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Monetary policy and natural disasters in a DSGE model: how should the Fed have responded to Hurricane Katrina?

  • Benjamin D. Keen
  • Michael R. Pakko

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, speculation arose that the Federal Reserve might respond by easing monetary policy. This paper uses a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model to investigate the appropriate monetary policy response to a natural disaster. We show that the standard Taylor (1993) rule response in models with and without nominal rigidities is to increase the nominal interest rate. That finding is unchanged when we consider the optimal policy response to a disaster. A nominal interest rate increase following a disaster mitigates both temporary inflation effects and output distortions that are attributable to nominal rigidities.

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File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2007/2007-025.pdf
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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2007-025.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2007-025
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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. Christopher J. Neely, 2003. "The Federal Reserve responds to crises: September 11th was not the first," Working Papers 2003-034, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectations, traps and discretion," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 96-04, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  5. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  6. Fumio Hayashi, 1981. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average a : A Neoclassical Interpretation," Discussion Papers 457, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  7. Pakko Michael R., 2005. "Changing Technology Trends, Transition Dynamics, and Growth Accounting," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-42, December.
  8. Gavin, William T. & Keen, Benjamin D. & Pakko, Michael R., 2009. "Inflation Risk And Optimal Monetary Policy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(S1), pages 58-75, May.
  9. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 2002. "System Reduction and Solution Algorithms for Singular Linear Difference Systems under Rational Expectations," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 57-86, October.
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