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Historical Perspectives on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism

In: Monetary Policy

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  • Jeffrey A. Miron
  • Christina D. Romer
  • David N. Weil

Abstract

This paper examines changes over time in the importance of the lending channel in the transmission of monetary shocks to the real economy. We first use a simple extension of the Bernanke-Blinder model to isolate the observable factors that affect the strength of the lending channel. We then show that based on changes in the structure of banks assets, reserve requirements, and the composition of external firm finance, the lending channel should have been stronger before 1929 than during the post-World War II period, especially the first half of this period. Finally, we demonstrate that conventional indicators of the importance of the lending channel, such as the spread between the loan rate and the bond rate and the correlation between loans and output, do not show the predicted decline in the importance of lending over time. From this we conclude that either the traditional indicators are not useful measures of the strength of the lending channel or that the lending channel has not been quantitatively important in any era.

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This chapter was published in:

  • N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1, July.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 8335.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:8335

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    References

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    1. Hoover, Kevin D. & Perez, Stephen J., 1994. "Post hoc ergo propter once more an evaluation of 'does monetary policy matter?' in the spirit of James Tobin," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-74, August.
    2. Claudia Goldin & Hugh Rockoff, 1992. "Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold92-1, July.
    3. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1993. "Monetary policy, business cycles and the behavior of small manufacturing firms," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-4, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-76, June.
    5. Michael Dotsey & Max Reid, 1992. "Oil shocks, monetary policy, and economic activity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Jul, pages 14-27.
    6. Raymond W. Goldsmith & Robert E. Lipsey & Morris Mendelson, 1963. "Studies in the National Balance Sheet of the United States, Vol. 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold63-2, July.
    7. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1988. "Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 435-39, May.
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    Cited by:
    1. Riccardo Fiorentini & Roberto Tamborini, 1998. "Monetary policy, credit and aggregate supply: the evidence from Italy," Department of Economics Working Papers 9807, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    2. John C. Driscoll, 2003. "Does bank lending affect output? evidence from the U.S. states," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Sophocles N. Brissimis & Nicholas S. Magginas, 2003. "Changes in Financial Structure and Asset Price Substitutability: A Test of the Bank Lending Channel," Working Papers 05, Bank of Greece.
    4. William B. English, 2002. "Financial consolidation and monetary policy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 271-284.
    5. Basistha, Arabinda & Kurov, Alexander, 2008. "Macroeconomic cycles and the stock market's reaction to monetary policy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2606-2616, December.
    6. Michael S. Gibson, 1997. "The bank lending channel of monetary policy transmission: evidence from a model of bank behavior that incorporates long-term customer relationships," International Finance Discussion Papers 584, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1993. "Credit channel or credit actions? an interpretation of the postwar transmission mechanism," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 71-149.
    8. Roberto Tamborini & Riccardo Fiorentini, 2001. "The monetary transmission mechanism in Italy: the credit channel and a missing ring," Department of Economics Working Papers 0101, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
    9. Balázs Égert & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Transition Economies: Surveying the Surveyable," MNB Working Papers 2006/5, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
    10. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Bank Lending," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 221-261 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Joseph H. Davis & Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2009. "Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Working Papers 14686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Craig Furfine, 1998. "Interbank payments and the daily federal funds rate," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Fernando Barran & Virginie Coudert & Benoît Mojon, 1994. "Transmission de la politique monétaire et crédit, une application à 5 pays de l'OCDE," Working Papers 1994-03, CEPII research center.

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