IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Monetary Magic? How the Fed Improved the Flexibility of the Economy


  • Bayoumi, Tamim
  • Sgherri, Silvia


Extending recent theoretical contributions on sources of inflation inertia, we argue that monetary policy uncertainty helps determine the sluggish adjustment of expectations to nominal disturbances. Estimating a model in which rational individuals learn over time about shifts in US monetary policy and the Phillips curve, we find strong evidence that this link exists. These results question the standard approach for evaluating monetary rules by assuming unchanged private sector responses, help clarify the role of monetary stability in reducing output variability in the US and elsewhere, and tell a subtle and dynamic story of the interaction between monetary policy and the supply-side of the economy.

Suggested Citation

  • Bayoumi, Tamim & Sgherri, Silvia, 2004. "Monetary Magic? How the Fed Improved the Flexibility of the Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4696

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Enrica Detragiache, 1996. "Rational Liquidity Crises in the Sovereign Debt Market: In Search of a Theory," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 43(3), pages 545-570, September.
    2. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff & Miguel A. Savastano, 2003. "Debt Intolerance," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 1-74.
    3. Amadou N Sy & Andrea Pescatori, 2004. "Debt Crises and the Development of International Capital Markets," IMF Working Papers 04/44, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Rose, Andrew K., 2005. "One reason countries pay their debts: renegotiation and international trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 189-206, June.
    5. Harold L. Cole & Timothy J. Kehoe, 2000. "Self-Fulfilling Debt Crises," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(1), pages 91-116.
    6. Bussiere, Matthieu & Mulder, Christian, 2000. "Political Instability and Economic Vulnerability," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 5(4), pages 309-330, October.
    7. Alberto Alesina & Roberto Perotti, 1997. "Fiscal Adjustments in OECD Countries: Composition and Macroeconomic Effects," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 44(2), pages 210-248, June.
    8. Roberto Chang, 2006. "Electoral Uncertainty and the Volatility of International Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 12448, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Craig Burnside & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2001. "Prospective Deficits and the Asian Currency Crisis," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(6), pages 1155-1197, December.
    10. Axel Schimmelpfennig & Nouriel Roubini & Paolo Manasse, 2003. "Predicting Sovereign Debt Crises," IMF Working Papers 03/221, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Carmen M. Reinhart, 2002. "Default, Currency Crises, and Sovereign Credit Ratings," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 16(2), pages 151-170, August.
    12. Chang, Roberto, 2007. "Financial crises and political crises," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(8), pages 2409-2420, November.
    13. Carmen M. Reinhart & Graciela L. Kaminsky, 1999. "The Twin Crises: The Causes of Banking and Balance-of-Payments Problems," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 473-500, June.
    14. Cole, Harold L. & Kehoe, Timothy J., 1996. "A self-fulfilling model of Mexico's 1994-1995 debt crisis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-4), pages 309-330, November.
    15. Beck, Thorsten & Clarke, George & Groff, Alberto & Keefer, Philip & Walsh, Patrick, 2000. "New tools and new tests in comparative political economy - the database of political institutions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2283, The World Bank.
    16. Witold J. Henisz, 2002. "The institutional environment for infrastructure investment," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 11(2), pages 355-389.
    17. repec:cup:apsrev:v:87:y:1993:i:03:p:567-576_10 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Kent Osband & Caroline Van Rijckeghem, 2000. "Safety from Currency Crashes," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 47(2), pages 1-4.
    19. Nils Petter Gleditsch & Peter Wallensteen & Mikael Eriksson & Margareta Sollenberg & Hã…Vard Strand, 2002. "Armed Conflict 1946-2001: A New Dataset," Journal of Peace Research, Peace Research Institute Oslo, vol. 39(5), pages 615-637, September.
    20. Calvo, Guillermo A, 1988. "Servicing the Public Debt: The Role of Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 647-661, September.
    21. W. J. Henisz, 2000. "The Institutional Environment for Economic Growth," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(1), pages 1-31, March.
    22. Enrica Detragiache & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2001. "Crises and Liquidity; Evidence and Interpretation," IMF Working Papers 01/2, International Monetary Fund.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Belongia, Michael T. & Ireland, Peter N., 2016. "The evolution of U.S. monetary policy: 2000–2007," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 78-93.
    2. Marco Lombardi & Silvia Sgherri, 2007. "(Un)naturally Low? Sequential Monte Carlo Tracking of the US Natural Interest Rate," DNB Working Papers 142, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    3. Douglas Laxton & Andrew Berg & Philippe D Karam, 2006. "A Practical Model-Based Approach to Monetary Policy Analysis—Overview," IMF Working Papers 06/80, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Bayoumi, Tamim & Sgherri, Silvia, 2004. "Deconstructing the Art of Central Banking," CEPR Discussion Papers 4675, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    5. Benedetto Molinari, 2014. "Sticky information and inflation persistence: evidence from the U.S. data," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 903-935, May.

    More about this item


    inflation dynamics; Kalman filter; monetary policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4696. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.