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Is monetary policy overburdened?

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  • Orphanides, Athanasios

    () (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Abstract

Following the experience of the global financial crisis, central banks have been asked to undertake unprecedented responsibilities. Governments and the public appear to have high expectations that monetary policy can provide solutions to problems that do not necessarily fit in the realm of traditional monetary policy. This paper examines three broad public policy goals that may overburden monetary policy: full employment; fiscal sustainability; and financial stability. While central banks have a crucial position in public policy, the appropriate policy mix also involves other institutions, and overreliance on monetary policy to achieve these goals is bound to disappoint. Central Bank policies that facilitate postponement of needed policy actions by governments may also have longer-term adverse consequences that could outweigh more immediate benefits. Overburdening monetary policy may eventually diminish and compromise the independence and credibility of the central bank, thereby reducing its effectiveness to preserve price stability and contribute to crisis management.

Suggested Citation

  • Orphanides, Athanasios, 2013. "Is monetary policy overburdened?," Public Policy Discussion Paper 13-8, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbpp:13-8
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
    2. Stephen F. Quinn & William Roberds, 2005. "The big problem of large bills: the Bank of Amsterdam and the origins of central banking," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2005-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    3. Alan Greenspan, 2010. "The Crisis," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 41(1 (Spring), pages 201-261.
    4. repec:oup:oxecpp:v:69:y:2017:i:3:p:655-677. is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Charles R. Bean & Matthias Paustian & Adrian Penalver & Tim Taylor, 2010. "Monetary policy after the fall," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 267-328.
    6. Claudio BorioBy & Piti Disyatat & Mikael Juselius, 2017. "Rethinking potential output: embedding information about the financial cycle," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 655-677.
    7. Svensson, Lars E O, 2013. "Some Lessons from Six Years of Practical Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 9756, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Alan Greenspan, 2004. "Risk and Uncertainty in Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 33-40, May.
    9. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    10. Anat Admati & Martin Hellwig, 2013. "The Bankers' New Clothes: What's Wrong with Banking and What to Do about It," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9929.
    11. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226044712 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 97-116, Spring.
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    Cited by:

    1. Troy Davig & Refet S. Gürkaynak, 2015. "Is Optimal Monetary Policy Always Optimal?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(4), pages 353-382, September.
    2. Dongkoo Chang & Choon-Seng Lim, Vincent & Eufrocinio M. Bernabe, Jr., "undated". "Alternative Monetary Policy Frameworks for Price and Financial Stability," Working Papers wp06, South East Asian Central Banks (SEACEN) Research and Training Centre.
    3. Issing, Otmar, 2014. "Forward guidance: A new challenge for central banks," SAFE White Paper Series 16, Goethe University Frankfurt, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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