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Money, Credit and Interest Rates in the Business Cycle

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  • Benjamin M. Friedman

Abstract

Fluctuations of business activity in the United States clearly have their monetary and financial side, but these aspects of U.S. economic fluctuations exhibit few quantitative regularities that have persisted unchanged across spans of tine over which the nation's financial markets have themselves undergone significant change. The evidence on monetary and financial aspects of U.S. business cycles assembled in this paper shows major differences among the pre WorldWar I, inter-war, and post World War II periods, and between the first and second halves of the post-war period. Evidence suggesting changes fromone period to another repeatedly emerges, regardless of whether the method of analysis is simple or sophisticated, regardless of whether the underlying data are annual or quarterly, and regardless of whether the relationships under study are bivariate or multivariate. Moreover, the differences between one period and another are significant not just statistically but also economically, in the sense of major differences in the magnitude and timing of cyclical movements.The paper's main message, therefore, is a warning against accepting too readily - either as a matter of positive economics or for policy purposes -the appearance of simple and eternal verities in much of the existing literature of monetary and financial aspects of business fluctuations. More complicated models involving many variables and/or nonlinear relationships may have remained stable, but the evidence clearly shows that simple linear relationships among only a few such variables have not.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin M. Friedman, 1984. "Money, Credit and Interest Rates in the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 1482, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1482
    Note: ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-237, April.
    2. de Leeuw, Frank & Gramlich, Edward M, 1969. "The Channels of Monetary Policy: A Further Report on the Federal Reserve-M.I.T. Model," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 24(2), pages 265-290, May.
    3. Fama, Eugene F., 1980. "Banking in the theory of finance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 39-57, January.
    4. Jonson, Peter D, 1976. "Money and Economic Activity in the Open Economy: The United Kingdom, 1880-1970," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(5), pages 979-1012, October.
    5. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867–1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1.
    6. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1982. "Monetary Trends in the United States and United Kingdom: Their Relation to Income, Prices, and Interest Rates, 1867–1975," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie82-2.
    7. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie70-1.
    8. Milton Friedman & Anna Jacobson Schwartz, 1970. "Introduction to "Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods"," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Statistics of the United States: Estimates, Sources, Methods, pages 1-85 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Frank De Leeuw & Edward M. Gramlich, 1968. "The Federal Reserve-MIT economic model," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Jan, pages 11-40.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1988. "Lessons On Monetary Policy From The 1980's," NBER Working Papers 2551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Marvin J. Barth III & Valerie A. Ramey, 2002. "The Cost Channel of Monetary Transmission," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 199-256 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Elyès Jouini & Clotilde Napp, 2010. "Unbiased Disagreement in Financial Markets, Waves of Pessimism and the Risk-Return Trade-off," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 15(3), pages 575-601.
    4. Asea, Patrick K. & Blomberg, Brock, 1998. "Lending cycles," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1-2), pages 89-128.
    5. Stanley C. W. Salvary, 2004. "Observations On The Transmission Of Business Fluctuations: The Case Of Latin America 1972-1989," Macroeconomics 0411014, EconWPA.
    6. Dibeh, Ghassan, 2006. "Target zone dynamics where the fundamental follows a SDE with periodic forcing," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 363(2), pages 437-445.

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