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Monetary Policy in a Financial Crisis

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  • Lawrence J. Christiano
  • Christopher Gust
  • Jorge Roldos

Abstract

What are the economic effects of an interest rate cut when an economy is in the midst of a financial crisis? Under what conditions will a cut stimulate output and employment, and raise welfare? Under what conditions will a cut have the opposite e ffects? We answer these questions in a general class of open economy models, where a financial crisis is modeled as a time when collateral constraints are suddenly binding. We find that when there are frictions in adjusting the level of output in the traded good sector and in adjusting the rate at which that output can be used in other parts of the economy, then a cut in the interest rate is most likely to result in a welfare-reducing fall in output and employment. When these frictions are absent, a cut in the interest rate improves asset positions and promotes a welfare-increasing economic expansion.

Suggested Citation

  • Lawrence J. Christiano & Christopher Gust & Jorge Roldos, 2002. "Monetary Policy in a Financial Crisis," NBER Working Papers 9005, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9005
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    JEL classification:

    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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