A Regime Switching Model for the European Central Bank
University of Geneva - Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences
January 23, 2012
This paper estimates a regime switching Taylor Rule for the European Central Bank (ECB) in order to investigate some potential nonlinearities in the forward-looking policy reaction function within a real-time framework. In order to compare observed and predicted policy behavior, the paper estimates Actual and Perceived regime switching Taylor Rules for the ECB. The former is based on the refi rate set by the Governing Council, while the latter relies on the professional point forecasts of the refi rate performed by a large investment bank before the upcoming policy rate decision. The empirical evidence shows that the Central Bank's main policy rate has switched between two regimes: in the first one the Taylor Principle is satisfied and the ECB stabilizes the economic outlook, while in the second regime the Central Bank cuts rates more aggressively and puts a higher emphasis on stabilizing real output growth expectations. Second, the results point out that the professional forecasters have broadly well predicted the actual policy regimes. The estimation results are also robust to using consensus forecasts of inflation and real output growth. The empirical evidence from the augmented Taylor Rules shows that the Central Bank has most likely not responded to the growth rates of M3 and the nominal effective exchange rate and the estimated regimes are robust to including these additional variables in the regressions. Finally, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers the policy rate has switched to a crisis regime as the ECB has focused on preventing a further decline in economic activity and on securing the stability of the financial system.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 53
Keywords: European Central Bank, monetary policy predictability, nonlinear policy reaction function, real-time forecasts, Markov regime switching
JEL Classification: C24, E52, E58working papers series
Date posted: September 6, 2010 ; Last revised: January 23, 2012
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