal of Macroeconomics
Geography, Skills or Both: What Explains Fed Watchers’ Forecast Accuracy of US Monetary Policy?
  • Berger, H., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2011
Review of Economics and Statistics
Convergence and Anchoring of Yield Curves in the Euro Area
  • Ehrmann, M., Fratzscher, M., Gürkaynak, R. and Swanson, E.
2011
German Economic Review
Inflation Developments and Perceptions After the Euro Cash Changeover
  • Ehrmann, M.
2009
European Economic Review
Forecasting ECB Monetary Policy: Accuracy Is a Matter of Geography
  • Berger, H., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2009
Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics
Global Financial Transmission of Monetary Policy Shocks
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2009
International Journal of Central Banking
Explaining Monetary Policy in Press Conferences
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2009
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Purdah – On the Rationale for Central Bank Silence Around Policy Meetings
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2008
Journal of Economic Literature
Central Bank Communication and Monetary Policy: A Survey of Theory and Evidence
  • Blinder, A., Ehrmann, M., Fratzscher, M., De Haan, J. and Jansen, D.J.
2007
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Communication and Decision-Making by Central Bank Committees: Different Strategies, Same Effectiveness?
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2007
International Journal of Central Banking
Transparency, Disclosure and the Federal Reserve
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2007
European Journal of Political Economy
The Timing of Central Bank Communication
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2007
The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics (Topics)
Euro Area Inflation Differentials
  • Angeloni, I. and Ehrmann, M.
2006
Journal of International Money and Finance
The Exchange Rate – A Shock Absorber or Source of Shocks? A Study of 4 Open Economies
  • Artis, M. and Ehrmann, M.
2006
Journal of the European Economic Association
New Evidence on Inflation Persistence and Price Stickiness in the Euro Area: Implications for Macro Modelling
  • Angeloni, I., Aucremanne, L., Ehrmann, M., Galí, J., Levin, A. and Smets, F.
2005
Economic Journal
Equal Size, Equal Role? Interest Rate Interdependence Between the Euro Area and the US
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2005
Journal of International Money and Finance
Exchange Rates and Fundamentals: New Evidence from Real-Time Data
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2004
Journal of the European Economic Association
Bank Networks and Monetary Policy Transmission
  • Ehrmann, M. and Worms, A.
2004
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking
Taking Stock: Monetary Policy Transmission to Equity Markets
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2003
Economic Policy
Monetary Transmission in the Euro Area: Early Evidence
  • Angeloni, I. and Ehrmann, M.
2003
Journal of the European Economic Association
Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area – Evidence from Micro Data on Banks and Firms
  • Chatelain, J.-B., Ehrmann, M., Generale, A., Martinez-Pages, J., Vermeulen, P. and Worms, A.
2003
International Finance
Monetary Policy Announcements and Money Markets: A Transatlantic Perspective
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2003
Oxford Review of Economic Policy
The Effects of Monetary Policy in the Euro Area
  • Ehrmann, M., Gambacorta, L., Martinez-Pages, J., Sevestre, P. and Worms, A.
2003
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control
Uncertain Potential Output: Implications for Monetary Policy
  • Ehrmann, M. and Smets, F.
2003
Economics Letters
Regime-Dependent Impulse Response Functions in a Markov-Switching Vector Autoregression Model
  • Ehrmann, M., Ellison, M. and Valla, N.
2000
Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv
Comparing Monetary Policy Transmission Across European Countries
  • Ehrmann, M.
2018
S. Eijffinger and D. Masciandaro (eds.), Hawks and Doves: Deeds and Words. Economics and Politics of Monetary Policymaking
More, and more forward-looking: Central bank communication after the crisis
  • Coenen, G., Ehrmann, M., Gaballo, G., Hoffmann, P., Nakov, A., Nardelli, S., Persson, E. and Strasser, G.
2018
S. Eijffinger and D. Masciandaro (eds.), Hawks and Doves: Deeds and Words. Economics and Politics of Monetary Policymaking
Central bank policies after the crisis
  • Blinder, A., Ehrmann, M., De Haan, J. and Jansen, J.
2013
J.-E- Sturm and P. Siklos (eds.), Central Bank Communication, Decision Making and Governance
Extreme Views Make News
  • Berger, H., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2011
S. Eijffinger and D. Masciandaro (eds.), Handbook of Central Banking, Financial Regulation and Supervision After the Financial Crisis
How Should Central Banks Deal with a Financial Stability Objective? The Evolving Role of Communication as a Policy Instrument
  • Born, B., Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2009
D. Mayes and G. Wood (eds.), Designing Central Banks
Designing a Central Bank Communication Strategy
  • Ehrmann, M. and Fratzscher, M.
2006
H. Berger and T. Moutos (eds.), Designing the New European Union
Reasons and Implications of Inflation Differentials in the European Monetary Union
  • Angeloni, I. and Ehrmann, M.
2006
L. Klein (ed.), Long-Run Growth and Short-Run Stabilization; Essays in Honor of Albert Ando
Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area: Any Changes After EMU?
  • Angeloni, I. and Ehrmann, M.
2004
Sturm, J.-E. and T. Wollmershäuser (eds.), Ifo Survey Data in Business Cycle and Monetary Policy Analysis
Firm Size and Monetary Policy Transmission: Evidence from German Business Survey Data
  • Ehrmann, M.
2003
Angeloni, I., Kashyap, A. and B. Mojon (eds.), Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area
Financial Systems and the Role of Banks in Monetary Policy Transmission in the Euro Area
  • Ehrmann, M., Gambacorta, L., Martinez-Pages, J., Sevestre, P. and Worms, A.
2002
N. Loayza and K. Schmidt-Hebbel (eds.), Monetary Policy: Rules and Transmission Mechanisms
Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output Volatility? An International Comparison of Policymakers' Preferences and Outcomes
  • Cecchetti, S.G. and Ehrmann, M.