NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Perceived FOMC: The Making of Hawks, Doves and Swingers

Michael D. Bordo, Klodiana Istrefi

NBER Working Paper No. 24650
Issued in May 2018, Revised in August 2019
NBER Program(s):The Monetary Economics Program

Narrative records in US newspapers reveal that about 70 percent of Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members who served during the last 55 years are perceived to have had persistent policy preferences over time, as either inflation-fighting hawks or growth-promoting doves. The rest are perceived as swingers, switching between types, or remained an unknown quantity to markets. What makes a member a hawk or a dove? What moulds those who change their tune? We highlight ideology by education and early life economic experiences of these members. The Hawk/Dove composition of the FOMC also matters for monetary policy as do the determinants that we isolate. They help explain deviations of the Federal Funds Rate from a forward–looking Taylor rule. This result has implications for the political economy of FOMC appointments. This research is based on an original dataset.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24650

 
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