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The Federal Reserve's framework for monetary policy - recent changes and new questions

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  • William B. English
  • J. David Lopez-Salido
  • Robert J. Tetlow

Abstract

In recent years, the Federal Reserve has made substantial changes to its framework for monetary policymaking by providing greater clarity regarding its objectives, its intentions regarding the use of monetary policy--including nontraditional policy tools such as forward guidance and asset purchases--in the pursuit of those objectives, and its broader policy strategy. These changes reflected both a response to changes in economists' understanding of the most effective way to implement monetary policy and a response to specific challenges posed by the financial crisis and its aftermath, particularly the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates. We trace the recent evolution of the Federal Reserve's framework, and use a small-scale macro model and a simple static model to help illuminate the approaches taken with nontraditional monetary policy tools. A number of foreign central banks have made similar innovations in response to similar developments. On balance, the Federal Reserve has moved closer to \\"flexible inflation targeting,\\" but the Federal Reserve's approach includes a balanced focus on two objectives and the use of a flexible horizon over which policy aims to foster those objectives. Going forward, further changes in central banks' frameworks may be needed to address issues raised by the financial crisis. For example, some have suggested that the sustained period at the effective lower bound points to the need for central banks to establish a different policy objective, such as a higher inflation target or a nominal income target. We use our small-scale model of the U.S. economy to examine the potential benefits and costs of such changes. We also discuss the broad issue of how central banks should integrate financial stability policy and monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • William B. English & J. David Lopez-Salido & Robert J. Tetlow, 2013. "The Federal Reserve's framework for monetary policy - recent changes and new questions," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-76, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-76
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Jerome H. Powell, 2019. "Opening Remarks : a speech at the \\"Conference on Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools, and Communications Practices\\" sponsored by the Federal Reserve, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Chicago," Speech 1070, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel Throckmorton, 2013. "The stimulative effect of forward guidance," Working Papers 2013-38, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 30 Apr 2014.
    3. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "The Federal Reserve’s Review of Its Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools, and Communication Practices : A speech at \\"Fed Policy: A Shadow Review\\" Cato Institute’s 37th Annual Monetary Confere," Speech 1104, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. James Hebden & J. David Lopez-Salido, 2018. "From Taylor's Rule to Bernanke's Temporary Price Level Targeting," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-051, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. Fernando M. Duarte, 2016. "How to escape a liquidity trap with interest rate rules," Staff Reports 776, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, revised 01 Dec 2016.
    6. Haberis, Alex & Harrison, Richard & Waldron, Matt, 2019. "Uncertain policy promises," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 459-474.
    7. Benjamin D. Keen & Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2017. "Forward Guidance And The State Of The Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1593-1624, October.
    8. Gust, Christopher & López-Salido, David & Meyer, Steve, 2017. "Asymmetric monetary policy and the effective lower bound," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(3), pages 441-451.
    9. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "The Federal Reserve's Review of Its Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools, and Communication Practices, a speech at \\"The Bank of Finland Conference on Monetary Policy and Future of EMU [Economic and ," Speech 1075, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Hess Chung & Etienne Gagnon & Taisuke Nakata & Matthias Paustian & Bernd Schlusche & James Trevino & Diego Vilan & Wei Zheng, 2019. "Monetary Policy Options at the Effective Lower Bound : Assessing the Federal Reserve's Current Policy Toolkit," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2019-003, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Richhild Moessner & David-Jan Jansen & Jakob de Haan, 2017. "Communication About Future Policy Rates In Theory And Practice: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 678-711, July.
    12. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "The Federal Reserve's Review of Its Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools, and Communication Practices : a speech the 2019 U.S. Monetary Policy Forum, sponsored by the Initiative on Global Markets at the Un," Speech 1038, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    13. Billi, Roberto M., 2018. "Price level targeting and risk management," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 163-173.
    14. Janet L. Yellen, 2015. "Inflation Dynamics and Monetary Policy : A speech at the Philip Gamble Memorial Lecture, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Amherst, Massachusetts, September 24, 2015," Speech 863, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    15. Karras, Georgios, 2017. "When is Lower Inflation less Stable? Evidence from Eight Developing Economies," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 70(3), pages 333-352.
    16. Janet L. Yellen, 2016. "The Outlook, Uncertainty, and Monetary Policy : a speech at the Economic Club of New York, New York, New York, March 29, 2016," Speech 894, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    17. Jerome H. Powell, 2019. "Monetary Policy: Normalization and the Road Ahead : a speech at the 2019 SIEPR Economic Summit, Stanford Institute of Economic Policy Research, Stanford, California, March 8, 2019," Speech 1044, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    18. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "The Federal Reserve’s Review of Its Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools, and Communication Practices : a speech at “A Hot Economy: Sustainability and Trade-Offs,” a Fed Listens event sponsored by the Fede," Speech 1085, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Richard H. Clarida, 2019. "The Federal Reserve's Review of Its Monetary Policy Strategy, Tools, and Communication Practices : a speech at the \\"Fed Listens: Distributional Consequences of the Cycle and Monetary Policy\\&q," Speech 1054, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    20. Boneva, Lena & Harrison, Richard & Waldron, Matt, 2018. "Threshold-based forward guidance," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 90(C), pages 138-155.
    21. Michael T. Kiley, 2018. "Quantitative Easing and the ‘New Normal’ in Monetary Policy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 86(S1), pages 21-49, September.
    22. van Holle, Frederiek, 2017. "Essays in empirical finance and monetary policy," Other publications TiSEM 30d11a4b-7bc9-4c81-ad24-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    23. Daisuke Ikeda & Takushi Kurozumi, 2015. "What Makes Post-Financial-Crisis Recoveries So Slow? An Investigation of Implications for Monetary Policy Conduct," Bank of Japan Research Laboratory Series 15-E-2, Bank of Japan.
    24. Maciej Ryczkowski, 2016. "Poland as an inflation nutter:The story of successful output stabilization," Zbornik radova Ekonomskog fakulteta u Rijeci/Proceedings of Rijeka Faculty of Economics, University of Rijeka, Faculty of Economics, vol. 34(2), pages 363-392.

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