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Has Monetary Policy Become More Efficient? A Cross Country Analysis

  • Stephen G. Cecchetti
  • Alfonso Flores-Lagunes
  • Stefan Krause

Over the past twenty years, macroeconomic performance has improved in industrialized and developing countries alike. In a broad cross-section of countries inflation volatility has fallen markedly while output variability has either fallen or risen only slightly. This increased stability can be attributed to either: 1) more efficient policy-making by the monetary authority, 2) a reduction in the variability of the aggregate supply shocks, or 3) changes in the structure of the economy. In this paper we develop a method for measuring changes in performance, and allocate the source of performance changes to these two factors. Our technique involves estimating movements toward an inflation and output variability efficiency frontier, and shifts in the frontier itself. We study the change from the 1980s to the 1990s in the macroeconomic performance of 24 countries and find that, for most of the analyzed countries, more efficient policy has been the driving force behind improved macroeconomic performance.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10973.

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Date of creation: Dec 2004
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Publication status: published as Cecchetti, Stephen G., Alfonso Flores-Lagunes and Stefan Krause. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Efficient? A Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, 2006, v116(511,Apr), 408-433.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10973
Note: ME
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  1. Alberto Alesina, 1988. "Macroeconomics and Politics," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1988, Volume 3, pages 13-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes & Stefan Krause, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy become more Efficient? a Cross-Country Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(511), pages 408-433, 04.
  3. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Stephen Cecchetti & Michael Ehrmann, 2000. "Does Inflation Targeting Increase Output volatility? An International Comparison of Policy Maker's Preferences and Outcomes," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 69, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. Taylor, John B, 1979. "Estimation and Control of a Macroeconomic Model with Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1267-86, September.
  6. Phillips, P.C.B., 1986. "Testing for a Unit Root in Time Series Regression," Cahiers de recherche 8633, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  7. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Working Papers 6512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Cukierman, A. & Lippi, F., 1998. "Central Bank Independence, Centralization of Wage Bargaining, Inflation and Unemployment - Theory and Some Evidence," Discussion Paper 1998-116, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  9. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Stefan Krause, 2002. "Central bank structure, policy efficiency, and macroeconomic performance: exploring empirical relationships," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 47-60.
  10. Stefan Krause, 2007. "Measuring Monetary Policy Efficiency in European Union Countries: The Pre-EMU Years," The IUP Journal of Monetary Economics, IUP Publications, vol. 0(1), pages 60-83, February.
  11. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  12. Stephen G. Cecchetti & Stefan Krause, 2001. "Financial Structure, Macroeconomic Stability and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8354, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
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