Has Us Monetary Policy Changed? Evidence from Drifting Coefficients and Real-Time Data

41 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2005 Last revised: 17 Jul 2009

See all articles by Jean Boivin

Jean Boivin

HEC Montreal; Columbia Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2005


Despite the large amount of empirical research on monetary policy rules, there is surprisingly little consensus on the nature or even the existence of changes in the conduct of U.S. monetary policy. Three issues appear central to this disagreement: 1) the specific type of changes in the policy coefficients, 2) the treatment of heteroskedasticity, and 3) the real-time nature of the data used. This paper addresses these issues in the context of forward-looking Taylor rules with drifting coefficients. The estimation is based on real-time data and accounts for the presence of heteroskedasticity in the policy shock. The findings suggest important but gradual changes in the rule coefficients, not adequately captured by the usual split-sample estimation. In contrast to Orphanides (2002, 2003), I find that the Fed's response to the real-time forecast of inflation was weak in the second half of the 1970's, perhaps not satisfying Taylor's principle as suggested by Clarida, Galìì and Gertler (2000). However, the response to inflation was strong before 1973 and gradually regained strength from the early 1980's onward. Moreover, as in Orphanides (2003), the Fed's response to real activity fell substantially and lastingly during the 1970's.

Suggested Citation

Boivin, Jean, Has Us Monetary Policy Changed? Evidence from Drifting Coefficients and Real-Time Data (May 2005). NBER Working Paper No. w11314. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=721101

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