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Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks Big or Small?

  • Olivier Coibion

This paper studies the small estimated effects of monetary policy shocks from standard VARs versus the large effects from the Romer and Romer (2004) approach. The differences are driven by three factors: the different contractionary impetus, the period of reserves targeting, and lag length selection. Accounting for these factors, the real effects of policy shocks are consistent across approaches and most likely medium. Alternative monetary policy shock measures from estimated Taylor rules also yield medium-sized real effects and indicate that the historical contribution of monetary policy shocks to real fluctuations has been significant, particularly during the 1970s and early 1980s. (JEL E32, E43, E52)

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 4 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 1-32

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:4:y:2012:i:2:p:1-32
Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.4.2.1
Contact details of provider: Web page: https://www.aeaweb.org/aej-macro
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  1. Lutz Kilian, 2009. "Not All Oil Price Shocks Are Alike: Disentangling Demand and Supply Shocks in the Crude Oil Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1053-69, June.
  2. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
  3. Blanchard, O., 1993. "Consumption and the Recession of 1990-1991," Working papers 93-5, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Eric M. Leeper & Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 1996. "What Does Monetary Policy Do?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 27(2), pages 1-78.
  6. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Olivier Coibion, 2009. "Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation," 2009 Meeting Papers 21, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Jon Faust & Eric Swanson & and Jonathan H. Wright, 2002. "Identifying vars based on high frequency futures data," International Finance Discussion Papers 720, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
  9. Stacey L. Schreft, 1990. "Credit controls: 1980," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Nov, pages 25-55.
  10. Robert B. Barsky & Lutz Kilian, 2001. "Do We Really Know that Oil Caused the Great Stagflation? A Monetary Alternative," NBER Working Papers 8389, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2005. "Reduced-Rank Identification of Structural Shocks in VARs," Macroeconomics 0512011, EconWPA.
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