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The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission

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  • Ben Bernanke

Abstract

First, we show that the interest rate on Federal funds is extremely informative about future movements of real macroeconomic variables, more so than monetary aggregates or other interest rates. Next, we argue that the reason for this forecasting is that the funds rate sensitively records shocks to the supply of (not the demand for) bank reserves, i.e. the funds rate is a good indicator of monetary policy actions. Finally, using innovations to the fuels rate as a measure of changes in monetary policy, we present evidence consistent with the view that monetary policy works at least in part through "credit" (that is, bank loans) as well as through "money" (that is, bank deposits) - even though bank loans fail to Granger-cause real variables.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3487
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    1. Blinder, Alan S & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1983. "Money, Credit Constraints, and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 297-302, May.
    2. Mishkin, Frederic S, 1982. "Does Anticipated Monetary Policy Matter? An Econometric Investigation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(1), pages 22-51, February.
    3. Lawrence J. Christiano & Lars Ljungqvist, 1987. "Money does Granger-cause output in the bivariate output-money relation," Staff Report 108, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Barro, Robert J, 1977. "Unanticipated Money Growth and Unemployment in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 101-115, March.
    5. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1989, Volume 4, pages 121-184 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Leonall C. Andersen & Jerry L. Jordan, 1968. "Monetary and fiscal actions: a test of their relative importance in economic stabilization," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 11-23.
    7. 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.
    8. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1989. "Money, Income and Prices After the 1980s," NBER Working Papers 2852, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Avery, Robert B., 1979. "Modeling monetary policy as an unobserved variable," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 291-311, August.
    10. Sims, Christopher A, 1972. "Money, Income, and Causality," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(4), pages 540-552, September.
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