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Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)

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  • Thornton, Daniel L.

Abstract

Since the late 1980s the Fed has implemented monetary policy by adjusting its target for the overnight federal funds rate. Money’s role in monetary policy has been tertiary, at best. Indeed, several influential economists suggest that money is irrelevant for monetary policy because central banks affect economic activity and inflation by (i) controlling a very short-term nominal interest rate and (ii) influencing financial market participants’ expectation of the future policy rate. I offer an alternative perspective: Money is essential for monetary policy because it is essential for controlling the price level, and the monetary authority’s ability to control interest rates is greatly exaggerated.

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  • Thornton, Daniel L., 2014. "Monetary policy: Why money matters (and interest rates don’t)," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 202-213.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:40:y:2014:i:c:p:202-213
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jmacro.2013.12.005
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    3. Ratti, Ronald A. & Vespignani, Joaquin L., 2016. "Oil prices and global factor macroeconomic variables," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 198-212.
    4. Franz Seitz & Markus A. Schmidt, 2014. "Money In Modern Macro Models: A Review of the Arguments," Journal of Reviews on Global Economics, Lifescience Global, vol. 3, pages 156-174.
    5. Masudul Hasan Adil & Neeraj R. Hatekar & Taniya Ghosh, 2020. "Role of money in the monetary policy: A New Keynesian and new monetarist perspective," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2020-005, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
    6. Biswajit Maitra, 2018. "Determinants of Nominal Interest Rates in India," Journal of Quantitative Economics, Springer;The Indian Econometric Society (TIES), vol. 16(1), pages 265-288, March.
    7. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Giulia Ghiani, 2014. "Money, Banking and Interest Rates: Monetary Policy Regimes with Markov-Switching VECM Evidence," CEU Working Papers 2014_3, Department of Economics, Central European University.
    8. Holmes, Mark J. & Otero, Jesús & Panagiotidis, Theodore, 2015. "The expectations hypothesis and decoupling of short- and long-term US interest rates: A pairwise approach," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 301-313.
    9. Arnold, Ivo J.M. & Soederhuizen, Beau, 2018. "The missing spillover of base expansion into monetary aggregates: Is there a puzzle?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 64-76.
    10. Ronald A. Ratti & Joaquin L. Vespignani, 2019. "What drives the global official/policy interest rate?," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 51(47), pages 5185-5190, October.
    11. Mouyad Alsamara & Zouhair Mrabet, 2019. "Asymmetric impacts of foreign exchange rate on the demand for money in Turkey: new evidence from nonlinear ARDL," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 335-356, April.
    12. Steve Ambler, 2016. "Putting Money to Work: Monetary Policy in a Low Interest Rate Environment," e-briefs 249, C.D. Howe Institute.
    13. Claudiu Tiberiu Albulescu & Daniel Goyeau & Cornel Oros, 2015. "On the Long Run Money-Prices Relationship in CEE Countries," Economic Research Guardian, Weissberg Publishing, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, June.
    14. Tomáš Urbanovský, 2017. "Granger Causalities Between Interest Rate, Price Level, Money Supply and Real Gdp in the Czech Republic," Acta Universitatis Agriculturae et Silviculturae Mendelianae Brunensis, Mendel University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 745-757.
    15. Lahura, Erick, 2017. "Monetary Aggregates and Monetary Policy in Peru," Working Papers 2017-003, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    16. Max Gillman & Michal Kejak & Giulia Ghiani, 2014. "Money, Banking and Interest Rates: Monetary Policy Regimes with Markov-Switching VECM Evidence," CEU Working Papers 2014_3, Department of Economics, Central European University.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Money; Medium of exchange; Monetary policy; Federal funds target; Structure of interest rates; Inflation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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