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Pushing on a String: US Monetary Policy is Less Powerful in Recessions

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  • Tenreyro, Silvana
  • Thwaites, Gregory

Abstract

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 differences 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Tenreyro, Silvana & Thwaites, Gregory, 2015. "Pushing on a String: US Monetary Policy is Less Powerful in Recessions," CEPR Discussion Papers 10786, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:10786
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    assymetric effects of monetary policy; monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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