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Monetary policy actions and long-term interest rates

Listed author(s):
  • V. Vance Roley
  • Gordon H. Sellon
Registered author(s):

    It is generally believed that monetary policy actions are transmitted to the economy through their effect on market interest rates. According to this standard view, a restrictive monetary policy by the Federal Reserve pushes up both short-term and long-term interest rates, leading to less spending by interest-sensitive sectors of the economy such as housing, consumer durable goods, and business fixed investment. Conversely, an easier policy results in lower interest rates that stimulate economic activity. Unfortunately, empirical studies and the observed behavior of interest rates appear to challenge the standard view of the monetary transmission mechanism and raise questions about the effectiveness of monetary policy.> Roley and Sellon attempt to reconcile theory and reality by reexamining the connection between monetary policy and long-term interest rates. Using a framework that emphasizes the importance of market expectations of future monetary policy actions, the authors argue that the relationship between policy actions and long-term rates is likely to vary over the business cycle as financial market participants alter their views on the persistence of policy actions. Accordingly, the standard view of the monetary transmission mechanism appears to provide an overly simplistic view of the policy process. In addition, by capturing the tendency of market rates to anticipate policy actions, the authors find a larger response of long-term rates to monetary policy actions than reported in previous research.

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    File URL: http://www.kansascityfed.org/publicat/econrev/pdf/4q95role.pdf
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    Article provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City in its journal Economic Review.

    Volume (Year): (1995)
    Issue (Month): Q IV ()
    Pages: 73-89

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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedker:y:1995:i:qiv:p:73-89:n:v.80no.4
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    1. Longstaff, Francis A, 1990. " Time Varying Term Premia and Traditional Hypotheses about the Term Structure," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 45(4), pages 1307-1314, September.
    2. Engle, Robert F & Lilien, David M & Robins, Russell P, 1987. "Estimating Time Varying Risk Premia in the Term Structure: The Arch-M Model," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 55(2), pages 391-407, March.
    3. Marvin Goodfriend, 1993. "Interest rate policy and the inflation scare problem: 1979-1992," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Cook, Timothy & Hahn, Thomas, 1989. "The effect of changes in the federal funds rate target on market interest rates in the 1970s," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 331-351, November.
    5. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
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