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The Federal Reserve’s Current Framework for Monetary Policy: A Review and Assessment

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  • Janice C. Eberly
  • James H. Stock
  • Jonathan H. Wright

Abstract

We review and assess the monetary policy framework currently used by the Federal Reserve, with special focus on policies that operate through the slope of the term structure, including forward guidance and large scale asset purchases. These slope policies are important at the zero lower bound. We study the performance of counterfactual monetary policies since the Great Recession in the framework of a structural VAR, identified using high-frequency jumps in asset prices around FOMC meetings as external instruments. The intention is to give guidance to policymakers responding to future downturns. In our counterfactuals, we find that slope policies played an important role in supporting the recovery, but did not fully circumvent the zero lower bound. In our simulations, earlier and more aggressive use of slope policies support a faster recovery. The recovery would also have been faster, with the unemployment gap closing seven quarters earlier, if the Fed had inherited a higher level of inflation and nominal interest rates consistent with a higher inflation target coming into the financial crisis recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Janice C. Eberly & James H. Stock & Jonathan H. Wright, 2019. "The Federal Reserve’s Current Framework for Monetary Policy: A Review and Assessment," NBER Working Papers 26002, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26002
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    2. Andrade, Philippe & Ferroni, Filippo, 2021. "Delphic and odyssean monetary policy shocks: Evidence from the euro area," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 816-832.
    3. Edward Nelson, 2021. "The Emergence of Forward Guidance As a Monetary Policy Tool," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2021-033, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    4. Zhengyang Chen, 2019. "The Long-term Rate and Interest Rate Volatility in Monetary Policy Transmission," 2019 Papers pch1858, Job Market Papers.
    5. Dario Caldara & Etienne Gagnon & Enrique Martinez-Garcia & Christopher J. Neely, 2021. "Monetary Policy and Economic Performance Since the Financial Crisis," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, vol. 103(4), pages 425-460, October.
    6. Kang, Hyunju & Park, Jaevin & Suh, Hyunduk, 2020. "The rise of part-time employment in the great recession: Its causes and macroeconomic effects," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 66(C).
    7. Böhl, Gregor & Goy, Gavin & Strobel, Felix, 2020. "A structural investigation of quantitative easing," IMFS Working Paper Series 142, Goethe University Frankfurt, Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability (IMFS).
    8. Dario Caldara & Etienne Gagnon & Enrique Martinez-Garcia & Christopher J. Neely, 2020. "Monetary Policy and Economic Performance since the Financial Crisis," Working Papers 2020-026, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 02 Nov 2020.
    9. Steven Diamond & Stephen Boyd & David Greenberg & Mykel Kochenderfer & Andrew Ang, 2021. "Optimal Claiming of Social Security Benefits," Papers 2106.00125, arXiv.org.
    10. Fernando M. Duarte & Benjamin K. Johannsen & Leonardo Melosi & Taisuke Nakata, 2020. "Strengthening the FOMC’s Framework in View of the Effective Lower Bound and Some Considerations Related to Time-Inconsistent Strategies," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2020-067, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    11. Böhl, Gregor & Goy, Gavin & Strobel, Felix, 2021. "A structural investigation of quantitative easing," Discussion Papers 01/2021, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    12. Couture, Cody, 2021. "Financial market effects of FOMC projections," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    13. Masahiko Shibamoto & Wataru Takahashi & Takashi Kamihigashi, 2020. "Japan's Monetary Policy: A Literature Review and Empirical Assessment," Discussion Paper Series DP2020-15, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Mar 2021.
    14. Gregor Boehl & Gavin Goy & Felix Strobel, 2020. "A Structural Investigation of Quantitative Easing," DNB Working Papers 691, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    15. Rostagno, Massimo & Altavilla, Carlo & Carboni, Giacomo & Lemke, Wolfgang & Motto, Roberto & Saint Guilhem, Arthur & Yiangou, Jonathan, 2019. "A tale of two decades: the ECB’s monetary policy at 20," Working Paper Series 2346, European Central Bank.

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    • 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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