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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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  2. 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.
  3. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Chari, V V & Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1995. "Inside Money, Outside Money, and Short-Term Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1354-1386, November.
  5. Fisher, Jonas D M, 1999. "Credit Market Imperfections and the Heterogeneous Response of Firms to Monetary Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 187-211, May.
  6. 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.
  7. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  8. Gerlach, Stefan & Svensson, Lars E. O., 2003. "Money and inflation in the euro area: A case for monetary indicators?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(8), pages 1649-1672, November.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  10. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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  12. Adolfson, Malin & Laseen, Stefan & Linde, Jesper & Villani, Mattias, 2007. "Bayesian estimation of an open economy DSGE model with incomplete pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 481-511, July.
  13. Jean-Guillaume Sahuc & Frank Smets, 2008. "Differences in Interest Rate Policy at the ECB and the Fed: An Investigation with a Medium-Scale DSGE Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 505-521, March.
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  15. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
  16. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-450, June.
  17. Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  19. 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.
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