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Inside the Black Box: The Credit Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission

  • Ben S. Bernanke
  • Mark Gertler

The 'credit channel' theory of monetary policy transmission holds that informational frictions in credit markets worsen during tight- money periods. The resulting increase in the external finance premium--the difference in cost between internal and external funds-- enhances the effects of monetary policy on the real economy. We document the responses of GDP and its components to monetary policy shocks and describe how the credit channel helps explain the facts. We discuss two main components of this mechanism, the balance-sheet channel and the bank lending channel. We argue that forecasting exercises using credit aggregates are not valid tests of this theory.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5146.

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Date of creation: Jun 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of Economic Perspectives, Fall 1995, vol. 9, no. 4, pp. 27-48.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5146
Note: EFG ME
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  1. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist, 1993. "The role of credit market imperfections in the monetary transmission mechanism: arguments and evidence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 93-5, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  2. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1988. "Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 435-39, May.
  3. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "The Financial Accelerator and the Flight to Quality," Working Papers 94-24, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
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  7. Bernanke, Ben S., 1993. "How important is the credit channel in the transmission of monetary policy? : A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 47-52, December.
  8. Egon Zakrajsek, 1997. "Retail inventories, internal finance, and aggregate fluctuations," Research Paper 9722, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1990. "New Evidence on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 21(1), pages 149-214.
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  12. Chah, Eun Young & Ramey, Valerie A & Starr, Ross M, 1995. "Liquidity Constraints and Intertemporal Consumer Optimization: Theory and Evidence from Durable Goods," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(1), pages 272-87, February.
  13. Sims, Christopher A., 1992. "Interpreting the macroeconomic time series facts : The effects of monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(5), pages 975-1000, June.
  14. John Ryding, 1990. "Housing finance and the transmission of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 42-55.
  15. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5145, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1994. "Monetary Policy, Business Cycles, and the Behavior of Small Manufacturing Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(2), pages 309-40, May.
  17. Kashyap, Anil K. & Stein, Jeremy C., 1995. "The impact of monetary policy on bank balance sheets," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 151-195, June.
  18. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  19. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1978. "The Household Balance Sheet and the Great Depression," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 38(04), pages 918-937, December.
  20. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 1994. "The effects of monetary policy shocks: evidence from the Flow of Funds," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  22. Christopher A. Sims & Tao A. Zha, 1998. "Does monetary policy generate recessions?," Working Paper 98-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  23. Jeremy C. Stein, 1995. "An Adverse Selection Model of Bank Asset and Liability Management with Implications for the Transmission of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5217, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Anil K. Kashyap & Owen A. Lamont & Jeremy C. Stein, 1993. "Credit conditions and the cyclical behavior of inventories," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 93-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  25. Steven Strongin, 1992. "The identification of monetary policy disturbances: explaining the liquidity puzzle," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-27, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  26. Ramey, Valerie, 1993. "How important is the credit channel in the transmission of monetary policy?," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 1-45, December.
  27. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1989. "The federal funds rate and the channels of monetary transmission," Working Papers 89-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  28. Stephen D. Oliner & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 1994. "Is there a broad credit channel for monetary policy?," Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section 146, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. N. Gregory Mankiw, 1994. "Monetary Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number greg94-1, May.
  30. Robert E. Carpenter & Steven M. Fazzari & Bruce C. Petersen, 1994. "Inventory (Dis)Investment, Internal Finance Fluctuations, and the Business Cycle," Macroeconomics 9401001, EconWPA.
  31. Jason G. Cummins & Kevin A. Hassett & R. Glenn Hubbard, 1994. "A Reconsideration of Investment Behavior Using Tax Reforms as Natural Experiments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 25(2), pages 1-74.
  32. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
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  1. Advanced Monetary Theory and Policy (ECON 447)

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