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Reexamining the monetarist critique of interest rate rules

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Author Info

  • Robert G. King
  • Mau-Ting Lin

Abstract

Monetarist economists argued long ago that central bank interest rate rules exacerbate macroeconomic fluctuations, essentially by not allowing the interest rate to respond promptly to shifts in the supply and demand for loans. To support this critique, they pointed to the procyclicality of the money stock. Yet, when there are real shocks and a real business cycle, modern macroeconomic models imply that some procyclicality of money is desirable, to stabilize the price level. A simple interest rate rule illustrates that the monetarist critique can be valid within this model, since the rule exacerbates the response of real activity to real shocks. Other interest rate rules instead limit the macro economy's response to real shocks. But, while these interest rate rules have diverse effects on real activity, there is an important common implication: By smoothing the nominal interest rate in the short run, the rules all lead to increases in the longer-run variability in inflation and nominal interest rates.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its journal Review.

Volume (Year): (2005)
Issue (Month): Jul ()
Pages: 513-530

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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2005:i:jul:p:513-530:n:v.87no.4

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Related research

Keywords: Interest rates ; Macroeconomics;

References

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  1. Coenen Günter & Orphanides Athanasios & Wieland Volker, 2004. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-25, February.
  2. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  3. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
  4. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  5. anonymous, 1978. "Commentary on monetary economics: an interview with Karl Brunner," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 8-12.
  6. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 1998. "The new neoclassical synthesis and the role of monetary policy," Working Paper 98-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  7. King, R.G. & Baxter, M., 1990. "Fiscal Policy In General Equilibrium," RCER Working Papers 244, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  8. Miles S. Kimball, 1996. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," NBER Working Papers 5046, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Bhattacharya, B.B. & Bhanumurthy, N.R. & Mallick, Hrushikesh, 2008. "Modeling interest rate cycles in India," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 899-915.
  2. Andrés, Javier & David López-Salido, J. & Nelson, Edward, 2009. "Money and the natural rate of interest: Structural estimates for the United States and the euro area," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 758-776, March.
  3. Elmar Mertens, 2005. "Puzzling Comovements between Output and Interest Rates? Multiple Shocks are the Answer," Working Papers 05.05, Swiss National Bank, Study Center Gerzensee.

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