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Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission

  • Bernanke, Ben
  • Gertler, Mark

The 'credit channel' theory of monetary policy transmission holds that informational frictions in credit markets worsen during tight- money periods. The resulting increase in the external finance premium--the difference in cost between internal and external funds-- enhances the effects of monetary policy on the real economy. We document the responses of GDP and its components to monetary policy shocks and describe how the credit channel helps explain the facts. We discuss two main components of this mechanism, the balance-sheet channel and the bank lending channel. We argue that forecasting exercises using credit aggregates are not valid tests of this theory.

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File URL: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/docs/IO/9386/RR95-15.pdf
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Paper provided by C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University in its series Working Papers with number 95-15.

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Length: 48 pages
Date of creation: 1995
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:95-15
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C.V. Starr Center, Department of Economics, New York University, 19 W. 4th Street, 6th Floor, New York, NY 10012

Phone: (212) 998-8936
Fax: (212) 995-3932
Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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  1. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles, 1996. "The Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks: Evidence from the Flow of Funds," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 16-34, February.
  2. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "An Adverse Selection Model of Bank Asset and Liability Management with Implications for the Transmission of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring monetary policy," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Ramey, Valerie, 1993. "How important is the credit channel in the transmission of monetary policy?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-45, December.
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  7. Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1993. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," Working Papers 93-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  8. Sims, Christopher A., 1992. "Interpreting the macroeconomic time series facts : The effects of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 975-1000, June.
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  15. Bernanke, Ben S., 1993. "How important is the credit channel in the transmission of monetary policy? : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 47-52, December.
  16. John Ryding, 1990. "Housing finance and the transmission of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 42-55.
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  18. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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  23. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Alan S. Blinder & Louis J. Maccini, 1991. "Taking Stock: A Critical Assessment of Recent Research on Inventories," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 73-96, Winter.
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  26. Michael D. Boldin, 1993. "Econometric analysis of the recent downturn in housing construction: was it a credit-crunch?," Research Paper 9332, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  28. Robert E. Carpenter & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1994. "Inventory (Dis)Investment, Internal Finance Fluctuations, and the Business Cycle," Macroeconomics 9401001, EconWPA.
  29. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1.
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  31. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "Prices and Trading Volume in the Housing Market: A Model with Down-Payment Effects," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(2), pages 379-406.
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  34. Eun Young Chah & Valerie A. Ramey & Ross M. Starr, 1991. "Liquidity Constraints and Intertemporal Consumer Optimization: Theory and Evidence From Durable Goods," NBER Working Papers 3907, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  1. Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)

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