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Credit spreads and monetary policy

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  • Vasco Cúrdia
  • Michael Woodford

Abstract

We consider the desirability of modifying a standard Taylor rule for a central bank's interest rate policy to incorporate either an adjustment for changes in interest rate spreads (as proposed by Taylor [2008] and McCulley and Toloui [2008]) or a response to variations in the aggregate volume of credit (as proposed by Christiano et al. [2007]). We then examine how, under those adjustments, policy would respond to various types of economic disturbances, including those originating in the financial sector that increase equilibrium spreads and contract the supply of credit. We conduct our analysis using a simple DSGE model with credit frictions (Curdia and Woodford 2009), comparing the equilibrium responses to various disturbances under the modified Taylor rules with those under a policy that would maximize average expected utility. According to our model, a spread adjustment can improve on the standard Taylor rule, but the optimal size of the adjustment is unlikely to be as large as the one proposed, and the same type of adjustment is not desirable regardless of the source of variation in credit spreads. A response to credit is less likely to be helpful, and its desirable size (and even sign) is less robust to alternative assumptions about the nature and persistence of economic disturbances.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 385.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:385

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Keywords: Taylor's rule ; Interest rates ; Monetary policy ; Credit;

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  1. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Mark Gertler & Jordi Gali & Richard Clarida, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1661-1707, December.
  4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Linear-Quadratic Approximation of Optimal Policy Problems," NBER Working Papers 12672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Goodfriend, Marvin & McCallum, Bennett T., 2007. "Banking and interest rates in monetary policy analysis: A quantitative exploration," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1480-1507, July.
  6. John B. Taylor, 2007. "Housing and monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 463-476.
  7. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2002. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Working Papers 118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  8. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John C. Williams & John B. Taylor, 2009. "A Black Swan in the Money Market," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 58-83, January.
  10. Michael Woodford, 2007. "The Case for Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
  11. Rajnish Mehra & Facundo Piguillem & Edward C. Prescott, 2011. "Costly financial intermediation in neoclassical growth theory," Working Papers 685, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  13. Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," CEPR Discussion Papers 1998, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Stefano NERI & Luca SESSA & Federico SIGNORETTI & Andrea GERALI, 2009. "Credit and Banking in a DSGE model," 2009 Meeting Papers 586, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  15. Cara S. Lown & Donald P. Morgan, 2002. "Credit effects in the monetary mechanism," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 217-235.
  16. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2007. "Monetary Policy Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262134829, December.
  17. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  18. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
  19. John Taylor & John Williams, 2008. "Further Results on a Black Swan in the Money Market," Discussion Papers 07-046, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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