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Technology Shocks and Monetary Policy: Assessing the Fed's Performance

  • Galí, Jordi
  • Lopez-Salido, Jose David
  • Vallés Liberal, Javier

The purpose of the present Paper is twofold. First, we characterize the Fed’s systematic response to technology shocks and its implications for US output, hours and inflation. Second we evaluate the extent to which those responses can be accounted for by a simple monetary policy rule (including the optimal one) in the context of a standard business cycle model with sticky prices. Our main results can be described as follows: First, we detect significant differences across periods in the response of the economy (as well as the Fed’s) to a technology shock. Second, the Fed’s response to a technology shock in the Volcker-Greenspan period is consistent with an optimal monetary policy rule. Third, in the pre-Volcker period the Fed’s policy tended to over stabilize output at the cost of generating excessive inflation volatility. Our evidence reinforces recent results in the literature suggesting an improvement in the Fed’s performance.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3211.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3211
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  1. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1998. "Interest-Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Working Papers 6618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 1998. "Are technology improvements contractionary?," International Finance Discussion Papers 625, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902, August.
  4. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert G. King, 2001. "The Case for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  6. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  7. Ellen McGrattan, 2001. "Predicting the effects of Federal Reserve policy in a sticky price model: an analytical approach," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  8. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Javier Andrés & J. David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 1999. "Intertemporal Substitution and the Liquidity Effect in a Sticky Price Model," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 9919, Banco de Espa�a.
  11. 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.
  12. Woodford Michael, 2002. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-53, February.
  13. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
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