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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.

Suggested Citation

  • 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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    Cited by:

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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.
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    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. Wang, Ling, 2022. "The dynamics of money supply determination under asset purchase programs: A market-based versus a bank-based financial system," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    8. Giulia Ghiani & Max Gillman & Michal Kejak, 2014. "Money, Banking and Interest Rates: Monetary Policy Regimes with Markov-Switching VECM Evidence," Working Papers 1003, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Department of Economics.
    9. Masudul Hasan Adil & Rafiq Hussain & Adelajda Matuka, 2022. "Interest rate sensitivity of demand for money and effectiveness of monetary policy: fresh evidence from combined cointegration test and ARDL approach," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 2(7), pages 1-24, July.
    10. Li, Huan & Ni, Jinlan & Xu, Yueli & Zhan, Minghua, 2021. "Monetary policy and its transmission channels: Evidence from China," Pacific-Basin Finance Journal, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
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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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