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Shocks, structures or monetary policies? The euro area and US after 2001

  • Christiano, Lawrence
  • Motto, Roberto
  • Rostagno, Massimo

The US Federal Reserve cut interest rates more vigorously in the recent recession than the European Central Bank did. By comparison with the Fed, the ECB followed a more measured course of action. We use an estimated dynamic general equilibrium model with financial frictions to show that comparisons based on such simple metrics as the variance of policy rates are misleading. We find that - because there is greater inertia in the ECB’s policy rule - the ECB’s policy actions actually had a greater stabilizing effect than did those of the Fed. As a consequence, a potentially severe recession turned out to be only a slowdown, and inflation never departed from levels consistent with the ECB’s quantitative definition of price stability. Other factors that account for the different economic outcomes in the Euro Area and US include differences in shocks and differences in the degree of wage and price flexibility. JEL Classification: C51, E52, E58

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0774.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070774
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  1. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  2. Jean-Guillaume Sahuc & Frank Smets, 2007. "Differences in interest rate policy at the ECB and the Fed : an investigation with a medium-scale DSGE model," Documents de recherche 07-07, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
  3. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1995. "Inside Money, Outside Money and Short Term Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 5269, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Adolfson, Malin & Laseen, Stefan & Linde, Jesper & Villani, Mattias, 2007. "Bayesian estimation of an open economy DSGE model with incomplete pass-through," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 481-511, July.
  5. Stefan Gerlach & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2000. "Money and Inflation in the Euro Area: A Case for Monetary Indicators?," NBER Working Papers 8025, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Woodford, Michael, 2000. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," Seminar Papers 666, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  7. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
  8. Bernanke, B. & Gertler, M. & Gilchrist, S., 1998. "The Financial Accelerator in a Quantitative Business Cycle Framework," Working Papers 98-03, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  10. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian P. Sack & Eric T. Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  11. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  12. Christiano, Lawrence J & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1992. "Current Real-Business-Cycle Theories and Aggregate Labor-Market Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 430-50, June.
  13. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano, 1998. "Solving Dynamic Equilibrium Models by a Method of Undetermined Coefficients," NBER Technical Working Papers 0225, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
  16. Fisher, Jonas D M, 1999. "Credit Market Imperfections and the Heterogeneous Response of Firms to Monetary Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 31(2), pages 187-211, May.
  17. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
  18. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "The Sensitivity of Long-Term Interest Rates to Economic News: Evidence and Implications for Macroeconomic Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 425-436, March.
  19. Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Interest-Rate Smoothing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 861-886.
  20. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  21. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  22. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 2001. "The monetary transmission mechanism in the euro area: more evidence from VAR analysis," Working Paper Series 0091, European Central Bank.
  23. Mojon, Benoît & Kashyap, Anil K. & Angeloni, Ignazio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 2002. "Monetary Transmission in the Euro Area : Where Do We Stand?," Working Paper Series 0114, European Central Bank.
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