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Semiparametric estimates of monetary policy effects: string theory revisited

  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Òscar Jordà
  • Guido M. Kuersteiner

We develop flexible semiparametric time series methods that are then used to assess the causal effect of monetary policy interventions on macroeconomic aggregates. Our estimator captures the average causal response to discrete policy interventions in a macro-dynamic setting, without the need for assumptions about the process generating macroeconomic outcomes. The proposed procedure, based on propensity score weighting, easily accommodates asymmetric and nonlinear responses. Application of this estimator to the effects of monetary restraint shows the Fed to be an effective inflation fighter. Our estimates of the effects of monetary accommodation, however, suggest the Federal Reserve’s ability to stimulate real economic activity is more modest. Estimates for recent financial crisis years are similar to those for the earlier, pre-crisis period.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in its series Working Paper Series with number 2013-24.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:2013-24
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  1. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  2. Faust, Jon & Swanson, Eric T. & Wright, Jonathan H., 2004. "Identifying VARS based on high frequency futures data," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1107-1131, September.
  3. Piazzesi, Monika & Swanson, Eric T., 2008. "Futures prices as risk-adjusted forecasts of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 677-691, May.
  4. Fabio C. Bagliano & Carlo A. Favero, . "Measuring Monetary Policy with VAR Models: an Evaluation," Working Papers 132, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  5. Chiara Scotti, 2011. "A Bivariate Model of Federal Reserve and ECB Main Policy Rates," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(3), pages 37-78, September.
  6. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric 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.).
  7. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  8. Morten O. Ravn & Martin Sola, 2004. "Asymmetric effects of monetary policy in the United States," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 41-60.
  9. James D. Hamilton, 2007. "Daily Changes in Fed Funds Futures Prices," NBER Working Papers 13112, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Thapar, Aditi, 2008. "Using private forecasts to estimate the effects of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 806-824, May.
  11. Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Yields and the Federal Reserve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(2), pages 311-344, April.
  12. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido M. Kuersteiner, 2004. "Semiparametric Causality Tests Using the Policy Propensity Score," NBER Working Papers 10975, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Gurkaynak, Refet S. & Sack, Brian T. & Swanson, Eric P., 2007. "Market-Based Measures of Monetary Policy Expectations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 201-212, April.
  14. Granger, C W J, 1969. "Investigating Causal Relations by Econometric Models and Cross-Spectral Methods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 37(3), pages 424-38, July.
  15. Cover, James Peery, 1992. "Asymmetric Effects of Positive and Negative Money-Supply Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(4), pages 1261-82, November.
  16. 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.
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