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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. 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.
  3. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Jordi Gali & J. David Lopez-Salido & Javier Valles, 2004. "Rule-of-Thumb Consumers and the Design of Interest Rate Rules," NBER Working Papers 10392, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
  6. N. Gregory Mankiw, 2000. "The Savers-Spenders Theory of Fiscal Policy," NBER Working Papers 7571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. V. V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation Traps and Discretion," NBER Working Papers 5541, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2006. "Shocks and Government Beliefs: The Rise and Fall of American Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 1193-1224, September.
  10. Florin Bilbiie & G. Mueller & A. Meier, 2006. "What Accounts for the Change in U.S Fiscal Policy Transmission ?," Working Papers hal-00515666, HAL.
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  13. Fernando Alvarez & Robert E. Lucas & Warren E. Weber, 2001. "Interest rates and inflation," Working Papers 609, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  14. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2003. "Structural changes in the US economy: is there a role for monetary policy?," Economics Working Papers 918, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2008.
  15. Benhabib, J. & Farmer, R.E.A., 1996. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Working Papers 96-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  16. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  17. Kevin J. Lansing, 2000. "Exploring the causes of the Great Inflation," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue jul7.
  18. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 923-936, November.
  19. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Estimation and control of an optimization-based model with sticky prices and wages," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1181-1215, May.
  20. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  21. Galí, Jordi & Lopez-Salido, Jose David & Vallés Liberal, Javier, 2002. "Technology Shocks and Monetary Policy: Assessing the Fed's Performance," CEPR Discussion Papers 3211, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Asena Caner & Edward Wolff, 2004. "Asset Poverty in the United States, 1984-1999," Challenge, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 47(1), pages 5-52, January.
  23. Bilbiie, Florin O. & Straub, Roland, 2012. "Changes in the output Euler equation and asset markets participation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1659-1672.
  24. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1989. "Consumption, Income and Interest Rates: Reinterpreting the Time Series Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 185-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  29. Timothy Cogley & Thomas Sargent, . "Drifts and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII US," Working Papers 2133503, Department of Economics, W. P. Carey School of Business, Arizona State University.
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  35. 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.
  36. Asena Caner & Edward N. Wolff, 2004. "Asset Poverty In The United States, 1984-99: Evidence From The Panel Study Of Income Dynamics," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(4), pages 493-518, December.
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  39. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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