A Discrete-Choice Econometrician's Tale of Monetary Policy Identification and Predictability
Title: A Discrete-Choice Econometrician's Tale of Monetary Policy Identification and Predictability
Author: SIRCHENKO, Andrei
Citation: Florence : European University Institute, 2012
Series/Number: EUI PhD theses; Department of Economics
This thesis studies the econometric identification and predictability of monetary policy. It addresses the discrete and collective nature of policy decisions, and the use of the real-time versus currently available revised data. The first chapter combines the ordered probit model, novel real-time data set and policy-making meetings as a unit of observation to estimate highly systematic reaction patterns between policy rate decisions and incoming economic data. The paper measures the empirical significance of the rate discreteness and demonstrates that both the discrete-choice approach and real-time "policy-meeting" data do matter in the econometric identification of monetary policy. The estimated rules surpass the market anticipation made one day prior to a policy meeting, both in and out of sample. The second chapter provides empirical evidence that a prompter release of policy- makers’ votes could improve the predictability of policy decisions. The voting patterns reveal strong and robust predictive content even after controlling for policy bias and responses to inflation, real activity, exchange rates and financial market indicators. They contain information not embedded in the spreads and moves in the market interest rates, nor in the explicit forecasts of the next policy decision made by market analysts. Moreover, the direction of policymakers’ dissent explains the direction of analysts’ forecast bias. The third chapter develops a two-stage model for ordinal outcomes (such as discrete changes to the policy interest rates) that are characterized by abundant observations, potentially generated by different processes, in the middle neutral category (no change to the rate). In the context of policy rate setting, the first stage, a policy inclination decision, determines policy stance (loose, neutral or tight) as a reaction to economic conditions, whereas two amount decisions at the second stage are driven mostly by the institutional features. There are three types of zeros: "neutral" zeros, generated directly by the neutral policy stance, and two kinds of "offset" zeros, "loose" and "tight" zeros, generated by the loose or tight stance, offset at the second stage. The model is applied to the individual policymakers’ votes for the interest rate. Both the empirical applications and simulations demonstrate superiority with respect to the conventional models.
Defence date: 12 November 2012; Examining Board: Professor Helmut Lütkepohl, DIW Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin (External Supervisor); Professor Peter Hansen, European University Institute; Professor Michael Beenstock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem; Professor James D. Hamilton, University of California; Professor Matthew Neidell, Columbia University.
Type of Access: openAccess