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Pushing On a String: US Monetary Policy is Less Powerful in Recessions

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  • Silvana Tenreyro
  • Gregory Thwaites

Abstract

We estimate the impulse response of key US macro series to the monetary policy shocks identified by Romer and Romer (2004), allowing the response to depend flexibly on the state of the business cycle. We find strong evidence that the effects of monetary policy on real and nominal variables are more powerful in expansions than in recessions. The magnitude of the difference is particularly large in durables expenditure and business investment. The effect is not attributable to differences in the response of fiscal variables or the external finance premium. We find some evidence that contractionary policy shocks have more powerful effects than expansionary shocks. But contractionary shocks have not been more common in booms, so this asymmetry cannot explain our main finding.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp1218.

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Date of creation: May 2013
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp1218

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Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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Keywords: asymmetric effects of monetary policy; transmission mechanism; recession; durable goods; local projection methods;

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper 0107, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Working Papers 17447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. RenÈ Garcia, 2002. "Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Asymmetric?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 102-119, January.
  4. Simon Gilchrist & Egon Zakrajšek, 2011. "Credit Spreads and Business Cycle Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 17021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Ming Chien Lo & Jeremy Piger, 2003. "Is the response of output to monetary policy asymmetric? evidence from a regime-switching coefficients model," Working Papers 2001-022, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 2001. "Are the effects of monetary policy in the euro area greater in recessions than in booms?," Working Paper Series 0052, European Central Bank.
  7. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2004. "A New Measure of Monetary Shocks: Derivation and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1055-1084, September.
  8. Joseph Vavra, 2013. "Inflation Dynamics and Time-Varying Volatility: New Evidence and an Ss Interpretation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(1), pages 215-258.
  9. Joseph Vavra, 2011. "Inflation Dynamics and Time-Varying Uncertainty: New Evidence and an Ss Interpretation," 2011 Meeting Papers 126, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  10. Coibion, Olivier & Gorodnichenko, Yuriy & Kueng, Lorenz & Silvia, John, 2012. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S," IZA Discussion Papers 6633, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Weise, Charles L, 1999. "The Asymmetric Effects of Monetary Policy: A Nonlinear Vector Autoregression Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 85-108, February.
  12. Thoma, Mark A., 1994. "Subsample instability and asymmetries in money-income causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 279-306.
  13. Joseph Vavra & David Berger, 2012. "Consumption Dynamics During the Great Recession," 2012 Meeting Papers 109, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  1. Links for 05-29-2013
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2013-05-29 00:03:00

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