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Let’s close the gap: Updating the textbook treatment of monetary policy


  • Jane Ihrig
  • Scott Wolla


The topic of the Federal Reserve’s (the Fed’s) implementation of monetary policy has a significant presence in economics textbooks. Unfortunately, as the Fed purposefully shifted the way it implements monetary policy to an environment with ample reserves in the banking system, many textbooks have not kept up. The authors walk through the key policy tools the Fed uses to implement policy in the ample-reserves regime. Next, they contrast the current framework with the pre-2009 regime to highlight that there are substantial differences in the policy tools and concepts that should be taught in the classroom. Finally, they review six, 2020 or 2021 edition, principles of economics textbooks and quantify how well they cover the key concepts associated with the way the Fed implements policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Jane Ihrig & Scott Wolla, 2022. "Let’s close the gap: Updating the textbook treatment of monetary policy," The Journal of Economic Education, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(3), pages 232-249, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jeduce:v:53:y:2022:i:3:p:232-249
    DOI: 10.1080/00220485.2022.2075509

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    Cited by:

    1. Jane Ihrig & Scott Wolla, 2023. "Teaching Monetary Policy with Ample Reserves," Journal of Economics Teaching, Journal of Economics Teaching, vol. 8(2), pages 114-127, May.

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