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Money, prices, interest rates and the business cycle

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  • Robert G. King
  • Mark W. Watson

Abstract

The mechanisms governing the relationship of money, prices and interest rates to the business cycle are the most studied and most disputed topics in macroeconomics. In this paper, we first document key empirical aspects of this relationship. We then ask how well three benchmark rational expectations macroeconomic models--real business cycle model, a sticky price model and a liquidity effect model--account for these central facts. While the models have diverse successes and failures, none can account for the fact that real and nominal interest rates are 'inverted leading indicators' of real economic activity. That is, none of the models captures the post-war U.S. business cycle fact that a high real or nominal interest rate in the current quarter predicts a low level of real economic activity two to four quarters in the future. Copyright 1996 by MIT Press.
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Suggested Citation

  • Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1995. "Money, prices, interest rates and the business cycle," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 95-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhma:95-10
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    File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/~mwatson/papers/mpibc_wp2.pdf
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    1. Robert S. Chirinko, 1992. "Business Fixed Investment Spending: A Critical survey of Modeling Strategies, Empirical Results, and Policy Implications," Working Papers 9213, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
    3. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1991. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(4), pages 819-840, September.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
    5. King, Robert G & Plosser, Charles I, 1984. "Money, Credit, and Prices in a Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 363-380, June.
    6. Fuerst, Timothy S., 1992. "Liquidity, loanable funds, and real activity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 3-24, February.
    7. Gray, Jo Anna, 1978. "On Indexation and Contract Length," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(1), pages 1-18, February.
    8. Soderlind, Paul, 1994. "Cyclical Properties of a Real Business Cycle Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 9(S), pages 113-122, Suppl. De.
    9. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
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