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Historical Perspectives on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism

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  • Jeffrey A. Miron
  • Christina D. Romer
  • David N. Weil

Abstract

This paper examines changes over time in the importance of the lending channel in the transmission of monetary shocks to the real economy. We first use a simple extension of the Bernanke-Blinder model to isolate the observable factors that affect the strength of the lending channel. We then show that based on changes in the structure of banks assets, reserve requirements, and the composition of external firm finance, the lending channel should have been stronger before 1929 than during the post-World War II period, especially the first half of this period. Finally, we demonstrate that conventional indicators of the importance of the lending channel, such as the spread between the loan rate and the bond rate and the correlation between loans and output, do not show the predicted decline in the importance of lending over time. From this we conclude that either the traditional indicators are not useful measures of the strength of the lending channel or that the lending channel has not been quantitatively important in any era.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4326.

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Date of creation: Apr 1993
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Publication status: published as Monetary Policy, N. Gregory Mankiw, ed., (Chicago; University of Chicago Press: 1994).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4326

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  1. Raymond W. Goldsmith & Robert E. Lipsey & Morris Mendelson, 1963. "Studies in the National Balance Sheet of the United States, Vol. 2," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold63-2, octubre-d.
  2. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression," NBER Working Papers 1054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-40, May.
  4. Claudia Goldin & Hugh Rockoff, 1992. "Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold92-1, octubre-d.
  5. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1988. "Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 435-39, May.
  6. Michael Dotsey & Max Reid, 1992. "Oil shocks, monetary policy, and economic activity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Jul, pages 14-27.
  7. Hoover, Kevin D. & Perez, Stephen J., 1994. "Post hoc ergo propter once more an evaluation of 'does monetary policy matter?' in the spirit of James Tobin," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-74, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Balázs Égert & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Transition Economies: Surveying the Surveyable," MNB Working Papers 2006/5, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary).
  2. Sophocles N. Brissimis & Nicholas S. Magginas, 2003. "Changes in Financial Structure and Asset Price Substitutability: A Test of the Bank Lending Channel," Working Papers 05, Bank of Greece.
  3. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1993. "Credit Channel or Credit Actions? An Interpretation of the Postwar Transmission Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 4485, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Basistha, Arabinda & Kurov, Alexander, 2008. "Macroeconomic cycles and the stock market's reaction to monetary policy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2606-2616, December.
  5. Fernando Barran & Virginie Coudert & Benoît Mojon, 1994. "Transmission de la politique monétaire et crédit, une application à 5 pays de l'OCDE," Working Papers 1994-03, CEPII research center.
  6. Riccardo Fiorentini & Roberto Tamborini, 1998. "Monetary policy, credit and aggregate supply: the evidence from Italy," Department of Economics Working Papers 9807, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  7. William B. English, 2002. "Financial consolidation and monetary policy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 271-284.
  8. Roberto Tamborini & Riccardo Fiorentini, 2001. "The monetary transmission mechanism in Italy: the credit channel and a missing ring," Department of Economics Working Papers 0101, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  9. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Bank Lending," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 221-261 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Driscoll, John C., 2004. "Does bank lending affect output? Evidence from the U.S. states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 451-471, April.
  11. 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.).
  12. Joseph H. Davis & Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2009. "Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1675-1727, November.
  13. Craig Furfine, 1998. "Interbank payments and the daily federal funds rate," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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