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An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules

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  • John B. Taylor

Abstract

This paper examines several episodes in U.S. monetary history using the framework of an interest rate rule for monetary policy. The main finding is that a monetary policy rule in which the interest rate responds to inflation and real output more aggressively than it did in the 1960s and 1970s, or than during the time of the international gold standard, and more like the late 1980s and 1990s, is a good policy rule. Moreover, if one defines rule, then such mistakes have been associated with either high and prolonged inflation or drawn out periods of low capacity utilization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6768.

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Date of creation: Oct 1998
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Publication status: published as as "Applying Academic Research on Monetary Policy Rules: An Exercise in Translational Economics", The Manchester School, Vol. 66, Issue S, (Supplement 1998): 1-16
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6768

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  1. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
  2. John P. Judd & Bharat Trehan, 1995. "Has the Fed gotten tougher on inflation?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar31.
  3. Phillip Cagan, 1971. "Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Interest Rates," NBER Chapters, in: Essays on Interest Rates, Vol. 2, pages 3-34 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Brayton, Flint & Levin, Andrew & Lyon, Ralph & Williams, John C., 1997. "The evolution of macro models at the Federal Reserve Board," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 43-81, December.
  5. Romer, Christina D, 1986. "Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 314-34, June.
  6. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1998. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 462-492, August.
  7. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1.
  9. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "The ends of four big inflations," Working Papers 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234 Elsevier.
  11. 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.
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