The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper draws attention to inconsistencies in estimating simple monetary policy rules and their implications for policy advice. We simulate a macroeconomic model with a backward reaction function similar to Taylor (1993). We estimate different versions of a policy rule, using these simulated data. Under certain circumstances, estimations document an illusionary presence of a lagged interest rate, or of forward-looking behavior. Our results are consistent with the fact that several authors found very different versions of monetary policy rules, all fitting the U.S. data well. We also survey the literature, providing a list of issues complicating practical use of Taylor rules.