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Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Asymmetric?

This paper focuses on whether monetary policy has asymmetric effects. By building on the Markov switching model introduced by Hamilton (1989), we examine questions like: Does monetary policy have the same effect regardless of the current phase of economic fluctuations? Given that the economy is currently in a recession, does a fall in interest rates increase the probability of an expansion? Does monetary policy have an incremental effect on the growth rate within a given state, or does it only affect the economy if it is sufficiently strong to induce a state change (e.g., from recession to expansion)? We find economically and statistically significant evidence of asymmetry. As suggested by models with sticky prices or finance constraints, interest rate changes have larger effects during recessions. Interest rates also have substantial effects on the probability of a state switch.

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Paper provided by Carleton University, Department of Economics in its series Carleton Economic Papers with number 99-17.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Jul 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published: – revised version in Economic Inquiry, Vol. 40, No. 1 (January 2002), pp. 102–119
Handle: RePEc:car:carecp:99-17
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  1. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Hansen, Bruce E, 1996. "Inference When a Nuisance Parameter Is Not Identified under the Null Hypothesis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 413-30, March.
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  4. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1992. "Asymmetric Price Adjustment and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 4089, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Mark Gertler & R. Glenn Hubbard & Anil K. Kashyap, 1990. "Interest rate spreads, credit constraints and investment fluctuations: an empirical investigation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 137, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  7. McQueen, Grant & Thorley, Steven, 1993. "Asymmetric business cycle turning points," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(3), pages 341-362, June.
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  9. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
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  11. Tsiddon, Daniel, 1993. "The (Mis)Behaviour of the Aggregate Price Level," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 889-902, October.
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  14. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1994. "What Ends Recessions?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1994, Volume 9, pages 13-80 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  18. Bernanke, Ben S., 1986. "Alternative explanations of the money-income correlation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-99, January.
  19. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:109:y:1994:i:3:p:565-92 is not listed on IDEAS
  20. Gertler, M.L. & Hubbard, R.G., 1988. "Financial Factors In Business Fluctuations," Papers fb-_88-37, Columbia - Graduate School of Business.
  21. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  22. Mark Gertler, 1988. "Financial structure and aggregate economic activity: an overview," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 559-596.
  23. Hansen, Bruce E, 1992. "The Likelihood Ratio Test under Nonstandard Conditions: Testing the Markov Switching Model of GNP," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 7(S), pages S61-82, Suppl. De.
  24. Anil K. Kashyap & Owen A. Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Credit conditions and the cyclical behavior of inventories," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 93-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  25. Beaudry, Paul & Koop, Gary, 1993. "Do recessions permanently change output?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(2), pages 149-163, April.
  26. Filardo, Andrew J, 1994. "Business-Cycle Phases and Their Transitional Dynamics," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 299-308, July.
  27. Hamilton, James D, 1991. "A Quasi-Bayesian Approach to Estimating Parameters for Mixtures of Normal Distributions," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 9(1), pages 27-39, January.
  28. Friedman, Benjamin M & Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1992. "Money, Income, Prices, and Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 472-92, June.
  29. 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.
  30. Garcia, Rene, 1998. "Asymptotic Null Distribution of the Likelihood Ratio Test in Markov Switching Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 763-88, August.
  31. Francis X. Diebold & Joon-Haeng Lee & Gretchen C. Weinbach, 1993. "Regime switching with time-varying transition probabilities," Working Papers 93-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  32. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:106:y:1991:i:3:p:683-708 is not listed on IDEAS
  33. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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