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The federal funds rate and the implementation of monetary policy: estimating the Federal Reserve's reaction function

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  • Allan D. Brunner

Abstract

Several recent studies have reached quite different conclusions about which variable is the best indicator of the stance of monetary policy. These differences likely reflect varying assumptions about bank and Federal Reserve behavior. This paper takes a detailed and comprehensive look at the implementation of monetary policy and the identification of monetary policy shocks. The paper first outlines a general analytical model for studying and evaluating monetary policy procedures. The model is then used to estimate both the Fed's operational policy objectives and its intermediate objectives. The results can be summarized as follows: First, monetary policy shocks over the past several years have primarily affected the federal funds rate, even during periods when the Fed was reportedly targeting reserves. In addition, the paper finds a statistically-significant liquidity effect in all periods examined, although the effect is quite small. Finally, there is statistical evidence that suggests that the Fed's intermediate objectives have not been stable over time, and these differences appear to be economically important. Taken together, these results indicate that while monetary policy shocks can be uncovered by regressing the funds rate on appropriate variables in the Fed's information set, the reaction function should be estimated over subperiods rather than over the entire 1959-1993 period.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 466.

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Date of creation: 1994
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:466

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Related research

Keywords: Federal funds market (United States) ; Monetary policy - United States;

References

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  1. Leeper, Eric M. & Gordon, David B., 1992. "In search of the liquidity effect," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 341-369, June.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke, 1986. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," NBER Working Papers 1842, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David B. Gordon & Eric M. Leeper, 1993. "The dynamic impacts of monetary policy: an exercise in tentative identification," Working Paper 93-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  5. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
  6. John P. Judd & John L. Scadding, 1982. "What do money market models tell us about how to implement monetary policy: reply," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 108, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  7. Barro, Robert J, 1978. "Unanticipated Money, Output, and the Price Level in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(4), pages 549-80, August.
  8. Richard G. Sheehan, 1985. "The federal reserve reaction function: does debt growth influence monetary policy?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Mar, pages 24-33.
  9. Allan D. Brunner & Cara S. Lown, 1993. "Implementing short-run monetary policy with lower reserve requirements," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Feinman, Joshua N, 1993. "Estimating the Open Market Desk's Daily Reaction Function," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 231-47, May.
  11. Brunner, Allan D & Lown, Cara S, 1993. "The Effects of Lower Reserve Requirements on Money Market Volatility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(2), pages 199-205, May.
  12. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-52, September.
  13. DeRosa, Paul & Stern, Gary H., 1977. "Monetary control and the federal funds rate," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(2), pages 217-230, April.
  14. Anderson, Richard G & Rasche, Robert H, 1982. "What Do Money Market Models Tell Us about How to Implement Monetary Policy?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(4), pages 796-828, November.
  15. Tinsley, Peter A, et al, 1982. "Policy Robustness: Specification and Simulation of a Monthly Money Market Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 14(4), pages 829-56, November.
  16. Stephen K. McNees, 1986. "Modeling the Fed: a forward- looking monetary policy reaction function," New England Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, issue Nov, pages 3-8.
  17. Lombra, Raymond & Moran, Michael, 1980. "Policy advice and policymaking at the federal reserve," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 13(1), pages 9-68, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Michel Normandin & Louis Phaneuf, 2003. "Monetary Policy Shocks: Testing Identification Conditions Under Time-Varying Conditional Volatility," Cahiers de recherche 03-04, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring monetary policy," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Redward, Peter & Saarenheimo, Tuomas, 1996. "From Policy Rate to Market Rates: An Empirical Analysis of Finnish Monetary Transmission," Research Discussion Papers 22/1996, Bank of Finland.
  4. Thornton, Daniel L., 2001. "The Federal Reserve's operating procedure, nonborrowed reserves, borrowed reserves and the liquidity effect," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1717-1739, September.
  5. 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.).
  6. John Ammer & Allan D. Brunner, 1995. "When is monetary policy effective?," International Finance Discussion Papers 520, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Velayoudom Marimoutou & Éric Girardin & Christian Bordes, 1996. "Le nouveau SME est-il plus asymétrique que l'ancien ?," Économie et Prévision, Programme National Persée, vol. 123(2), pages 175-188.
  8. Allan D. Brunner, 1996. "Using measures of expectations to identify the effects of a monetary policy shock," International Finance Discussion Papers 537, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Mohd Zaini Abd Karim & Amy Azhar Mohd Harif & Azira Adziz, 2006. "Monetary Policy and Sectoral Bank Lending in Malaysia," Global Economic Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 303-326.

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