Rules and Discretion in Monetary Policy: Is the Response of the Stock Market Rational?



Summary

We investigate the effects of the monetary policy conduct on the domestic capital market for a sample of developed countries where the capital market plays a significant role in the economy. We break down the policy rate innovations in rules-based and discretionary components in order to determine the degree of prudentiality in the monetary policy conduct and we study their accounts with respect to capital market rationality. The rules-based component is determined using an interpolated vanilla Taylor-rule policy rate at the event date and the discretionary component is obtained by subtracting the rules-based rate from the target monetary policy rate innovation. Using an event study approach, we analyze the impact of monetary policy components on the returns of the stock market and we determine that the conduct of the monetary policy can cause irrational responses of the capital market. More than that, we show, for the analyzed countries, that if the general level of discretion in the monetary policy is high the response of the stock market becomes increasingly erratic, indicating that forward guidance may help reduce uncertainty on capital markets.


Keywords

monetary policy, event study, capital market efficiency, discretion, rules, forward guidance