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Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand

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  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Alan S. Blinder

Abstract

Standard models of aggregate demand treat money and credit asymmetrically; money is given a special status, while loans, bonds, and other debt instruments are lumped together in a "bond market" and suppressed by Walras' Law. This makes bank liabilities central to the monetary transmission mechanism, while giving no role to bank assets. We show how to modify a textbook IS-UI model so as to permit a more balanced treatment. As in Tobin (1969) and Brunner-Meltzer (1972), the key assumption is that loans and bonds are imperfect substitutes. In the modified model, credit supply and demand shocks have independent effects on aggregate demand; the nature of the monetary transmission mechanism is also somewhat different. The main policy implication is that the relative value of money and credit as policy indicators depends on the variances of shocks to money and credit demand. We present some evidence that money-demand shocks have become more important relative to credit-demand shocks during the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1988. "Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 2534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2534
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    1. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1972. "Money, Debt, and Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(5), pages 951-977, Sept.-Oct.
    2. William Poole, 1969. "Optimal choice of monetary policy instruments in a simple stochastic macro model," Special Studies Papers 2, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. William Poole, 1970. "Optimal Choice of Monetary Policy Instruments in a Simple Stochastic Macro Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 197-216.
    4. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
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