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Testing for Stabilizing Monetary Policy Rules: How Robust to Alternative Specifications?

Kevin Carey ()

The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2001, vol. 1, issue 1, 1-18

Abstract: A common hypothesis of interest in estimated Taylor rules is whether the Federal Funds rate increases more than one-for-one with inflation; a rule with this characteristic is described as stabilizing. This paper discusses the interaction of this hypothesis with the widespread use of a partial adjustment model, in the context of sub-sample stability and robustness to the assumed exclusion of the long bond rate. Estimated rules display sharply different behavior in the 1980s versus the 1990s, and the degree of inertia -- on which the calculated policy response depends -- rises to implausibly high levels in the 1990s. The rising inertia sharpens the non-linearity of the model, imparting fragility to the stabilization inference. Long bond inclusion mitigates these problems, but alternatives to partial adjustment, with a more flexible approach to autocorrelation, also show promise.

Date: 2001
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