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Shocks, structures or monetary policies? The Euro Area and US after 2001

Listed author(s):
  • Christiano, Lawrence
  • Motto, Roberto
  • Rostagno, Massimo

The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates more vigorously in the recent recession than the European Central Bank did. By comparison with the Fed, the ECB followed a more measured course of action. We use an estimated dynamic general equilibrium model with financial frictions to show that comparisons based on such simple metrics as the variance of policy rates are misleading. We find that - because there is greater inertia in the ECB's policy rule - the ECB's policy actions actually had a greater stabilizing effect than did those of the Fed. As a consequence, a potentially severe recession turned out to be only a slowdown, and inflation never departed from levels consistent with the ECB's quantitative definition of price stability. Other factors that account for the different economic outcomes in the Euro Area and US include differences in shocks and differences in the degree of wage and price flexibility.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 32 (2008)
Issue (Month): 8 (August)
Pages: 2476-2506

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:32:y:2008:i:8:p:2476-2506
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1995. "Inside money, outside money and short term interest rates," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
  3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8403, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  5. Jean-Guillaume Sahuc & Frank Smets, 2007. "Differences in interest rate policy at the ECB and the Fed : an investigation with a medium-scale DSGE model," Documents de recherche 07-07, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
  6. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  7. Jonas D.M. Fisher, 1998. "Credit market imperfections and the heterogeneous response of firms to monetary shocks," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 96-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  8. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 2001. "The monetary transmission mechanism in the euro area: more evidence from VAR analysis," Working Paper Series 0091, European Central Bank.
  9. Lars E.O. Svensson & Stefan Gerlach, 2001. "Money and inflation in the Euro Area: A case for monetary indicators?," BIS Working Papers 98, Bank for International Settlements.
  10. Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 861-886.
  11. Christiano, Lawrence J, 2002. "Solving Dynamic Equilibrium Models by a Method of Undetermined Coefficients," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 21-55, October.
  12. Mojon, Benoît & Kashyap, Anil K. & Angeloni, Ignazio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 2002. "Monetary Transmission in the Euro Area : Where Do We Stand?," Working Paper Series 0114, European Central Bank.
  13. Ben Bernanke & Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," NBER Working Papers 6455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  15. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  16. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
  18. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1990. "Current real business cycle theories and aggregate labor market fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 90, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  19. Adolfson, Malin & Laséen, Stefan & Lindé, Jesper & Villani, Mattias, 2005. "Bayesian Estimation of an Open Economy DSGE Model with Incomplete Pass-Through," Working Paper Series 179, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  20. Frank Schorfheide, 2003. "Learning and monetary policy shifts," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  21. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  22. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  23. Andrew Levin & Christopher J. Erceg & Dale W. Henderson, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy with Staggered Wage and Price Contracts," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1151, Society for Computational Economics.
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