Forward Guidance and Heterogeneous Beliefs
65 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2017 Last revised: 14 Mar 2017
Date Written: November 1, 2016
Central banks' announcements that future interest rates will remain low could signal either a weak future macroeconomic outlook - which is bad news - or a future expansionary monetary policy - which is good news. In this paper, we use the Survey of Professional Forecasters to show that these two interpretations coexisted when the Fed engaged into date-based forward guidance policy between 2011Q3 and 2012Q4. We then extend an otherwise standard New-Keynesian model to study the consequences of such heterogeneous interpretations. We show that it can strongly mitigate the effectiveness of forward guidance and that the presence of few pessimists may require keeping rates low for longer. However, when pessimists are sufficiently numerous forward guidance can even be detrimental.
Keywords: monetary policy, forward guidance, communication, heterogeneous beliefs, disagreement
JEL Classification: E31, E52, E65
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation