DP5808 Does Inflation Targeting Anchor Long-Run Inflation Expectations? Evidence from Long-Term Bond Yields in the US, UK and Sweden

Author(s): Refet S. G├╝rkaynak, Andrew Levin, Eric T Swanson
Publication Date: August 2006
Keyword(s): inflation targeting
JEL(s): E31, E52, E58
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=5808

We investigate the extent to which inflation targeting helps anchor long-run inflation expectations by comparing the behaviour of daily bond yield data in the United Kingdom and Sweden?both inflation targeters?to that in the United States, a non-inflation-targeter. Using the difference between far-ahead forward rates on nominal and inflation-indexed bonds as a measure of compensation for expected inflation and inflation risk at long horizons, we examine how much, if at all, far-ahead forward inflation compensation moves in response to macroeconomic data releases and monetary policy announcements. In the U.S., we find that forward inflation compensation exhibits highly significant responses to economic news. In the U.K., we find a level of sensitivity similar to that in the U.S. prior to the Bank of England gaining independence in 1997, but a striking absence of such sensitivity since the central bank became independent. In Sweden, we find that inflation compensation has been insensitive to economic news over the whole period for which we have data. We show that these observations are also matched by the relative means and volatilities of the time series of far-ahead forward inflation compensation in these three countries. Our findings support the view that a well-known and credible inflation target helps anchor the private sector?s views regarding the distribution of long-run inflation outcomes.