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Why Do Central Banks Smooth Interest Rates?

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It is commonly observed that central banks respond gradually to economic shocks, moving the interest rate in small discrete steps in the same direction over an extended period of time. This paper examines the empirical evidence regarding central banks' smoothing of interest rates, paying particular attention to the case of Canada. It then reviews the alternative explanations of the stylized facts that have recently emerged in the literature.

JEL Code(s): E, E5