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Aggregate disturbances, monetary policy, and the macroeconomy: the FRB/US perspective

Author

Listed:
  • David L. Reifschneider
  • Robert J. Tetlow
  • John Williams

Abstract

The FRB/US macroeconometric model of the U.S. economy was created at the Federal Reserve Board for use in policy analysis and forecasting. This article begins with an examination of the model's characterization of the monetary transmission mechanism -- the chain of relationships describing how monetary policy actions influence financial markets and, in turn, output and inflation. The quantitative nature of this mechanism is illustrated by estimates of the effect of movements in interest rates and other factors on spending in different sectors and by simulations of the effect of a change in the stance of policy on the economy as a whole. After the discussion of the transmission mechanism, the article considers the influence of monetary policy on the macroeconomic consequences of specific events by showing how the predicted effects of selected disturbances change under alternative policy responses. These examples illustrate an important policy tradeoff in the FRB/US model involving the variability (but not the level) of output and inflation: Past some point, lower variability in inflation can be obtained only at the expense of greater fluctuations in output and interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • David L. Reifschneider & Robert J. Tetlow & John Williams, 1999. "Aggregate disturbances, monetary policy, and the macroeconomy: the FRB/US perspective," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 1-19.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgrb:y:1999:i:jan:p:1-19:n:v.85no.1
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    File URL: http://www.federalreserve.gov/pubs/bulletin/1999/0199lead.pdf
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    Keywords

    Forecasting ; Macroeconomics ; Monetary policy;

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