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The 2015 economic outlook and the implications for monetary policy
Remarks at Bernard M. Baruch College, New York City.
The Natural Rate of Interest in Taylor Rules
The Taylor rule suggests that the federal funds rate should be adjusted when inflation deviates from the Fed?s inflation target or when output deviates from the Fed?s estimate of potential output. Typical formulations of the rule assume that the level of the inflation-adjusted federal funds rate that is expected to prevail in the long run, sometimes thought of as the ?natural? rate of interest, is constant over time. Since this assumption is likely incorrect, we show how the Taylor rule can account for a variable natural rate by incorporating long-term productivity growth. We also show that ...
Federal Funds Rates Based on Seven Simple Monetary Policy Rules
Monetary policymakers often use simple monetary policy rules, like the Taylor rule, as an input into their decision-making. However, there are many different simple rules, and there is no agreement on a single ?best? rule. We look at the federal funds rates coming from seven simple rules and three economic forecasts to investigate the range of results that can be produced. While there are some commonalities, we document that the differences in the federal funds rates suggested by the rules can be quite pronounced.
Even Keel and the Great Inflation
Using IV-GMM techniques and real-time data, we estimate a forward looking, Taylor-type reaction function incorporating dummy variables for even-keel operations and a variable for foreign official pressures on the U.S. gold stock during the Great Inflation. We show that when the Federal Reserve undertook even-keel operations to assist U.S. Treasury security sales, the FOMC tended to delay monetary-policy adjustments and to inject small amounts of reserves into the banking system. The operations, however, did not contribute significantly to the Great Inflation, because they occurred during ...
A New Look at Historical Monetary Policy and the Great Inflation through the Lens of a Persistence-Dependent Policy Rule
The origins of the Great Inflation, a central 20th century U.S. macroeconomic event, remain contested. Prominent explanations are poor forecasts or deficient activity gap estimates. An alternative view: the FOMC was unwilling to fight inflation, perhaps due to political pressures. Our findings, based on a novel approach, support the latter view. New econometric tools allow us to credibly identify the particular activity gap, if any, in use. Persistence-dependent unemployment (gap) responses in the 1970s were essentially the same pre- and post-Volcker. Conversely, FOMC behavior vis--vis ...
A Look at the Accuracy of Policy Expectations
Since the 1980s, the primary policy tool of the Federal Reserve has been the federal funds rate. Because expectations of the future path of the funds rate play a central role in the term structure of interest rates and thus the monetary transmission mechanism, it is important to know how accurate these expectations are in predicting the funds rate. In this post, we investigate this issue using a well-known survey of private sector forecasters. We find that forecasts tend to over-predict the funds rate in easing cycles and under-predict it in tightening cycles. In addition, while forecasts ...