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Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory

  • Richard Clarida
  • Jordi Gali
  • Mark Gertler

We estimate a forward-looking monetary policy reaction function for the postwar US economy, pre- and post-October 1979. Our results point to substantial differences in the estimated rule across periods. In particular, interest rate policy in the Volcker-Greenspan period appears to have been much more sensitive to changes in expected inflation than in the pre-Volcker period. We then compare some of the implications of the estimated rules for equilibrium properties of inflation and output, using a simple macroeconomic model. The pre-Volcker rule is shown to be consistent with the possibility of persistent, self-fulfilling fluctuations in inflation and output. In contrast, the Volcker-Greenspan rule is stabilizing.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w6442.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6442.

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Date of creation: Mar 1998
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Publication status: published as Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. CXV, issue 1 (2000): 147-180.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6442
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Benjamin M. Friedman & Kenneth N. Kuttner, 1996. "A price target for U.S. monetary policy? Lessons from the experience with money growth targets," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  3. V.V. Chari & Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum, 1996. "Expectation traps and discretion," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  4. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," Economics Series 10, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  5. Julio Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1997. "An Optimization-Based Econometric Framework for the Evaluation of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 297-361 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. William Kerr & Robert G. King, 1996. "Limits on interest rate rules in the IS model," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 47-75.
  7. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 1998. "Sticky price models of the business cycle: can the contract multiplier solve the persistence problem?," Staff Report 217, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
  9. Svensson, L-E-O, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting : Implementaing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," Papers 615, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  10. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  11. Roberts, John M, 1995. "New Keynesian Economics and the Phillips Curve," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 975-84, November.
  12. Robert G. King & Alexander L. Wolman, 1996. "Inflation targeting in a St. Louis model of the 21st century," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 83-107.
  13. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  14. Dean Croushore, 1996. "Inflation forecasts: how good are they?," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue May, pages 15-25.
  15. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  16. Richard Clarida & Mark Gertler, 1996. "How the Bundesbank Conducts Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 5581, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  18. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  19. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  20. Michael Woodford, 1996. "Control of the Public Debt: A Requirement for Price Stability?," NBER Working Papers 5684, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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