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The Fed and the New Economy


  • Laurence Ball

    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Robert R. Tchaidze

    (JOhns Hopkins University)


This paper seeks to understand the behavior of Greenspan's Federal Reserve in the late 1990s. Some authors suggest that the Fed followed a simple "Taylor rule", while others argue that it deviated from such a rule because it recognized that the "New Economy" permitted an easing of policy. We find that a Taylor rule based on inflation and unemployment does break down in the late 1990s. However, the Fed's behavior appears stable once one accounts for the falling NAIRU of the period. A rule based on inflation and the deviation of unemployment from the NAIRU captures the Fed's behavior through the entire period from 1987 to 2000.

Suggested Citation

  • Laurence Ball & Robert R. Tchaidze, 2002. "The Fed and the New Economy," Working Papers 102002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:102002

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert R Tchaidze, 2001. "Estimating Taylor Rules in a Real Time Setting," Economics Working Paper Archive 457, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
    2. Laurence Ball & Robert Moffitt, 2001. "Productivity Growth and the Phillips Curve," NBER Working Papers 8421, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Robert J. Gordon, 1997. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Its Implications for Economic Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 11-32, Winter.
    4. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    5. John B. Taylor, 1999. "A Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 319-348 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2001. "U. S. Monetary Policy During the 1990s," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1927, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
    7. 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.
    8. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters,in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
    10. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
    2. Alfonso Palacio-Vera, 2006. "On Lower-bound Traps: A Framework for the Analysis of Monetary Policy in the ÒAgeÓ of Central Banks," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_478, Levy Economics Institute.
    3. Paradiso, Antonio & Rao, B. Bhaskara, 2011. "The effects of Minsky moment and stock prices on the US Taylor Rule," MPRA Paper 27840, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Alan S. Blinder & Ricardo Reis, 2005. "Understanding the Greenspan standard," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Aug, pages 11-96.
    5. Tillmann, Peter, 2010. "The Fed's perceived Phillips curve: Evidence from individual FOMC forecasts," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 32(4), pages 1008-1013, December.
    6. Antonio Forte, 2010. "The European Central Bank, the Federal Reserve and the Bank of England: Is the Taylor Rule a useful benchmark for the last decade?," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 53(2), pages 1-31.
    7. George Chouliarakis, 2009. "Coping With Uncertainty: Historical And Real-Time Estimates Of The Natural Unemployment Rate And The Uk Monetary Policy," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 77(4), pages 479-511, July.
    8. Luís Francisco Aguiar-Conraria & Manuel M. F. Martins & Maria Joana Soares, "undated". "Analyzing the Taylor Rule with Wavelet Lenses," NIPE Working Papers 18/2014, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.
    9. Cette, Gilbert & Mairesse, Jacques & Kocoglu, Yusuf, 2005. "ICT diffusion and potential output growth," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 231-234, May.
    10. Juan Paez-Farrell, 2009. "Monetary policy rules in theory and in practice: evidence from the UK and the US," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 41(16), pages 2037-2046.
    11. Matthew Greenwood-Nimmo & Youngcheol Shin, 2011. "Shifting Preferences at the Fed: Evidence from Rolling Dynamic Multipliers and Impulse Response Analysis," Working Papers 2011-057, Madras School of Economics,Chennai,India.
    12. Gilbert Cette & Christian Pfister, 2003. "The challenges of the "new economy" for monetary policy," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 213-233 Bank for International Settlements.
    13. Anders Møller Christensen & Heino Bohn Nielsen, 2009. "Monetary Policy in the Greenspan Era: A Time Series Analysis of Rules vs. Discretion," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(1), pages 69-89, February.
    14. Robert Tchaidze & Alina Carare, 2004. "The Use and Abuse of Taylor Rules: How precisely can we estimate them?," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 132, Econometric Society.
    15. Lubik, Thomas A. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2007. "Do central banks respond to exchange rate movements? A structural investigation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1069-1087, May.
    16. Antonio Forte & Giovanni Pesce, 2009. "The International Financial Crisis: an Expert Survey," SERIES 0024, Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza - Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro", revised Apr 2009.
    17. Kandil, Magda, 2005. "Money, interest, and prices: Some international evidence," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 129-147.
    18. Luís Aguiar-Conraria & Manuel M. F. Martins & Maria Joana Soares, 2016. "Estimating the Taylor Rule in the Time-Frequency Domain," CEF.UP Working Papers 1404, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    19. Francisco Rosende, 2004. "Política Monetaria bajo Incertidumbre: Reflexiones después de Jackson Hole 2003," Documentos de Trabajo 263, Instituto de Economia. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..
    20. Jonathan Temple, 2002. "An Assessment of the New Economy," Bristol Economics Discussion Papers 02/542, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
    21. Karl Whelan, 2002. "An overview of monetary policy in the US," Open Access publications 10197/205, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    22. George Chouliarakis, "undated". "The Time-Varying NAIRU and Monetary Policy in the UK," EcoMod2007 23900016, EcoMod.
    23. Choo, Han Gwang & Kurita, Takamitsu, 2011. "An empirical investigation of monetary interaction in the Korean economy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 267-280, April.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E65 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Studies of Particular Policy Episodes


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