IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/2966.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz

Author

Listed:
  • Christina D. Romer
  • David H. Romer

Abstract

This paper uses the historical record to isolate episodes in which there were large monetary disturbances not caused by output fluctuations. It then tests whether these monetary changes have important real effects. The central part of the paper is a study of postwar U.S. monetary history. We identify six episodes in which the Federal Reserve in effect decided to attempt to create a recession to reduce inflation. We find that a shift to anti-inflationary policy led, on average, to a rise in the unemployment rate of two percentage points, and that this effect is highly statistically significant and robust to a variety of changes in specification. We reach three other major conclusions. First, the real effects of these monetary disturbances are highly persistent. Second, the six shocks that we identify account for a considerable fraction of postwar economic fluctuations. And third, evidence from the interwar era also suggests that monetary disturbances have large real effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2966
    Note: EFG ME
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2966.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romer, Christina D., 1988. "World War I and the postwar depression A reinterpretation based on alternative estimates of GNP," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 91-115, July.
    2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-673, September.
    3. Christina D. Romer, 1990. "The Great Crash and the Onset of the Great Depression," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 597-624.
    4. Michael D. Bordo, 1989. "The Contribution of "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960" to Monetary History," NBER Chapters, in: Money, History, and International Finance: Essays in Honor of Anna J. Schwartz, pages 15-78, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. repec:fth:harver:1418 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
    7. John Y. Campbell & N. Gregory Mankiw, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 857-880.
    8. J. Bradford DeLong & Lawrence H. Summers, 1988. "How Does Macroeconomic Policy Affect Output?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 19(2), pages 433-494.
    9. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Nonmonetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in Propagation of the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(3), pages 257-276, June.
    10. Hamilton, James D., 1987. "Monetary factors in the great depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 145-169, March.
    11. Neil R. Ericsson & David F. Hendry, 1985. "Assertion without empirical basis : an econometric appraisal of monetary trends in ... the United Kingdom, by Milton Friedman and Anna J. Schwartz," International Finance Discussion Papers 270, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Robert J. Gordon & James A. Wilcox, 1978. "Monetarist Interpretations of the Great Depression: An Evaluation and Critique," NBER Working Papers 0300, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Stephen G. Cecchetti, 1997. "Understanding the Great Depression: Lessons for Current Policy," NBER Working Papers 6015, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Cooper, Russell & Ejarque, Joao, 1995. "Financial intermediation and the Great Depression: a multiple equilibrium interpretation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 285-323, December.
    3. Quah, Danny, 1992. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 107-118, January.
    4. Fratianni, Michele & Giri, Federico, 2017. "The tale of two great crises," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 5-31.
    5. Bernanke, Ben S, 1995. "The Macroeconomics of the Great Depression: A Comparative Approach," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 1-28, February.
    6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno, 2003. "The Great Depression and the Friedman-Schwartz hypothesis," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 1119-1215.
    7. Gabriel P. Mathy, 2020. "How much did uncertainty shocks matter in the Great Depression?," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 14(2), pages 283-323, May.
    8. Cecchetti, Stephen G & Karras, Georgios, 1994. "Sources of Output Fluctuations during the Interwar Period: Further Evidence on the Causes of the Great Depression," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(1), pages 80-102, February.
    9. Krishnan, R. & Sen, Kunal, 1995. "Measuring persistence in industrial output: The Indian case," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 25-41, October.
    10. Charles W. Calomiris, 1993. "Financial Factors in the Great Depression," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 61-85, Spring.
    11. Patrick Artus, 1993. "Crises financières et cycle réel : Le rôle des imperfections du marché du crédit," Revue d'Économie Financière, Programme National Persée, vol. 26(3), pages 89-107.
    12. Dezhbakhsh, Hashem & Levy, Daniel, 1994. "Periodic properties of interpolated time series," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(3), pages 221-228.
    13. Christopher J. Erceg & Michael D. Bordo & Charles L. Evans, 2000. "Money, Sticky Wages, and the Great Depression," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1447-1463, December.
    14. Albrecht Ritschl & Ulrich Woitek, "undated". "Did Monetary Forces Cause the Great Depression? A Bayesian VAR Analysis for the U.S. Economy," IEW - Working Papers 050, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
    15. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin, 1990. "Unit roots in real GNP: Do we know, and do we care?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 7-61, January.
    16. Philip A. Shively, 2001. "Trend-stationary GNP: evidence from a new exact pointwise most powerful invariant unit root test," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 537-551.
    17. Bennett T. McCallum, 1993. "Unit roots in macroeconomic time series: some critical issues," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 13-44.
    18. Karau, Sören, 2020. "Buried in the vaults of central banks: Monetary gold hoarding and the slide into the Great Depression," Discussion Papers 63/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    19. West, Kenneth D, 1988. "On the Interpretation of Near Random-walk Behavior in GNP," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(1), pages 202-209, March.
    20. Fernando Alexandre & Pedro Bação, 2002. "Equitity prices and Monetary Policy: An Overview with an Exploratory Model," NIPE Working Papers 1/2002, NIPE - Universidade do Minho.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2966. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.