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How do data revisions affect the evaluation and conduct of monetary policy?

Sharon Kozicki ()

Economic Review, 2004, vol. 89, issue Q I, 5-38

Abstract: Many economic data series are revised as more comprehensive information becomes available and as methodologies improve. Even the latest available data are subject to uncertainty, and at some point historical data may be replaced by more accurately measured observations. Because monetary policy decisions are made with an eye to the state of the economy, data uncertainty complicates the evaluation and conduct of monetary policy. ; Kozicki focuses on revisions to data that policymakers often examine when assessing monetary policy options. While other studies have looked at the impact of data revisions on monetary policy, this article is the first to examine the policy implications of revisions in two widely used benchmarks of resource utilization?the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates of potential output and the natural rate of unemployment. The article is also the first to consider how data revisions affect policy decisions through changes in estimates of the equilibrium real rate of interest. ; Kozicki finds that revisions to data can lead to policy regret?instances when revised data may suggest alternative actions would have been preferable to those taken. Based on this finding and analysis in other studies, she recommends making policy less sensitive to economic indicators that are subject to large revisions.

Keywords: Monetary; policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:2004:i:qi:p:5-38:n:v.89no.1