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Responding to a Monetary Superpower: Investigating the Behavioral Spillovers of U.S. Monetary Policy

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  • Colin Gray

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Abstract

Between 2002 and 2006, the Federal Reserve set interest rates significantly below the rates suggested by well-known monetary policy rules. There is a growing body of research suggesting that this helped fuel an excess of liquidity in the U.S. that contributed to the 2008 worldwide financial crash. It is less well known that a number of other central banks also lowered interest rates during this period. An important question, then, is what role the Federal Reserve played in influencing other central banks to alter their own monetary policies, which could have magnified the Fed’s actions in creating global liquidity. This paper addresses the issue by showing how spillovers in central bank behavior occur in theoretical rational expectations models. It then establishes empirically how U.S. monetary policy actions affect the actions of other major central banks, particularly in terms of interest rates and currency interventions. The models and data suggest that the U.S. lowering its policy rate, either in general or in reference to a monetary policy rule, influences other central banks to lower their own policy rates and intervene in currency markets, even when controlling for worldwide macroeconomic trends. It thus appears that U.S. actions were a factor in the worldwide lowering of interest rates and the increase in currency reserves in the early 2000s that may have contributed to the subsequent global liquidity boom. Copyright International Atlantic Economic Society 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Colin Gray, 2013. "Responding to a Monetary Superpower: Investigating the Behavioral Spillovers of U.S. Monetary Policy," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 41(2), pages 173-184, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:atlecj:v:41:y:2013:i:2:p:173-184 DOI: 10.1007/s11293-012-9352-0
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Monticini, Andrea & Peel, David & Vaciago, Giacomo, 2011. "The impact of ECB and FED announcements on the Euro interest rates," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 139-142.
    2. Ansgar Belke & Daniel Gros, 2005. "Asymmetries in Transatlantic Monetary Policy-making: Does the ECB Follow the Fed?," Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(5), pages 921-946, December.
    3. Michael Ehrmann & Marcel Fratzscher, 2005. "Equal Size, Equal Role? Interest Rate Interdependence Between the Euro Area and the United States," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(506), pages 928-948, October.
    4. Carl E. Walsh, 2010. "Monetary Theory and Policy, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262013770, January.
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. The Monetary Superpower Strikes Again
      by noreply@blogger.com (David Beckworth) in Macro and Other Market Musings on 2015-08-08 05:41:00

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Beckmann, Joscha & Belke, Ansgar & Dreger, Christian, 2017. "The relevance of international spillovers and asymmetric effects in the Taylor rule," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 162-170.
    2. Borio, Claudio & James, Harold & Shin, Hyun Song, 2014. "The international monetary and financial system: a capital account perspective," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 204, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    3. Claudio Borio & Harold James & Hyun Song Shin, 2014. "The international monetary and financial system: a capital account historical perspective," BIS Working Papers 457, Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Taylor, John B., 2013. "International monetary coordination and the great deviation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 463-472.
    5. John B. Taylor, 2016. "Rethinking the International Monetary System," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(2), pages 239-250, Spring/Su.
    6. Ansgar Belke & Florian Verheyen, 2014. "The Low-Interest-Rate Environment, Global Liquidity Spillovers and Challenges for Monetary Policy Ahead," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Association for Comparative Economic Studies, vol. 56(2), pages 313-334, June.
    7. Boris Hofmann & Bilyana Bogdanova, 2012. "Taylor rules and monetary policy: a global "Great Deviation"?," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    8. Ross Kendall & Tim Ng, 2013. "Estimated Taylor Rules updated for the post-crisis period," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Analytical Notes series AN2013/04, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
    9. John B. Taylor, 2017. "Rules Versus Discretion: Assessing the Debate Over the Conduct of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 24149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Gustavo Adler & Ruy Lama & Juan Pablo Medina Guzman, 2016. "Foreign Exchange Intervention under Policy Uncertainty," IMF Working Papers 16/67, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Borio, Claudio, 2014. "The international monetary and financial system: its Achilles heel and what to do about it," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 203, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    12. Rakesh Mohan & Muneesh Kapur, 2014. "Monetary Policy Coordination and the Role of Central Banks," IMF Working Papers 14/70, International Monetary Fund.
    13. Boris Hofmann & Elod Takáts, 2015. "International monetary spillovers," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, September.
    14. Belke, Ansgar & Beckmann, Joscha & Dreger, Christian, 2014. "Does the foreign interest rate matter for monetary policy? Evidence from nonlinear Taylor rules," Annual Conference 2014 (Hamburg): Evidence-based Economic Policy 100450, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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