The Ambiguous Signaling Channel of Monetary Policy

52 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2022

See all articles by Donghai Zhang

Donghai Zhang

Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics - University of Bonn; National University of Singapore (NUS), Department of Economics

Date Written: April 15, 2022

Abstract

Excess sensitivity—the significant effects of monetary policy on long-term interest rates—is a well-known puzzle. This paper documents excess sensitivity as being more pronounced in response to monetary policy easing than monetary tightening—the asymmetric excess-sensitivity puzzle. A micro-founded model that rationalizes the findings is proposed. Policy actions signal the economy’s unobserved state because of the central bank’s private information. Knightian uncertainty about the precision of the policy signal and ambiguity-averse preferences give rise to the ambiguous signaling channel of monetary policy. The model predicts that monetary easing has stronger and excessive effects on long-term interest rates but weaker impacts on real GDP than does monetary tightening. I provide evidence that supports the proposed mechanism.

Keywords: Monetary Policy, Ambiguous Signaling Channel, Excess-sensitivity Puzzle, Price Puzzle, Output Puzzle, Asymmetry

JEL Classification: E32, E43, E44, E52, E58

Suggested Citation

Zhang, Donghai, The Ambiguous Signaling Channel of Monetary Policy (April 15, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4080429 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4080429

Donghai Zhang (Contact Author)

Institute for Macroeconomics and Econometrics - University of Bonn ( email )

Bonn
Germany

National University of Singapore (NUS), Department of Economics ( email )

Singapore
Singapore

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