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Are the Effects of Monetary Policy Asymmetric?

  • René Garcia
  • Huntley Schaller

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. Le présent article étudie si la politique monétaire a des effets asymétriques. En développant le modèle à changements de régime markoviens introduit par Hamilton (1989), nous examinons des questions du genre : La politique monétaire a-t-elle les mêmes effets selon les différentes phases du cycle économique ? Étant donné que l'économie est actuellement en récession, une baisse des taux d'intérêt accroît-elle la probabilité d'une expansion ? La politique monétaire a-t-elle un effet sur le taux de croissance de l'économie au sein d'une phase donnée, ou n'affecte-t-elle l'économie que si elle est suffisamment soutenue pour entraîner un changement de phase (p. ex. d'une récession à une expansion) ? Nous trouvons des effets asymétriques importants économiquement et statistiquement significatifs. Comme le suggèrent les modèles supposant un ajustement lent des prix ou l'existence de contraintes financières, les changements de taux d'intérêt ont des effets plus importants durant les récessions. Les taux d'intérêt ont également des effets substantiels sur la probabilité d'un changement d'état de l'économie.

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Paper provided by CIRANO in its series CIRANO Working Papers with number 95s-06.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cir:cirwor:95s-06
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