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History of the Asymmetric Policy Directive

Resource Type
Dataset : survey data
  • Thornton, Daniel L. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
  • Wheelock, David C. (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)
Other Title
  • Archival Version (Subtitle)
Publication Date
Free Keywords
Federal Open Market Committee; policy making
  • Abstract

    From 1983 through 1999, policy directives issued by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) contained a statement pertaining to possible future policy actions, which was known as the "symmetry," "tilt," or "bias" of the directive. In May 1999, the FOMC began to announce publicly the symmetry of its current directive. This resulted in much speculation about the meaning of asymmetric directives, which the FOMC had never officially defined. In this article, the authors. investigate three suggested interpretations: (1) Asymmetry was intended to convey likely changes in policy either between FOMC meetings or at the next meeting, (2) Asymmetry increased the chairman's authority to change policy in the direction indicated by the specified asymmetry, and (3) Asymmetric language was used primarily to build consensus among voting FOMC members. The authors find strong support in the implementation of monetary policy only for the consensus-building hypothesis.
  • Table of Contents


    • DS1: Dataset
Geographic Coverage
  • United States
Collection Mode
  • (1) The file submitted, 0009dtd.xls, contains data and program files. (2) These data are part of ICPSR's Publication-Related Archive and are distributed exactly as they arrived from the data depositor. ICPSR has not checked or processed this material. Users should consult the investigators if further information is desired.

This version of the study is no longer available on the web. If you need to acquire this version of the data, you have to contact ICPSR User Support (
Alternative Identifiers
  • 1230 (Type: ICPSR Study Number)
  • Is previous version of
    DOI: 10.3886/ICPSR01230.v1
  • Thornton, Daniel L., Wheelock, David C.. A history of the asymmetric policy directive. Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review.82, (5), 1-16.2000.

Update Metadata: 2015-08-05 | Issue Number: 6 | Registration Date: 2015-06-15

Thornton, Daniel L.; Wheelock, David C. (2000): History of the Asymmetric Policy Directive. Archival Version. Version: v0. ICPSR - Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research. Dataset.