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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. The authors document the responses of GDP and its components to monetary policy shocks and describe how the credit channel helps explain the facts. They discuss two main components of this mechanism, the balance sheet and bank lending channels. The authors argue that forecasting exercises using credit aggregates are not valid tests of this theory.

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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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Fax: (212) 995-3932
Web page: http://econ.as.nyu.edu/object/econ.cvstarr.html
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  1. 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.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1994. "Identification and the effects of monetary policy shocks," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. 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.
  4. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1993. " The Role of Credit Market Imperfections in the Monetary Transmission Mechanism: Arguments and Evidence," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 95(1), pages 43-64.
  5. Romer, Christina D. & Romer, David H., 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt5h07k8vf, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Anil K Kashyap & Owen A. Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Credit Conditions and the Cyclical Behavior of Inventories," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(3), pages 565-592.
  9. Egon Zakrajsek, 1997. "Retail inventories, internal finance, and aggregate fluctuations," Research Paper 9722, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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  16. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
  17. Simon Gilchrist & Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 1994. "The financial accelerator and the flight to quality," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 94-18, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  18. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1990. "New Evidence on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 149-214.
  19. Kashyap, Anil K. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1995. "The impact of monetary policy on bank balance sheets," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 151-195, June.
  20. Robert E. Carpenter & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1994. "Inventory (Dis)Investment, Internal Finance Fluctuations, and the Business Cycle," Macroeconomics 9401001, EconWPA.
  21. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  22. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring monetary policy," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  23. Steven Strongin, 1992. "The identification of monetary policy disturbances: explaining the liquidity puzzle," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  24. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
  25. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-340.
  26. Stephen D. Oliner & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1996. "Is there a broad credit channel for monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, pages 3-13.
  27. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
  28. R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "Is There a `Credit Channel' for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 4977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1.
  30. John Ryding, 1990. "Housing finance and the transmission of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 42-55.
  31. Anil Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Monetary Policy and Bank Lending," NBER Working Papers 4317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. 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.
  33. Sims, Christopher A. & Zha, Tao, 2006. "Does Monetary Policy Generate Recessions?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 231-272, April.
  34. Ben S. Bernanke, 1993. "Credit in the macroeconomy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Spr, pages 50-70.
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  1. Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)

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