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Historical Perspectives on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism

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  • Jeffrey A. Miron
  • Christina D. Romer
  • David N. Weil

Abstract

This paper examines changes over time in the importance of the lending channel in the transmission of monetary shocks to the real economy. We first use a simple extension of the Bernanke-Blinder model to isolate the observable factors that affect the strength of the lending channel. We then show that based on changes in the structure of banks assets, reserve requirements, and the composition of external firm finance, the lending channel should have been stronger before 1929 than during the post-World War II period, especially the first half of this period. Finally, we demonstrate that conventional indicators of the importance of the lending channel, such as the spread between the loan rate and the bond rate and the correlation between loans and output, do not show the predicted decline in the importance of lending over time. From this we conclude that either the traditional indicators are not useful measures of the strength of the lending channel or that the lending channel has not been quantitatively important in any era.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey A. Miron & Christina D. Romer & David N. Weil, 1993. "Historical Perspectives on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," NBER Working Papers 4326, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4326 Note: ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-340.
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    4. Kashyap, Anil K & Stein, Jeremy C & Wilcox, David W, 1993. "Monetary Policy and Credit Conditions: Evidence from the Composition of External Finance," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 78-98, March.
    5. Hoover, Kevin D. & Perez, Stephen J., 1994. "Post hoc ergo propter once more an evaluation of 'does monetary policy matter?' in the spirit of James Tobin," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 47-74, August.
    6. Claudia Goldin & Hugh Rockoff, 1992. "Strategic Factors in Nineteenth Century American Economic History: A Volume to Honor Robert W. Fogel," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gold92-1, January.
    7. Michael Dotsey & Max Reid, 1992. "Oil shocks, monetary policy, and economic activity," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Jul, pages 14-27.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joseph H. Davis & Christopher Hanes & Paul W. Rhode, 2009. "Harvests and Business Cycles in Nineteenth-Century America," NBER Working Papers 14686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Craig Furfine, 1998. "Interbank payments and the daily federal funds rate," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-31, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Basistha, Arabinda & Kurov, Alexander, 2008. "Macroeconomic cycles and the stock market's reaction to monetary policy," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 32(12), pages 2606-2616, December.
    4. Riccardo Fiorentini & Roberto Tamborini, 2002. "Monetary Policy, Credit and Aggregate Supply: The Evidence from Italy," Economic Notes, Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena SpA, vol. 31(3), pages 451-491, November.
    5. Driscoll, John C., 2004. "Does bank lending affect output? Evidence from the U.S. states," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 451-471, April.
    6. Anil K. Kashyap & Jeremy C. Stein, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Bank Lending," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy, pages 221-261 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Riccardo Fiorentini & Roberto Tamborini, 2001. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Italy: The Credit Channel and a Missing Ring," Giornale degli Economisti, GDE (Giornale degli Economisti e Annali di Economia), Bocconi University, vol. 60(1), pages 1-42, June.
    8. William B. English, 2002. "Financial consolidation and monetary policy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 271-284.
    9. Michael S. Gibson, 1997. "The bank lending channel of monetary policy transmission: evidence from a model of bank behavior that incorporates long-term customer relationships," International Finance Discussion Papers 584, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Fernando Barran & Virginie Coudert & Benoît Mojon, 1994. "Transmission de la politique monétaire et crédit, une application à 5 pays de l'OCDE," Working Papers 1994-03, CEPII research center.
    11. Balázs Égert & Ronald MacDonald, 2006. "Monetary Transmission Mechanism in Transition Economies: Surveying the Surveyable," MNB Working Papers 2006/5, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary).
    12. Brissimis, Sophocles N. & Magginas, Nicholas S., 2005. "Changes in financial structure and asset price substitutability: A test of the bank lending channel," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 879-904, September.
    13. Christina D. Romer & David Romer, 1993. "Credit channel or credit actions? an interpretation of the postwar transmission mechanism," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 71-149.
    14. Miao Jia, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of the Fed’s Monetary Policy on the Dynamics among Major Asset Classes," International Journal of Management and Economics, De Gruyter Open, vol. 51(1), pages 9-19, September.
    15. Fernando Barran & Virginie Coudert & Benoît Mojon, 1995. "Transmission de la politique monétaire et crédit bancaire. Une application à trois pays de l'OCDE," Revue Économique, Programme National Persée, vol. 46(2), pages 393-413.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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