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A Regime Switching Model for the European Central Bank

Monetary Policy in the Context of the Financial Crisis: New Challenges and Lessons

ISBN: 978-1-78441-780-2, eISBN: 978-1-78441-779-6

Publication date: 1 July 2015


This chapter estimates a regime switching Taylor Rule for the European Central Bank (ECB) in order to investigate some potential nonlinearities in the forward-looking policy reaction function within a real-time framework. In order to compare observed and predicted policy behavior, the chapter estimates Actual and Perceived regime switching Taylor Rules for the ECB. The former is based on the refi rate set by the Governing Council while the latter relies on the professional point forecasts of the refi rate performed by a large investment bank before the upcoming policy rate decision. The empirical evidence shows that the Central Bank’s main policy rate has switched between two regimes: in the first one the Taylor Principle is satisfied and the ECB stabilizes the economic outlook, while in the second regime the Central Bank cuts rates more aggressively and puts a higher emphasis on stabilizing real output growth expectations. Second, the results point out that the professional forecasters have broadly well predicted the actual policy regimes. The estimation results are also robust to using consensus forecasts of inflation and real output growth. The empirical evidence from the augmented Taylor Rules shows that the Central Bank has most likely not responded to the growth rates of M3 and the nominal effective exchange rate and the estimated regimes are robust to including these additional variables in the regressions. Finally, after the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers the policy rate has switched to a crisis regime as the ECB has focused on preventing a further decline in economic activity and on securing the stability of the financial system.




The author is particularly grateful to Henri Loubergé, Charles Wyplosz, Ulrich Kohli, Jean-Marc Natal, Alessandro Missale, the colleagues from the Department of Economics, as well as the participants of the Young Researchers Seminar of the University of Geneva for their valuable comments and insights.


Markov, N. (2015), "A Regime Switching Model for the European Central Bank", Monetary Policy in the Context of the Financial Crisis: New Challenges and Lessons (International Symposia in Economic Theory and Econometrics, Vol. 24), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 267-337.



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