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The monetary instrument matters

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  • William T. Gavin
  • Benjamin D. Keen
  • Michael R. Pakko

Abstract

This paper revisits the debate over the money supply versus the interest rate as the instrument of monetary policy. Using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium framework, the authors examine the effects of alternative monetary policy rules on inflation persistence, the information content of monetary data, and real variables. They show that inflation persistence and the variability of inflation relative to money growth depend on whether the central bank follows a money growth rule or an interest rate rule. With a money growth rule, inflation is not persistent and the price level is much more volatile than the money supply. Those counterfactual implications are eliminated by the use of interest rate rules whether prices are sticky or not. A central bank's use of interest rate rules, however, obscures the information content of monetary aggregates and also leads to subtle problems for econometricians trying to estimate money demand functions or to identify shocks to the trend and cycle components of the money stock.

Suggested Citation

  • William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Michael R. Pakko, 2005. "The monetary instrument matters," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 633-658.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlrv:y:2005:i:sep:p:633-658:n:v.87no.5
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Wang, Pengfei & Wen, Yi, 2007. "Inflation dynamics: A cross-country investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2004-2031, October.
    2. Andreas Schabert, 2005. "Discretionary Policy, Multiple Equilibria, and Monetary Instruments," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 05-098/2, Tinbergen Institute.
    3. Piti Disyatat, 2008. "Monetary policy implementation: Misconceptions and their consequences," BIS Working Papers 269, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Andreas Schabert, 2006. "Central Bank Instruments, Fiscal Policy Regimes, and the Requirements for Equilibrium Determinacy," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(4), pages 742-762, October.
    5. Peter N. Ireland, 2007. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's Inflation Target: Causes and Consequences," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(8), pages 1851-1882, December.
    6. William Gavin & Benjamin Keen, 2013. "U.S. Monetary Policy: A View from Macro Theory," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 24(1), pages 33-49, February.
    7. Gavin, William T. & Keen, Benjamin D. & Pakko, Michael R., 2009. "Inflation Risk And Optimal Monetary Policy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 58-75, May.
    8. Carlos Garriga & Finn E. Kydland & Roman Sustek, 2013. "Mortgages and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 19744, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. 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.
    10. Gavin, William T. & Kemme, David M., 2009. "Using extraneous information to analyze monetary policy in transition economies," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(5), pages 868-879, September.
    11. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Michael R. Pakko, 2012. "Taylor-type rules and total factor productivity," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 41-64.
    12. Schabert, Andreas, 2005. "Money Supply and the Implementation of Interest Rate Targets," CEPR Discussion Papers 5094, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. William T Gavin, 2007. "Recent Developments in Monetary Macroeconomics and US Dollar Policy," The IUP Journal of Monetary Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(3), pages 49-56, August.
    14. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen, 2012. "The zero lower bound and the dual mandate," Working Papers 2012-026, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    15. Lee C. Spector & Courtenay C. Stone, 2010. "Suspicious Estimates of Ex Ante Real Interest Rates: Evidence of Macroeconomic Malpractice?," Working Papers 201010, Ball State University, Department of Economics, revised Oct 2010.

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    Keywords

    Monetary policy ; Money supply ; Interest rates;

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