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Money, reserves, and the transmission of monetary policy: does the money multiplier exist?

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  • Seth B. Carpenter
  • Selva Demiralp

Abstract

With the use of nontraditional policy tools, the level of reserve balances has risen significantly in the United States since 2007. Before the financial crisis, reserve balances were roughly $20 billion whereas the level has risen well past $1 trillion. The effect of reserve balances in simple macroeconomic models often comes through the money multiplier, affecting the money supply and the amount of bank lending in the economy. Most models currently used for macroeconomic policy analysis, however, either exclude money or model money demand as entirely endogenous, thus precluding any causal role for reserves and money. Nevertheless, some academic research and many textbooks continue to use the money multiplier concept in discussions of money. We explore the institutional structure of the transmission mechanism beginning with open market operations through to money and loans. We then undertake empirical analysis of the relationship among reserve balances, money, and bank lending. We use aggregate as well as bank-level data in a VAR framework and document that the mechanism does not work through the standard multiplier model or the bank lending channel. In particular, if the level of reserve balances is expected to have an impact on the economy, it seems unlikely that a standard multiplier story will explain the effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2010-41.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2010-41

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Keywords: Bank reserves;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Stefan Behrendt, 2013. "Monetary Transmission via the Central Bank Balance Sheet," Global Financial Markets Working Paper Series 49-2013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  2. McLeay, Michael & Radia, Amar & Thomas, Ryland, 2014. "Money creation in the modern economy," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 54(1), pages 14-27.
  3. Nelson, Edward, 2013. "Friedman's monetary economics in practice," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 59-83.
  4. Ho Dong Ching, 2011. "Endogenous Money - A Structural Model of Monetary Base," Occasional Papers, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre, number occ52, June.
  5. Carpenter, Seth & Demiralp, Selva & Eisenschmidt, Jens, 2013. "The effectiveness of the non-standard policy measures during the financial crises: the experiences of the federal reserve and the European Central Bank," Working Paper Series 1562, European Central Bank.
  6. Selva Demiralp & Kevin Hoover & Stephen Perez, 2014. "Still puzzling: evaluating the price puzzle in an empirically identified structural vector autoregression," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(2), pages 701-731, March.

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