Changes in the Informational Content of the Spread: Is Monetary Policy Becoming Less Effective?
WPnull/07 Changes in the Informational Content of the Spread: Is Monetary Policy Becoming Less Effective?
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We examine how the predictive power of term spreads as predictors of economic recessions in Europe and the US has changed in the last two decades. In particular, we focus on the power of domestic and of US and German term spreads to predict real economic activity. Using a battery of methodologies that include endogenous changepoint detection we find that the predictive power of spreadtype variables has changed significantly after the 1980s: in the most advanced countries the domestic spread has lost its informative content in favor of the US spread, whereas in other, less developed countries, this informational content has appeared during the late 1980s. Other predictive variables examined are shown to add little information over term spreads. Given the theoretical arguments that support the predictive power, these findings suggest that domestic monetary policy may have become less effective with respect to real activity in the most developed countries of the sample.
Classification JEL:E44, C53
Keywords:Interest Rate Spread, Recession, Forecast, Europe
Number of Pages:35