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Asset Market Participation, Monetary Policy Rules, and the Great Inflation

  • Florin Bilbiie
  • Roland Straub

This paper argues that limited asset market participation is crucial in explaining U.S. macroeconomic performance and monetary policy before the 1980s, and their changes thereafter. We develop an otherwise standard sticky-price dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, which implies that at low asset-market participation rates, the interest rate elasticity of output (the slope of the IS curve) becomes positive - that is, "non-Keynesian." Remarkably, in that case, a passive monetary policy rule ensures equilibrium determinacy and maximizes welfare. Consequently, we argue that the policy of the Federal Reserve System in the pre-Volcker era, often associated with a passive monetary policy rule, was closer to optimal than conventional wisdom suggests and may thus have remained unchanged at a fundamental level thereafter. We provide institutional and empirical evidence for our hypothesis, in the latter case using Bayesian estimation techniques, and show that our model is able to explain most features of the "Great Inflation."

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 06/200.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:06/200
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  1. Florin Bilbiie, 2005. "Limited Asset Markets Participation, Monetary Policy and (Inverted) Keynesian Logic," Economics Papers 2005-W09, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  2. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  3. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
  4. Chari, V. V. & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1998. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 462-492, August.
  5. Jordi Galí & David López-Salido & Javier Vallés, 2000. "Technology Shocks and Monetary policy: Assessing the Fed's Performance," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0013, Banco de Espa�a.
  6. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1990. "Financial Innovation and Current Trends in U.S. Financial Markets," NBER Working Papers 3323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Domeij & Martin Floden, 2006. "The Labor-Supply Elasticity and Borrowing Constraints: Why Estimates are Biased," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 9(2), pages 242-262, April.
  8. John V. Duca, 2001. "The democratization of America's capital markets," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q II, pages 10-19.
  9. Kevin J. Lansing, 2000. "Exploring the causes of the Great Inflation," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jul7.
  10. Fernando Alvarez & Robert E. Lucas, Jr. & Warren E. Weber, 2001. "Interest rates and inflation," Working Papers 609, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  11. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2004. "Shocks and Government Beliefs: The Rise and Fall of American Inflation," NBER Working Papers 10764, 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. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 2139, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income, and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Working Papers 2924, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  17. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(2), pages 120-125, May.
  18. repec:fth:harver:1435 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Lubik, Thomas A. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Computing sunspot equilibria in linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 273-285, November.
  20. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
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