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Identifying the liquidity effect: the case of nonborrowed reserves

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  • Daniel L. Thornton

Abstract

Despite the fact that efforts to identify it empirically have largely been futile, the liquidity effect plays a central role in conventional monetary theory and policy. Recently, however, an increasing volume of empirical work [Christiano and Eichenbaum (1992a,b), Christiano, Eichenbaum and Evans (1994a,b) and Strongin (1995)] has supported the existence of a statistically significant and economically important liquidity effect when nonborrowed reserves is used as the indicator of monetary policy. This paper shows that there is an identification problem associated with using nonborrowed reserves. Specifically, the strong negative relationship between nonborrowed reserves and the funds rate can stem from the presence or absence of a liquidity effect. The paper points out how changes in the demand for borrowed reserves can be used to identify whether the relationship between nonborrowed reserves and the funds rate is due to liquidity effect. The evidence presented suggests that the "liquidity effect" that Christiano, Eichenbaum and Evans and others have identified is actually due to the interest sensitivity of the demand for borrowed reserves and the definition linking nonborrowed and borrowed reserves. Consequently, the evidence suggests that the liquidity effect is nil.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 1996-002.

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Date of creation: 1996
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:1996-002

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Keywords: Liquidity (Economics) ; Monetary policy;

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  1. Sims, Christopher A. & Zha, Tao, 2006. "Does Monetary Policy Generate Recessions?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 231-272, April.
  2. Christian Gilles & Pamela A. Labadie & Wilbur John Coleman II., 1996. "A model of the federal funds market," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 7(2), pages 337-357.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  4. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," Economics Series 10, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Cagan, Phillip & Gandolfi, Arthur, 1969. "The Lag in Monetary Policy as Implied by the Time Pattern of Monetary Effects on Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 277-84, May.
  6. Adrian R. Pagan & John C. Robertson, 1995. "Resolving the liquidity effect," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 33-54.
  7. Garfinkel, Michelle R & Thornton, Daniel L, 1995. "The Information Content of the Federal Funds Rate: Is It Unique?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(3), pages 838-47, August.
  8. Daniel L. Thornton, 1988. "The borrowed-reserves operating procedures: theory and evidence," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 30-54.
  9. Cosimano, Thomas F & Sheehan, Richard G, 1994. "Is the Conventional View of Discount Window Borrowing Consistent with the Behavior of Weekly Reporting Banks?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 761-70, November.
  10. Peristiani, Stavros, 1991. "The Model Structure of Discount Window Borrowing," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 23(1), pages 13-34, February.
  11. Eric M. Leeper & David B. Gordon, 1991. "In search of the liquidity effect," Working Paper 91-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  12. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1991. "Interest rates and the conduct of monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 7-30, January.
  13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1991. "Identification and the Liquidity Effect of a Monetary Policy Shock," NBER Working Papers 3920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Reichenstein, William, 1987. "The Impact of Money on Short-term Interest Rates," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 67-82, January.
  15. James A. Clouse, 1994. "Recent developments in discount window policy," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Nov, pages 965-977.
  16. Stephen M. Goldfeld & Edward J. Kane, 1966. "The Determinants Of Memberā€Bank Borrowing: An Econometric Study," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 21(3), pages 499-514, 09.
  17. Strongin, Steven, 1995. "The identification of monetary policy disturbances explaining the liquidity puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 463-497, June.
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