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Interest Rates and Money in the Measurement of Monetary Policy

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  • Michael T. Belongia
  • Peter N. Ireland

Abstract

Over the last twenty-five years, a set of influential studies has placed interest rates at the heart of analyses that interpret and evaluate monetary policies. In light of this work, the Federal Reserve's recent policy of "quantitative easing," with its goal of affecting the supply of liquid assets, appears to be a radical break from standard practice. Alternatively, one could posit that the monetary aggregates, when measured properly, never lost their ability to explain aggregate fluctuations and, for this reason, represent an important omission from standard models and policy discussions. In this context, the new policy initiatives can be characterized simply as conventional attempts to increase money growth. This view is supported by evidence that superlative (Divisia) measures of money often help in forecasting movements in key macroeconomic variables. Moreover, the statistical fit of a structural vector autoregression deteriorates significantly if such measures of money are excluded when identifying monetary policy shocks. These results cast doubt on the adequacy of conventional models that focus on interest rates alone. They also highlight that all monetary disturbances have an important "quantitative" component, which is captured by movements in a properly measured monetary aggregate.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2014. "Interest Rates and Money in the Measurement of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 20134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:20134
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Taniya Ghosh & Soumya Bhadury, 2017. "Money's Causal Role in Exchange Rate: Do Divisia Monetary Aggregates Explain More?," Working Papers id:12107, eSocialSciences.
    2. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Damette, Olivier & Parent, Antoine & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2017. "Liquidity traps and large-scale financial crises," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 99-114.
    3. Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2016. "Money and Output: Friedman and Schwartz Revisited," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 48(6), pages 1223-1266, September.
    4. repec:eee:jmacro:v:54:y:2017:i:pa:p:42-58 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2017. "The Demand for Divisia Money: Theory and Evidence," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 937, Boston College Department of Economics.
    6. Karl Pinno & Apostolos Serletis, 2016. "Money, Velocity, and the Stock Market," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 671-695, September.
    7. William Barnett & Liting Su, 2014. "The Joint Services of Money and Credit," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201407, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Dec 2014.
    8. William A. Barnett & Soumya Suvra Bhadury & Taniya Ghosh, 2016. "An SVAR Approach to Evaluation of Monetary Policy in India: Solution to the Exchange Rate Puzzles in an Open Economy," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(5), pages 871-893, November.
    9. Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2018. "Targeting Constant Money Growth at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 14(2), pages 159-204, March.
    10. Fleissig, Adrian R. & Jones, Barry E., 2015. "The impact of commercial sweeping on the demand for monetary assets during the Great Recession," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 412-422.
    11. Darvas, Zsolt, 2015. "Does money matter in the euro area? Evidence from a new Divisia index," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 133(C), pages 123-126.
    12. Apostolos Serletis & Khandokar Istiak, 2016. "Are the Responses of the U.S. Economy Asymmetric to Positive and Negative Money Supply Shocks?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 303-316, April.
    13. Jonas E. Arias & Dario Caldara & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2014. "The Systematic Component of Monetary Policy in SVARs: An Agnostic Identification Procedure," Working Papers 2014-13, FEDEA.
    14. Belongia, Michael T. & Ireland, Peter N., 2017. "Circumventing the zero lower bound with monetary policy rules based on money," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PA), pages 42-58.
    15. Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2016. "A Classical View of the Business Cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 921, Boston College Department of Economics.
    16. Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2018. "Monetary Policy Lessons from the Greenbook," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 955, Boston College Department of Economics.
    17. Helmut Lütkepohl & Thore Schlaak, 2018. "Bootstrapping Impulse Responses of Structural Vector Autoregressive Models Identified through GARCH," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1750, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    18. Schwartzman, Felipe, 2013. "The Business Cycle Behavior of Working Capital," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue 4Q, pages 287-303.
    19. repec:eee:jmacro:v:54:y:2017:i:pa:p:110-126 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Helmut Lütkepohl & Tomasz Woźniak, 2017. "Bayesian Inference for Structural Vector Autoregressions Identified by Markov-Switching Heteroskedasticity," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1707, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E51 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Money Supply; Credit; Money Multipliers
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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