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Can Monetary Policy Affect The Real Economy?

  • Philip Arestis

    (Levy Economics Institute of Bard College)

  • Malcolm Sawyer

    (University of Leeds)

Current monetary policy involves the manipulation of the Central Bank interest rate (the repo rate), with the specific objective of achieving the goal(s) of monetary policy. The latter is normally the inflation rate, although in a number of instances this may include the level of economic activity (the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy is a good example of this category). This raises two issues. The first is the theoretical underpinnings of this mode of monetary policy. The second is the channels of monetary policy or, more concretely, the channels through which changes in the rate of interest may affect the ultimate goal(s) of policy. Both aspects are investigated in this paper. Furthermore, we suggest that it is imperative to consider the empirical estimates of the effects of monetary policy. We summarise results drawn from the eurozone, the U.S. and the UK and suggest that these empirical results point to a relatively weak effect of interest rate changes on inflation. We also suggest, on the basis of the evidence adduced in the paper, that monetary policy can have long-run effects on real magnitudes. This particular result does not fit comfortably with the theoretical basis of current thinking on monetary policy.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0209012.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 30 Sep 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0209012
Note: Type of Document - Microsoft Word; prepared on IBM-PC; to print on Postcript; pages: 21; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Arestis, Philip & McCauley, Kevin & Sawyer, Malcolm, 2001. "An Alternative Stability Pact for the European Union," Cambridge Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 25(1), pages 113-30, January.
  2. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "Symposium on the Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(4), pages 3-10, Fall.
  3. repec:nbr:nberre:0126 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," NBER Working Papers 7147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Peter van Els & Alberto Locarno & Julian Morgan & Jean-Pierre Villetelle, 2001. "Monetary policy transmission in the euro area: what do aggregate and national structural models tell us?," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 433, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  6. Atish Ghosh & Steven Phillips, 1998. "Warning: Inflation May Be Harmful to Your Growth," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 672-710, December.
  7. Paul A. Volcker, 2002. "Monetary policy transmission: past and future challenges," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 7-11.
  8. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 2001. "The monetary transmission mechanism in the euro area: more evidence from VAR analysis," Working Paper Series 0091, European Central Bank.
  9. Ben S. Bernanke & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1997. "Inflation Targeting: A New Framework for Monetary Policy?," NBER Working Papers 5893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Monetary policy analysis in models without money," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 145-164.
  11. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  12. Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
  13. Laurence H. Meyer, 2001. "Does money matter?," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 1-16.
  14. Arestis, Philip & Caporale, Guglielmo Maria & Cipollini, Andrea, 2002. "Does Inflation Targeting Affect the Trade-Off between Output Gap and Inflation Variability?," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 70(4), pages 528-45, Special I.
  15. Mojon, Benoît & Kashyap, Anil K. & Angeloni, Ignazio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 2002. "Monetary Transmission in the Euro Area : Where Do We Stand?," Working Paper Series 0114, European Central Bank.
  16. 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.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke & Alan S. Blinder, 1988. "Credit, Money, and Aggregate Demand," NBER Working Papers 2534, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Kenneth N. Kuttner & Patricia C. Mosser, 2002. "The monetary transmission mechanism: some answers and further questions," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 15-26.
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