IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper

Monetary policy: why money matters, and interest rates don’t

  • Daniel L. Thornton

Since the late 1980s the Fed has implemented monetary policy by adjusting its target for the overnight federal funds rate. Money’s role in monetary policy has been tertiary, at best. Indeed, several influential economists have suggested that money is irrelevant for monetary policy. They suggest that central banks can control inflation by (i) controlling a very short-term nominal interest rate and (ii) influencing financial market participants’ expectation of the future policy rate in order to exert greater control over longer-term rates. I offer an alternative perspective: namely, that money is essential for the central bank’s control over the price level and that the monetary authority’s control over interest rates is exaggerated.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://research.stlouisfed.org/wp/2012/2012-020.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2012-020.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-020
Contact details of provider: Postal:
P.O. Box 442, St. Louis, MO 63166

Fax: (314)444-8753
Web page: http://www.stlouisfed.org/

More information through EDIRC

Order Information: Email:


References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Michael Woodford, 2006. "How Important is Money in the Conduct of Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 1104, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  2. Thomas J. Sargent, 1981. "The ends of four big inflations," Working Papers 158, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  3. Nelson Edward, 2005. "The Great Inflation of the Seventies: What Really Happened?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-50, July.
  4. Samuel Reynard, 2007. "Maintaining Low Inflation: Money, Interest Rates, and Policy Stance," Working Papers 2007-05, Swiss National Bank.
  5. Hamilton, James D, 1997. "Measuring the Liquidity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 80-97, March.
  6. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Monetary Policy in the Information Economy," NBER Working Papers 8674, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sarno, Lucio & Thornton, Daniel L. & Valente, Giorgio, 2007. "The Empirical Failure of the Expectations Hypothesis of the Term Structure of Bond Yields," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 42(01), pages 81-100, March.
  8. Richard G. Anderson & Robert H. Rasche, 2001. "Retail sweep programs and bank reserves, 1994-1999," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 51-72.
  9. McCallum, Bennett T., 1981. "Price level determinacy with an interest rate policy rule and rational expectations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 319-329.
  10. John Y. Campbell & Robert J. Shiller, 1991. "Yield Spreads and Interest Rate Movements: A Bird's Eye View," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(3), pages 495-514.
  11. Seth B. Carpenter & Selva Demiralp, 2004. "The liquidity effect in the federal funds market: evidence from daily open market operations," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-61, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Geert Bekaert & Robert J. Hodrick & David A. Marshall, 1996. "On Biases in Tests of the Expecations Hypothesis of the Term Structure Of Interest Rates," NBER Technical Working Papers 0191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Thornton, Daniel L., 2001. "The Federal Reserve's operating procedure, nonborrowed reserves, borrowed reserves and the liquidity effect," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 25(9), pages 1717-1739, September.
  14. John H. Cochrane & Monika Piazzesi, 2005. "Bond Risk Premia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 138-160, March.
  15. Michael D. Bauer & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2014. "The Signaling Channel for Federal Reserve Bond Purchases," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 10(3), pages 233-289, September.
  16. Pasquale Della Corte & Lucio Sarno & Daniel L. Thornton, 2007. "The expectation hypothesis of the term structure of very short-term rates: statistical tests and economic value," Working Papers 2006-061, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  17. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Monetary Policy Analysis in Models Without Money," NBER Working Papers 8174, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Roy Cromb & Emilio Fernandez-Corugedo, 2004. "Long-term interest rates, wealth and consumption," Bank of England working papers 243, Bank of England.
  19. Daniel L. Thornton, 2007. "The daily and policy-relevant liquidity effects," Working Papers 2007-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  20. Daniel L. Thornton, 2001. "Identifying the liquidity effect at the daily frequency," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 59-82.
  21. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 1997. "Aggregation and the Microfoundations of Dynamic Macroeconomics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288008.
  22. Daniel L. Thornton, 2004. "Tests of the expectations hypothesis: resolving the anomalies when the short-term rate is the federal funds rate," Working Papers 2000-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  23. Massimo Guidolin & Daniel L. Thornton, 2010. "Predictions of short-term rates and the expectations hypothesis," Working Papers 2010-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  24. Nelson, Edward, 2007. "Comment on: Samuel Reynard, "Maintaining low inflation: Money, interest rates, and policy stance"," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1472-1479, July.
  25. Daniel L. Thornton, 2007. "Open market operations and the federal funds rate," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 549-570.
  26. Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "The Fed and short-term rates: Is it open market operations, open mouth operations or interest rate smoothing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 475-498, March.
  27. Jeremy M. Piger & Robert H. Rasche, 2008. "Inflation: Do Expectations Trump the Gap?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(4), pages 85-116, December.
  28. Mervyn A. King, 1999. "Challenges for monetary policy : new and old," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 11-57.
  29. Daniel L. Thornton, 2005. "When did the FOMC begin targeting the federal funds rate? what the verbatim transcripts tell us," Working Papers 2004-015, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  30. Daniel L. Thornton, 2005. "A new federal funds rate target series: September 27, 1982, - December 31, 1993," Working Papers 2005-032, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  31. Michael Woodford, 2000. "Monetary Policy in a World Without Money," NBER Working Papers 7853, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "How did we get to inflation targeting and where do we need to go to now? a perspective from the U.S. experience," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 65-81.
  33. William Poole & Robert H & Rasche & Daniel L. Thornton, 2002. "Market anticipations of monetary policy actions," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 65-94.
  34. Hamilton, James D, 1996. "The Daily Market for Federal Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 26-56, February.
  35. Friedman, Benjamin M, 2000. "Decoupling at the Margin: The Threat to Monetary Policy from the Electronic Revolution in Banking," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 261-72, July.
  36. Charles Goodhart, 2000. "Can Central Banking Survive the IT Revolution?," FMG Special Papers sp125, Financial Markets Group.
  37. Daniel L. Thornton, 2008. "The unusual behavior of the federal funds and 10-year Treasury rates: a conundrum or Goodhart’s Law?," Working Papers 2007-039, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  38. David Laidler, 2003. "Monetary Policy without Money: Hamlet without the Ghost," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 20037, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
  39. Benjamin M. Friedman, 2000. "Decoupling at the Margin: The Threat to Monetary Policy from the Electronic Revolution in Banking," NBER Working Papers 7955, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Rolnick, Arthur J & Weber, Warren E, 1983. "New Evidence on the Free Banking Era," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(5), pages 1080-91, December.
  41. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  42. Daniel L. Thornton, 2000. "Money in a theory of exchange," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 35-60.
  43. Bennett T. McCallum & Marvin S. Goodfriend, 1987. "Money: Theoretical Analysis of the Demand for Money," NBER Working Papers 2157, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2012-020. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Anna Xiao)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.