Regional Banking Instability and FOMC Voting
IWH Discussion Papers,
This study analyzes if regionally affiliated Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) members take their districts’ regional banking sector instability into account when they vote. Considering the period from 1978 to 2010, we find that a deterioration in a district’s bank health increases the probability that this district’s representative in the FOMC votes to ease interest rates. According to member-specific characteristics, the effect of regional banking sector instability on FOMC voting behavior is most pronounced for Bank presidents (as opposed to governors) and FOMC members who have career backgrounds in the financial industry or who represent a district with a large banking sector.
Do Federal Reserve Bank Presidents’ Interest Rate Votes in the FOMC follow an Electoral Cycle?
Applied Economics Letters,
We find that Federal Reserve Bank presidents’ regional bias in their dissenting interest rate votes in the Federal Open Market Committee follows an electoral cycle. Presidents put more weight on their district’s economic environment during the year prior to their (re-)election relative to nonelection years.
Forecast Dispersion, Dissenting Votes, and Monetary Policy Preferences of FOMC Members: The Role of Individual Career Characteristics and Political Aspects
Using data from 1992 to 2001, we study the impact of members’ economic forecasts on the probability of casting dissenting votes in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC). Employing standard ordered probit techniques, we find that higher individual inflation and real GDP growth forecasts (relative to the committee’s median) significantly increase the probability of dissenting in favor of tighter monetary policy, whereas higher individual unemployment rate forecasts significantly decrease it. Using interaction models, we find that FOMC members with longer careers in government, industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), or on the staff of the Board of Governors are more focused on output stabilization, while FOMC members with longer careers in the financial sector or on the staffs of regional Federal Reserve Banks are more focused on inflation stabilization. We also find evidence that politics matters, with Republican appointees being much more focused on inflation stabilization than Democratic appointees. Moreover, during the entire Clinton administration ‘natural’ monetary policy preferences of Bank presidents and Board members for inflation and output stabilization were more pronounced than under periods covering the administrations of both George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, respectively.
Regional House Price Dynamics and Voting Behavior in the FOMC
This paper examines the impact of house price gaps in Federal Reserve districts on the voting behavior in the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) from 1978 to 2010. Applying a random effects ordered probit model, we find that a higher regional house price gap significantly increases (decreases) the probability that this district's representative in the FOMC casts interest rate votes in favor of tighter (easier) monetary policy. In addition, our results suggest that Bank presidents react more sensitively to regional house price developments than Board members do.