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Pushing on a string: US monetary policy is less powerful in recessions

  • Silvana Tenreyro

    ()

    (London School of Economics (LSE), Centre for Economic Performance (CEP)
    Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))

  • Gregory Thwaites

    ()

    (Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM))

We estimate the impulse response of key US macro series to the monetary policy shocks identified by Romer and Romer (2004), allowing the response to depend flexibly on the state of the business cycle. We find strong evidence that the effects of monetary policy on real and nominal variables are more powerful in expansions than in recessions. The magnitude of the difference is particularly large in durables expenditure and business investment. The effect is not attributable to diferences in the response of fiscal variables or the external finance premium. We find some evidence that contractionary policy shocks have more powerful effects than expansionary shocks. But contractionary shocks have not been more common in booms, so this asymmetry cannot explain our main finding.

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File URL: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/Discussion-Papers/2013/CFMDP2013-01-Paper.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) in its series Discussion Papers with number 1301.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cfm:wpaper:1301
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/

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  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Alan J. Auerbach & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2011. "Fiscal Multipliers in Recession and Expansion," NBER Working Papers 17447, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Simon Gilchrist & Egon Zakrajsek, 2012. "Credit Spreads and Business Cycle Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1692-1720, June.
  4. RenÈ Garcia, 2002. "Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Asymmetric?," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(1), pages 102-119, January.
  5. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 2004. "A New Measure of Monetary Shocks: Derivation and Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1055-1084, September.
  6. John Silvia & Lorenz Kueng & Olivier Coibion & Yuriy Gorodnichenko, 2012. "Innocent Bystanders? Monetary Policy and Inequality in the U.S," IMF Working Papers 12/199, International Monetary Fund.
  7. David Berger & Joseph Vavra, 2014. "Consumption Dynamics During Recessions," NBER Working Papers 20175, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 2001. "Are the effects of monetary policy in the euro area greater in recessions than in booms?," Working Paper Series 0052, European Central Bank.
  9. Lo, Ming Chien & Piger, Jeremy, 2005. "Is the Response of Output to Monetary Policy Asymmetric? Evidence from a Regime-Switching Coefficients Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 865-86, October.
  10. Weise, Charles L, 1999. "The Asymmetric Effects of Monetary Policy: A Nonlinear Vector Autoregression Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(1), pages 85-108, February.
  11. repec:oup:qjecon:v:129:y:2013:i:1:p:215-258 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. Joseph Vavra, 2011. "Inflation Dynamics and Time-Varying Uncertainty: New Evidence and an Ss Interpretation," 2011 Meeting Papers 126, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Joseph Vavra & David Berger, 2012. "Consumption Dynamics During the Great Recession," 2012 Meeting Papers 109, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Thoma, Mark A., 1994. "Subsample instability and asymmetries in money-income causality," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 279-306.
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