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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 by McCulley and Toloui [2008]) or a response to variations in the aggregate volume of credit (as proposed by Christiano et al. [2007]). We consider the consequences of such adjustments for the way in which policy would respond to a variety of types of possible economic disturbances, including (but not limited to) disturbances originating in the financial sector that increase equilibrium spreads and contract the supply of credit. We conduct our analysis using the simple DSGE model with credit frictions developed in Curdia and Woodford (2009), and compare the equilibrium responses to a variety of disturbances under the modified Taylor rules to those under a policy that would maximize average expected utility. According to our model, a spread adjustment can improve upon the standard Taylor rule, but the optimal size is unlikely to be as large as the one proposed, and the same type of adjustment is not desirable regardless of the source of the variation in credit spreads. A response to credit is less likely to be helpful, and the desirable size (and even the right sign) of the response to credit is less robust to alternative assumptions about the nature and persistence of disturbances.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15289.

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Date of creation: Aug 2009
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15289

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  1. 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.
  2. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
  3. Rajnish Mehra & Facundo Piguillem & Edward C. Prescott, 2008. "Costly Financial Intermediation in Neoclassical Growth Theory," NBER Working Papers 14351, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Svensson, Lars E.O., 1998. "Inflation Targeting as a Monetary Policy Rule," Seminar Papers 646, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  10. 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.
  11. Stefano NERI & Luca SESSA & Federico SIGNORETTI & Andrea GERALI, 2009. "Credit and Banking in a DSGE model," 2009 Meeting Papers 586, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. 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..
  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. John B. Taylor, 2007. "Housing and monetary policy," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 463-476.
  17. 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.
  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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