The role of the term spread in an augmented Taylor rule: An empirical investigation.
Using US data for the period 1967:5-2002:4, this paper empirically investigates the performance of an augmented version of the Taylor rule (ATR) that (i) allows for the presence of switching regimes, (ii) considers the long-short term spread in addition to the typical variables, (iii) uses an alternative monthly indicator of general economic activity suggested by Stock and Watson (1999), and (iv) considers interest rate smoothing. The estimation results show the existence of switching regimes, one characterized by low volatility and the other by high volatility. Moreover, the scale of the responses of the Federal funds rate to movements in the term spread, inflation and the economic activity index depend on the regime. The estimation results also show robust empirical evidence that the ATR has been more stable during the term of office of Chairman Greenspan than in the pre-Greenspan period. However, a closer look at the Greenspan period shows the existence of two alternative regimes and that the response of the Fed funds rate to inflation has not been significant during this period once the term spread is considered.
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