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U.S. Monetary Policy During the 1990s

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  • N. Gregory Mankiw

Abstract

This paper discusses the conduct and performance of U.S. monetary policy during the 1990s, comparing it to policy during the previous several decades. It reaches four broad conclusions. First, the macroeconomic performance of the 1990s was exceptional, especially if judged by the volatility of growth, unemployment, and inflation. Second, much of the good performance was due to good luck arising from the supply-side of the economy: Food and energy prices were well behaved, and productivity growth experienced an unexpected acceleration. Third, monetary policymakers deserve some of the credit by making interest rates more responsive to inflation than was the case in previous periods. Fourth, although the 1990s can be viewed as an example of successful discretionary policy, Fed policymakers may have been engaged in 'covert inflation targeting' at a rate of about 3 percent. The avoidance of an explicit policy rule, however, means that future policymakers inherit only a limited legacy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8471.

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Date of creation: Sep 2001
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Publication status: published as Frankel, Jefrey and Peter Orszag (eds.) American Economic Policy in the 1990s. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8471

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Cited by:
  1. Rafael Di Tella & Robert MacCulloch, 2007. "Happiness, Contentment and Other Emotions for Central Banks," NBER Working Papers 13622, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Ceri Davies & Max Gillman & Michal Kejak, 2012. "Deriving the Taylor Principle when the Central Bank Supplies Money," CEU Working Papers 2012_13, Department of Economics, Central European University, revised 23 Jul 2012.
  3. Gilbert Cette & Christian Pfister, 2003. "The challenges of the "new economy" for monetary policy," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 213-233 Bank for International Settlements.
  4. Thomas Y. Wu, 2004. "Does Inflation Targeting Reduce Inflation? An Analysis for the OECD Industrial Countries," Working Papers Series 83, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  5. Laurence Ball & Robert R. Tchaidze, 2002. "The Fed and the New Economy," Working Papers 102002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  6. Markus Hyvonen, 2004. "Inflation Convergence Across Countries," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2004-04, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  7. Wong, Edwin & Lucia, Kathlyn & Price, Stephanie & Startz, Richard, 2011. "The changing relation between the Canadian and U.S. yield curves," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 965-981, October.
  8. Banerjee, A. & Malik, S., 2012. "The changing role of expectations in US monetary policy: A new look using the Livingston Survey," Working papers 376, Banque de France.

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