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The Great Moderation and the Decoupling of Monetary Policy from Long-Term Rates in the U.S. and Germany


  • Matthew Greenwood-Nimmo

    () (Leeds University Business School)

  • Yongcheol Shin

    () (Leeds University Business School)

  • Till van Treeck

    () (Macroeconomic Policy Institute (IMK) in the Hans Boeckler Foundation)


We apply the asymmetric ARDL model advanced by Shin, Yu and Greenwood-Nimmo (2009) to the analysis of the patterns of pass-through from policy-controlled interest rates to a variety of longer-term rates in the U.S. and Germany. Our results reveal three main phenomena. Firstly, while the e®ect of a rate hike is largely con¯ned to the short-run, the e®ect of a rate cut is muted in the short-run but non-negligible at longer horizons. We characterise this pattern as a switch from short-run positive asymmetry to long-run negative asymmetry, a pattern that potentially reconciles the con°icting empirical evidence and theoretical conjectures that dominate the existing literature. Secondly, our results con¯rm that there has been a decoupling of long-term rates from policy-controlled rates during the period of the Great Moderation in both the U.S. and Germany, albeit in a complex and nonlinear way. Thirdly, by replicating Taylor's (2007) counterfactual exercise using our asymmetric models, we ¯nd that Taylor over-estimates the importance of policy-controlled rates for the broader economy. Equivalently, our results do not support Greenspan's belief that the decoupling is a recent phenomenon. In light of our findings, we conclude that a narrow focus on the interest rate as the sole instrument of monetary policy is likely to be sub-optimal under current institutional arrangements.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew Greenwood-Nimmo & Yongcheol Shin & Till van Treeck, 2010. "The Great Moderation and the Decoupling of Monetary Policy from Long-Term Rates in the U.S. and Germany," IMK Working Paper 15-2010, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.
  • Handle: RePEc:imk:wpaper:15-2010

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    Cited by:

    1. Chileshe, Patrick Mumbi & Akanbi, Olusegun Ayodele, 2016. "Asymmetry of the Interest Rate Pass-through in Zambia," MPRA Paper 82673, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. 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.
    3. Matthew Greenwood-Nimmo & Yongcheol Shin, 2010. "Shifting Preferences at the Fed: Evidence from Rolling Dynamic Multipliers and Impulse Response Analysis," IMK Working Paper 16-2010, IMK at the Hans Boeckler Foundation, Macroeconomic Policy Institute.

    More about this item


    Asymmetric ARDL Model and Dynamic Multipliers; Great Moderation; Asymmetric Interest Rate Pass-through;

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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