Mr. Ales Bulir, Jaromír Hurník, and Ms. Katerina Smídková
We offer a novel methodology for assessing the quality of inflation reports. In contrast to the existing literature, which mostly evaluates the formal quality of these reports, we evaluate their economic content by comparing inflation factors reported by the central banks with ex-post model-identified factors. Regarding the former, we use verbal analysis and coding of inflation reports to describe inflation factors communicated by central banks in real time. Regarding the latter, we use reduced-form, new Keynesian models and revised data to approximate the true inflation factors. Positive correlations indicate that the reported inflation factors were similar to the true, model-identified ones and hence mark high-quality inflation reports. Although central bank reports on average identify inflation factors correctly, the degree of forward-looking reporting varies across factors, time, and countries.
We propose a new approach to test the full-information rational expectations hypothesis which can identify whether rejections of the arise from information rigidities. This approach quantifies the economic significance of departures from the and the underlying degree of information rigidity. Applying this approach to U.S. and international data of professional forecasters and other agents yields pervasive evidence consistent with the presence of information rigidities. These results therefore provide a set of stylized facts which can be used to calibrate imperfect information models. Finally, we document evidence of state-dependence in the expectations formation process.
Ms. Katerina Smídková, Viktor Kotlán, David Navrátil, and Mr. Ales Bulir
Inflation-targeting central banks have a respectable track record at explaining their policy actions and corresponding inflation outturns. Using a simple forward-looking policy rule and an assessment of inflation reports, we provide a new methodology for the empirical evaluation of consistency in central bank communication. We find that the three communication tools-inflation targets, inflation forecasts, and verbal assessments of inflation factors contained in quarterly inflation reports-provided a consistent message in five out of six observations in our 2000-05 sample of Chile, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Thailand, and Sweden.
This paper develops and estimates a game-theoretical model of inflation targeting where the central banker's preferences are asymmetric around the targeted rate. Specifically, positive deviations from the target can be weighted more, or less, severely than negative ones in the central banker's loss function. It is shown that some of the previous results derived under the assumption of symmetry are not robust to this generalization of preferences. Estimates of the central banker's preference parameters for Canada, Sweden, and the United Kingdom are statistically different from the one implied by the commonly-used quadratic loss function.
The revised Bank of Korea Act states that the primary goal of monetary policy is price stability, suggesting that monetary policy will move toward an inflation-targeting framework. The paper explores some of the practical aspects of this move, including such issues as the predictability of inflation, the definition of the price index, the inflation target’s time horizon, and the width of the inflation-target bands. On balance, the empirical evidence suggests that Korea is likely to be successful in adopting an inflation-targeting framework over the medium term.
In recent years, an inflation targeting framework for monetary policy has been adopted in a number of industrial countries. This paper discusses the practical issues that have arisen under the operation of the new framework, and highlights five features of the framework: the assignment of the target, the interaction with other policy goals, the definition of the target, accountability and the role of inflation forecasts. The economic performance of the inflation targeting countries thus far is summarized.