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Federal Reserve Policy viewed through a Money Supply Lens

  • Ibrahim Chowdhury
  • Andreas Schabert

This paper examines whether the U.S. Federal Reserve has adjusted high-powered money supply in response to macroeconomic indicators. Applying ex-post and real-time data for the postwar period, we provide evidence that nonborrowed reserves responded to expected inflation and the output-gap. While the output-gap feedback has always been negative, the response of money supply to changes in inflation varies considerably across time. The inflation feedback is negative in the post-1979 period and positive, albeit smaller than one, in the pre-1979 period. Applying a standard macroeconomic model, these roperties are shown to be consistent with a welfare maximizing policy, and to ensure equilibrium determinacy. Viewed through the money supply lens, the Fed has thus never allowed for endogenous fluctuations, which contrasts conclusions drawn from federal funds rate analyses.

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Paper provided by Swiss National Bank in its series Working Papers with number 2007-02.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:snb:snbwpa:2007-02
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  1. Boivin, Jean, 2006. "Has U.S. Monetary Policy Changed? Evidence from Drifting Coefficients and Real-Time Data," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(5), pages 1149-1173, August.
  2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 807-824, October.
  3. Schabert, Andreas, 2005. "Discretionary Policy, Multiple Equilibria, and Monetary Instruments," CEPR Discussion Papers 5400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary policy rules, macroeconomic stability and inflation: a view from the trenches," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-62, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1996. "Sticky price and limited participation models of money: a comparison," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-96-28, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  6. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1997. "Monetary policy shocks: what have we learned and to what end?," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  7. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Black, Fischer, 1974. "Uniqueness of the price level in monetary growth models with rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 53-65, January.
  10. Strongin, Steven, 1995. "The identification of monetary policy disturbances explaining the liquidity puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 463-497, June.
  11. Andreas Schabert, 2006. "Central Bank Instruments, Fiscal Policy Regimes, and the Requirements for Equilibrium Determinacy," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 06-025/2, Tinbergen Institute.
  12. 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.
  13. Papke, Leslie E. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2005. "A computational trick for delta-method standard errors," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 413-417, March.
  14. Andreas Schabert, . "Central bank Instruments, Fiscal Policy Regimes, and the Requirements for Equilibrium Determinacy," Working Papers 2003_5, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow, revised Jan 2003.
  15. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary policy rules and the Great Inflation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. 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.
  17. Ann-Marie Meulendyke, 1998. "U.S. monetary policy and financial markets," Monograph, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, number 1998mpaf.
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