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A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules

In: Monetary Policy Rules


  • John B. Taylor


This paper examines several episodes in U.S. monetary history using the framework of an interest rate rule for monetary policy. The main finding is that a monetary policy rule in which the interest rate responds to inflation and real output more aggressively than it did in the 1960s and 1970s, or than during the time of the international gold standard, and more like the late 1980s and 1990s, is a good policy rule. Moreover, if one defines rule, then such mistakes have been associated with either high and prolonged inflation or drawn out periods of low capacity utilization.
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Suggested Citation

  • John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:7419

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brayton, Flint & Levin, Andrew & Lyon, Ralph & Williams, John C., 1997. "The evolution of macro models at the Federal Reserve Board," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 43-81, December.
    2. Robert J. Gordon, 1986. "The American Business Cycle: Continuity and Change," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord86-1, January.
    3. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1998. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 462-492, August.
    4. Phillip Cagan, 1971. "Changes in the Cyclical Behavior of Interest Rates," NBER Chapters,in: Essays on Interest Rates, Volume 2, pages 3-34 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
    6. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234 Elsevier.
    7. Thomas J. Sargent, 1982. "The Ends of Four Big Inflations," NBER Chapters,in: Inflation: Causes and Effects, pages 41-98 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. John P. Judd & Bharat Trehan, 1995. "Has the Fed gotten tougher on inflation?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue mar31.
    10. Romer, Christina D, 1986. "Is the Stabilization of the Postwar Economy a Figment of the Data?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 314-334, June.
    11. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, January.
    12. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit


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