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The Role of Judgment and Discretion in the Conduct of Monetary Policy: Consequences of Changing Financial Markets

  • Benjamin M. Friedman
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    Conventional monetary policy rules based on intermediate targets, like the growth of money or credit, rest on the presumption that relationships correcting these variables to key measures of nonfinancial economic activity like income and prices are robust. When financial markets change in such a way as to disrupt those relationships, rules based on intermediate targets no longer provide useful guides for conducting monetary policy. Under those circumstances, the central bank can instead exploit variables like money and credit as information variables. Doing so, however, inevitably requires case-by-case judgments. The greater is the impact of changing financial markets in this context, the stronger is the need for the central bank to exploit information both inclusively, in the sense of drawing on multiple and diversified sources of information rather than any one variable, and intensively, in the sense of allowing less time between policy decisions.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4599.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4599.

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    Date of creation: Dec 1993
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    Publication status: published as in Changing Capital Markets: Implications for Monetary Policy, A Symposium Sponsored by The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Jackwon Hole, WY August 19-21, 1993. p. 151-196
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4599
    Note: ME
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    6. Martin Eichenbaum & Kenneth I. Singleton, 1986. "Do Equilibrium Real Business Cycle Theories Explain Postwar U.S. Business Cycles?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1986, Volume 1, pages 91-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Martin Feldstein & James H. Stock, 1994. "The Use of a Monetary Aggregate to Target Nominal GDP," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 7-69 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1991. "Why does the paper-bill spread predict real economic activity?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    9. Fama, Eugene F., 1985. "What's different about banks?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 29-39, January.
    10. Brunner, Karl & Meltzer, Allan H, 1972. "Money, Debt, and Economic Activity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(5), pages 951-77, Sept.-Oct.
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