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The U.S. Dynamic Taylor Rule With Multiple Breaks, 1984-2001.

Travaglini, Guido (2007): The U.S. Dynamic Taylor Rule With Multiple Breaks, 1984-2001.

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Abstract

This paper combines two major strands of literature: structural breaks and Taylor rules. At first, I propose a nonstandard t-test statistic for detecting multiple level and trend breaks of I(0) series by supplying theoretical and limit-distribution critical values obtained from Montecarlo experimentation. Thereafter, I introduce a forward-looking Taylor rule expressed as a dynamic model which allows for multiple breaks and reaction-function coefficients of the leads of inflation, of the output gap and of an equity market index. Sequential GMM estimation of the model, applied to the Effective Federal Funds Rate for the period 1984:01-2001:06, produces three main interesting results: the existence of significant structural breaks, the substantial role played by inflation in the FOMC decisions and a marked equity targeting policy approach. Such results reveal departures from rationality, determined by structured and unstructured uncertainty, which the Fed systematically attempts at reducing by administering inflation scares and misinformation about the actual Phillips curve, in order to keep the output and equity markets under control.

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