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Credit spreads and monetary policy

  • Vasco Cúrdia
  • Michael Woodford

We consider the desirability of modifying a standard Taylor rule for a central bank's interest rate policy to incorporate either an adjustment for changes in interest rate spreads (as proposed by Taylor [2008] and McCulley and Toloui [2008]) or a response to variations in the aggregate volume of credit (as proposed by Christiano et al. [2007]). We then examine how, under those adjustments, policy would respond to various types of economic disturbances, including those originating in the financial sector that increase equilibrium spreads and contract the supply of credit. We conduct our analysis using a simple DSGE model with credit frictions (Curdia and Woodford 2009), comparing the equilibrium responses to various disturbances under the modified Taylor rules with those under a policy that would maximize average expected utility. According to our model, a spread adjustment can improve on the standard Taylor rule, but the optimal size of the adjustment is unlikely to be as large as the one proposed, and the same type of adjustment is not desirable regardless of the source of variation in credit spreads. A response to credit is less likely to be helpful, and its desirable size (and even sign) is less robust to alternative assumptions about the nature and persistence of economic disturbances.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 385.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:385
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  1. Michael Woodford, 2007. "The Case for Forecast Targeting as a Monetary Policy Strategy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(4), pages 3-24, Fall.
  2. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  3. Rajnish Mehra & Facundo Piguillem & Edward C. Prescott, 2011. "Costly financial intermediation in neoclassical growth theory," Working Papers 685, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Inflation Stabilization and Welfare: The Case of a Distorted Steady State," NBER Working Papers 10838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Svensson, Lars E. O., 1999. "Inflation targeting as a monetary policy rule," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 607-654, June.
  6. Stefano NERI & Luca SESSA & Federico SIGNORETTI & Andrea GERALI, 2009. "Credit and Banking in a DSGE model," 2009 Meeting Papers 586, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Linear-quadratic approximation of optimal policy problems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 147(1), pages 1-42.
  8. John C. Williams & John B. Taylor, 2009. "A Black Swan in the Money Market," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 58-83, January.
  9. Marvin Goodfriend & Bennett T. McCallum, 2007. "Banking and Interest Rates in Monetary Policy Analysis: A Quantitative Exploration," NBER Working Papers 13207, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  13. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2003. "What is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. John Taylor & John Williams, 2008. "Further Results on a Black Swan in the Money Market," Discussion Papers 07-046, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  15. Frederic S. Mishkin, 2009. "Monetary Policy Strategy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262513374, June.
  16. John Taylor, 2007. "Housing and Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 07-003, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  17. Dupor, Bill, 2003. "Optimal random monetary policy with nominal rigidity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 66-78, September.
  18. Christiano, Lawrence & Ilut, Cosmin & Motto, Roberto & Rostagno, Massimo, 2008. "Monetary policy and stock market boom-bust cycles," Working Paper Series 0955, European Central Bank.
  19. Cara S. Lown & Donald P. Morgan, 2002. "Credit effects in the monetary mechanism," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 217-235.
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