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Should the fed smooth interest rates? the case of seasonal monetary policy

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  • Mankiw, N. Gregory
  • Miron, Jeffrey A.

Abstract

This paper examines the choice of monetary policy in response to seasonal fluctuations in the economy. It discusses the costs and benefits of smoothing interest rates over the seasons, which has been the Fed's policy since its founding in 1914, and presents simulations suggesting how the economy would behave under the alternative policy of stabilizing the money stock. Finally, it presents evidence that the smoothing of interest rates in 1914 changed the seasonal business cycle.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (1991)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 41-69

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Handle: RePEc:eee:crcspp:v:34:y:1991:i::p:41-69

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jme

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References

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  1. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
  2. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, . "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Matter?," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _130, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  3. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert W. Vishny, 1989. "Building Blocks of Market Clearing Business Cycle Models," NBER Working Papers 3004, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ball, Laurence & Romer, David, 1989. "Are Prices Too Sticky?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(3), pages 507-24, August.
  5. Robert E. Hall, 1986. "Market Structure and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 285-338.
  6. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  7. Cecchetti, Stephen G., 1986. "The frequency of price adjustment : A study of the newsstand prices of magazines," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 255-274, April.
  8. Laurence Ball & David Romer, 1990. "Real Rigidities and the Non-Neutrality of Money," NBER Working Papers 2476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kiyotaki, Nobuhiro, 1987. "Monopolistic Competition and the Effects of Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(4), pages 647-66, September.
  10. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "The Changing Behavior of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 211-28, May.
  11. Anil K. Kashyap, 1991. "Sticky prices: new evidence from retail catalogs," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-26, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  12. Clark, Truman A, 1986. "Interest Rate Seasonals and the Federal Reserve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 76-125, February.
  13. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
  14. Newey, Whitney K & West, Kenneth D, 1987. "A Simple, Positive Semi-definite, Heteroskedasticity and Autocorrelation Consistent Covariance Matrix," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(3), pages 703-08, May.
  15. Faig, Miquel, 1989. "Seasonal Fluctuations and the Demand for Money," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(4), pages 847-61, November.
  16. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1988. "Central banking under the gold standard," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 85-124, January.
  17. Christina Romer & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1989. "A New Monthly Index of Industrial Production, 1884-1940," NBER Working Papers 3172, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Affect Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 433-494.
  19. N. Gregory Mankiw & Jeffrey A. Miron & David N. Weil, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," NBER Working Papers 2124, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Friedman, Milton, 1982. "Monetary Policy: Theory and Practice," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(1), pages 98-118, February.
  21. Gray, Jo Anna, 1976. "Wage indexation: A macroeconomic approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 221-235, April.
  22. Simon Kuznets, 1933. "Seasonal Variations in Industry and Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number kuzn33-1, octubre-d.
  23. Robert B. Barsky & Jeffrey A. Miron, 1989. "The Seasonal Cycle and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 2688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Robert J. Shiller, 1980. "Can the Fed Control Real Interest Rates?," NBER Chapters, in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 117-167 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Barro, Robert J & Grossman, Herschel I, 1971. "A General Disequilibrium Model of Income and Employment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(1), pages 82-93, March.
  26. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw & David Romer, 1988. "The New Keynsesian Economics and the Output-Inflation Trade-off," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(1), pages 1-82.
  27. repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. William Poole & Charles Lieberman, 1972. "Improving Monetary Control," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(2), pages 293-342.
  29. Miron, Jeffrey A, 1986. "Financial Panics, the Seasonality of the Nominal Interest Rate, and theFounding of the Fed," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(1), pages 125-40, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Brian Sack, 1998. "Uncertainty, learning, and gradual monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Jeffrey A. Miron, 1996. "The Economics of Seasonal Cycles," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262133237.
  3. Smith, R. Todd & van Egteren, Henry, 2005. "Interest rate smoothing and financial stability," Review of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 147-171.
  4. Miron, J.A., 1988. "A Cross-Country Comparaison Of Seasonal Cycles And Business Cycles," Papers 89-07, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  5. Michael F. Bryan & Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1995. "The seasonality of consumer prices," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue Q II, pages 12-23.
  6. Liu, Zheng, 2000. "Seasonal cycles, business cycles, and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 441-464, October.
  7. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  8. Marcelo Veracierto, 2005. "Seasonal monetary policy," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q III, pages 49-68.

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