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What Monetary Authorities do - an Examination of Reaction Functions for Germany, Japan, the UK and the US

Jagjit Chadha () and Norbert G. J. Janssen

Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), 1997, vol. 133, issue III, 455-476

Abstract: Following the end of the Bretton Woods system, national monetary authorities adopted various forms of feedback rule for monetary policy. This paper investigates the role of discretion in following stated rules. We motivate a simple reaction function for monetary authorities' official interest rates which may operate regardless of the stated policy. The reaction function is tested for Germany, Japan, the UK and the US with quarterly cyclical data since 1971. We find reasonable evidence to suggest that it is possible to characterise official rates as reacting to a similar set of cyclical variables, across countries and through time, irrespective of the declared policy rule. The differences in relative weights attached to feedback variables do not seem to be explained by stated policy rules.

Date: 1997
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