nep-mon New Economics Papers
on Monetary Economics
Issue of 2005‒11‒05
25 papers chosen by
Bernd Hayo
Philipps-University Marburg

  1. The Cause of the Great Inflation: Interactions between the Government and the Monetary Policymakers By Taiji Harashima
  2. Monetary policy with imperfect knowledge By Athanasios Orphanides; John C. Williams
  3. Reconciling Bagehot with the Fed's response to September 11 By Antoine Martin
  4. Monetary policy inertia: fact or fiction? By Glenn D. Rudebusch
  5. An Estimated DSGE Model for Sweden with a Monetary Regime Change By Cúrdia, Vasco; Finocchiaro, Daria
  6. Financial Supervision Fragmentation and Central Bank Independence: The Two Sides of the Same Coin? By Andreas Freytag; Donato Masciandaro
  7. Monetary policy under uncertainty in micro-founded macroeconometric models By Andrew T. Levin; Alexei Onatski; John C. Williams; Noah Williams
  8. Monetary Policy under Sudden Stops By Vasco Cúrdia
  9. "Is Money Neutral in the Long Run?" By Burton Abrams; Russell Settle
  10. Central Banks as Agents of Economic Development By Gerald Epstein
  11. The Tobin effect and the Friedman rule By Joydeep Bhattacharya; Joseph Haslag; Antoine Martin
  12. Exchange Market Pressure, Monetary Policy, and Economic Growth: Argentina in 1993 - 2004 By Clara Garcia; PNuria Malet
  13. The Hyperinflation Model of Money Demand (or Cagan Revisited): Some New Empirical Evidence from the 1990s By Atanas Christev
  14. "Sustainability, Debt Management, and Public Debt Policy in Japan" By Haider A Khan
  15. House Prices and Inflation in the Euro Area By Boris Cournède
  16. Optimality of the Friedman rule in an overlapping generations model with spatial separation By Joseph H. Haslag; Antoine Martin
  17. Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy Coordination in ASEAN 1 By William H. Branson; Conor N. Healy
  18. Inflation and Economic Growth: A Cross-Country Non-linear Analysis By Robert Pollin; Andong Zhu
  19. Review of A History of the Federal Reserve. Volume 1 (2003) by Allan H. Meltzer By Michael D. Bordo
  20. "Governor Eugene Meyer and the Great Contraction." By James L. Butkiewicz
  21. Minding the gap: central bank estimates of the unemployment natural rate By Sharon Kozicki; P.A. Tinsley
  22. Lessons from Italian Monetary Unification By James Foreman-Peck
  23. The duration of fixed exchange rate regimes By Sébastien Wälti;
  24. The Political Economy of Fixed Exchange Rates: A Survival Analysis By Ralph Setzer
  25. The Term Structure of Interest Rates under Regime Shifts and Jumps By Shu Wu; Yong Zeng

  1. By: Taiji Harashima (University of Tsukuba & Cabinet Office of Japan)
    Keywords: The Great Inflation; Inflation; Persistence; Monetary policy
    JEL: E31 E52 E65 N12
    Date: 2005–10–31
  2. By: Athanasios Orphanides; John C. Williams
    Abstract: We examine the performance and robustness of monetary policy rules when the central bank and the public have imperfect knowledge of the economy and continuously update their estimates of model parameters. We find that versions of the Taylor rule calibrated to perform well under rational expectations with perfect knowledge perform very poorly when agents are learning and the central bank faces uncertainty regarding natural rates. In contrast, difference rules, in which the change in the interest rate is determined by the inflation rate and the change in the unemployment rate, perform well when knowledge is both perfect and imperfect.
    Keywords: Monetary policy ; Econometric models ; Interest rates
    Date: 2005
  3. By: Antoine Martin
    Abstract: The nineteenth-century economist Walter Bagehot maintained that in order to prevent bank panics a central bank should provide liquidity to the market at a very high rate of interest. This recommendation seems to be in sharp contrast with the policy adopted by the Federal Reserve after September 11 when, for a few days, the federal funds rate was very close to zero. This paper shows that Bagehot's recommendation can be reconciled with the Fed's policy if one recognizes that Bagehot had in mind a commodity money regime in which the amount of reserves available is limited. A high price for this liquidity allows banks that need it most to self-select. In contrast, the Fed has the virtually unlimited ability to temporarily expand the money supply.
    Keywords: Money supply ; Monetary policy ; Liquidity (Economics) ; Federal funds rate ; War - Economic aspects
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Glenn D. Rudebusch
    Abstract: Estimated monetary policy rules often appear to indicate a sluggish partial adjustment of the policy interest rate by the central bank. In fact, such evidence does not appear to be persuasive, since the illusion of monetary policy inertia may reflect spuriously omitted persistent influences on the setting of policy. Similarly, theoretical arguments do not provide a compelling case for real-world policy inertia. However, empirical evidence on the policy rule obtained by examining expectations of future monetary policy embedded in the term structure of interest rates is very informative and indicates that the actual amount of policy inertia is quite low.
    Keywords: Monetary policy ; Interest rates
    Date: 2005
  5. By: Cúrdia, Vasco (Princeton University); Finocchiaro, Daria (Institute for International Economic Studies, Stockholm University)
    Abstract: Using Bayesian methods, we estimate a small open economy model for Sweden. We explicitly account for a monetary regime change from an exchange rate target zone to flexible exchange rates with explicit inflation targeting. In each of these regimes, we analyze the behavior of the monetary authority and the relative contribution to the business cycle of structural shocks in detail. Our results can be summarized as follows. Monetary policy is mainly concerned with stabilizing the exchange rate in the target zone and with price stability in the inflation targeting regime. Expectations of realignment and the risk premium are the main sources of volatility in the target zone period. In the inflation targeting period, monetary shocks are important sources of volatility in the short run, but in the long run, labor supply and preference shocks become relatively more important. Foreign shocks are much more destabilizing under the target zone than under inflation targeting.
    Keywords: Bayesian estimation; DSGE models; target zone; inflation targeting; regime change
    JEL: C10 C30 E50
    Date: 2005–10–01
  6. By: Andreas Freytag (University of Jena, Faculty of Economics); Donato Masciandaro (Paolo Baffi Centre, Bocconi University, Milan, and Department of Economics, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Lecce)
    Abstract: This paper analyses how the central banks role in the monetary institutional setting can affect the unification process of the overall financial supervision architecture. Using indicators of monetary commitment and central bank independence, we claim that these legal proxies show an inverse link with financial supervision unification. Therefore, the trade off still holds between the supervisory and the central bank involvement per se, however, monetary commitment and independence do also matter. In this respect, in an institutional setting characterized by a central bank deeply and successfully involved in supervision, or legally independent, a multi-authority model is likely to occur.
    Keywords: Financial Supervision, Single Authority, Central Bank Independence, Monetary Commitment
    JEL: E58 G20 G28
    Date: 2005–11–01
  7. By: Andrew T. Levin; Alexei Onatski; John C. Williams; Noah Williams
    Abstract: We use a micro-founded macroeconometric modeling framework to investigate the design of monetary policy when the central bank faces uncertainty about the true structure of the economy. We apply Bayesian methods to estimate the parameters of the baseline specification using postwar U.S. data and then determine the policy under commitment that maximizes household welfare. We find that the performance of the optimal policy is closely matched by a simple operational rule that focuses solely on stabilizing nominal wage inflation. Furthermore, this simple wage stabilization rule is remarkably robust to uncertainty about the model parameters and to various assumptions regarding the nature and incidence of the innovations. However, the characteristics of optimal policy are very sensitive to the specification of the wage contracting mechanism, thereby highlighting the importance of additional research regarding the structure of labor markets and wage determination.
    Keywords: Monetary policy ; Macroeconomics ; Microeconomics
    Date: 2005
  8. By: Vasco Cúrdia (Princeton University)
    Abstract: Emerging markets are often exposed to sudden stops of capital inflows. What are the effects of monetary policy in such an environment? To answer this question, the paper proposes a model with the typical elements of an emerging market economy. Credit frictions generate balance sheet effects, debt is denominated in foreign currency, production requires an imported input, and households have access to the international capital market only indirectly, through their ownership of leveraged firms. In the model, a sudden stop is generated by a change in the perceptions of foreign lenders, which leads to an increase in the cost of borrowing. The paper then compares the response of the economy to a sudden stop under alternative monetary policy rules. A first result is that the recession is most acute in a fixed exchange rate regime. Taylor rules reacting to inflation and output are more stabilizing. The comparison of policies also suggests that, rather than focus on whether to increase or decrease interest rates, it is more important to influence agents' expectations about future monetary policy. Furthermore, the flexible price equilibrium is attained if the monetary policy is set to completely stabilize the domestic price index.
    Keywords: sudden stops, monetary policy, emerging markets, financial crises
    JEL: E5 F3 F4
    Date: 2005–10–31
  9. By: Burton Abrams (Department of Economics,University of Delaware); Russell Settle (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: The traditional neoclassical open-economy flexible exchange rate model is expanded to include a “credit channel” by incorporating a bank loan market. The new “credit view” model provides substantially different predictions concerning the neutrality of money and the types of autonomous shocks that might affect the real exchange rate.
    Keywords: Credit Channel, Monetary policy, Fixed Exchange Rates, Money Neutrality
    JEL: F41 E51
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Gerald Epstein
    Abstract: In the last two decades, there has been a global sea change in the theory and practice of central banking. The currently dominant “best practice” approach to central banking consists of the following: (1) central bank independence (2) a focus on inflation fighting (including adopting formal “inflation targeting”) and (3) the use of indirect methods of monetary policy (i.e., short-term interest rates as opposed to direct methods such as credit ceilings). This paper argues that this neo-liberal approach to central banking is highly idiosyncratic in that, as a package, it is dramatically different from the historically dominant theory and practice of central banking, not only in the developing world, but, notably, in the now developed countries themselves. Throughout the early and recent history of central banking in the U.S., England, Europe, and elsewhere, financing governments, managing exchange rates, and supporting economic sectors by using “direct methods” of intervention have been among the most important tasks of central banking and, indeed, in many cases, were among the reasons for their existence. The neoliberal central bank policy package, then, is drastically out of step with the history and dominant practice of central banking throughout most of its history.
    Date: 2005
  11. By: Joydeep Bhattacharya; Joseph Haslag; Antoine Martin
    Abstract: This paper addresses whether the Friedman rule can be optimal in an economy in which the Tobin effect is operative. We present an overlapping generations economy with capital in which limited communication and stochastic relocation create an endogenous transaction role for fiat money. We assume a production function with a knowledge externality (Romer-style) that nests economies with endogenous growth (AK form) and those with no long-run growth (the Diamond model). With logarithmic utility, the "anti-Tobin effect" is operative, and the Friedman rule is optimal (that is, stationary-welfare-maximizing) regardless of whether or not there is long-run growth. Under the more general CRRA (constant relative risk aversion) form of preferences, we show that an operative anti-Tobin effect is a sufficient condition for the Friedman rule to be optimal. Also, contrary to models with linear storage technologies, our model shows that zero inflation is not optimal.
    Keywords: Inflation (Finance) ; Money supply ; Monetary policy ; Friedman, Milton
    Date: 2005
  12. By: Clara Garcia; PNuria Malet
    Abstract: The pressure in the exchange market against a particular currency has been frequently measured as the sum of the loss of international reserves plus the loss of nominal value of that currency. This paper follows the tradition of investigating the interactions between such measure of exchange market pressure (EMP) and monetary policy; but it also questions the usual omission of output growth in the empirical investigations of the interrelations between EMP, domestic credit, and interest rates. The focus of this work is Argentina between 1993 and 2004. As in previous studies, we found some evidence of a positive and double-direction relationship between EMP and domestic credit. But output growth also played a role in the determination of EMP, even more than domestic credit or interest rates. Also, there is some evidence that EMP affected growth negatively.
    Date: 2005
  13. By: Atanas Christev
    Abstract: This paper employs cointegration techniques to examine three recent hyperinflationary episodes in transition economies, which, with the exception of Russia (1992-1994), have been largely overlooked in the literature. More specifically, these episodes include Bulgaria during 1995-1997 and Ukraine during 1993-1995. We use the well-known maximum likelihood estimator due to Johansen (1988, 1991) and Stock and Watson's (1993) dynamic ordinary least squares (DOLS) estimator to complement each other and obtain consistent estimates of the semi-elasticity of real money demand with respect to inflation. The empirical results obtained in this study support the Cagan model of money demand in the East European hyperinflation experiences of the 1990s. However, our results do not indicate that the rational expectations hypothesis holds during these episodes. In addition, we also test the hypothesis that monetary policy in these three hyperinflations was conducted with the sole intent of maximizing the inflation tax revenue for the government.
    Keywords: Cagan, cointegration, inflation tax, transition economies, stabilizations
    JEL: C45 C62 E31 E63 E65
    Date: 2005
  14. By: Haider A Khan (Department of Economics, University of Denver)
    Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to analyze sustainability issues of Japan's fiscal policy and then to discuss the debt management policy using theoretical models and numerical studies. We also investigate the desirable coordination of fiscal and monetary authorities toward fiscal reconstruction. We include a potential possibilities of the government bonds in our theoretical model The public bonds, therefore, cannot be sold when the issuance leads the amount of debt outstanding to be more than a certain level. In this respect, the fiscal authority has to take into account the upper limit of stocks of public debt. This possibility of debt default provides the fiscal authority to issue public bonds strategically in an earlier period. A strategic behavior of fiscal authority induces the monetary authority, in a later period, to boost output and raise seigniorage revenues to eliminate the distortion of resource allocation due to the limitation on debt issuance. Therefore, the monetary policy in a later period suffers from an inflation bias from the ax ante point of view. There are two ways to eliminate this distortion toward successful fiscal reconstruction. One of them is to make the monetary authority more conservative than society in the sense that the price stability weight of monetary authority is higher than that of society. The other way of eliminating the distortion of the resource allocation is to design an institutional ceiling on the debt issuance. The direct ceiling can provide a binding constraint of the public bond issuance for the fiscal authority of Japan because it has accumulated the debt outstanding much more than other countries.
    Date: 2005–10
  15. By: Boris Cournède
    Abstract: The inflation measure used by the European Central Bank excludes housing costs that are borne by home owners even though they make up more than a tenth of household final consumption expenditure in the euro area. Has the exclusion of owner-occupied housing costs driven a wedge between the official harmonised index of consumer prices (HICP) and the cost of living? To answer this question, a measure of the user cost of housing capital has been constructed for every euro area country (except Luxembourg). User costs are measured taking into account property taxes but net of tax breaks that home owners enjoy on mortgage repayments. The user cost measure is combined with the HICP to derive a “broad” inflation estimate. For the sake of comparison, an alternative estimate has been put together using imputed rents. The main conclusion is that owner-occupied housing costs have an impact. Another important conclusion is that the effect of owner-occupied housing costs on inflation varies noticeably with the method used to incorporate them into the price index. The paper finally discusses the choice of the method from the point of view of economic policy makers. "This Working Paper relates to the 2005 OECD Economic Survey of Euro Area (" <P>Prix des logements et inflation dans la zone euro Bien qu’ils représentent plus de dix pour cent de la consommation finale des ménages dans la zone euro, les coûts de logement qui sont supportés par les propriétaires occupants ne sont pas inclus dans l’indicateur d’inflation employé par la Banque centrale européenne. L’exclusion de ces coûts a-t-elle enfoncé un coin entre l’indice des prix à la consommation harmonisé (IPCH) et le coût de la vie ? Pour répondre à cette question, une mesure du coût d’usage du capital a été construite pour les logements occupés pour chacun des pays appartenant à la zone euro (à l’exception du Luxembourg). Il s’agit d’une mesure du coût net d’impôts et de taxes, qui tient compte à la fois des taxes foncières et des allégements d’impôt dont bénéficient les propriétaires occupants. Cette mesure est ensuite adjointe à l’IPCH pour obtenir une évaluation de l’inflation « élargie ». Pour les besoins de la comparaison, une autre estimation a été effectuée en utilisant des loyers imputés. La principale conclusion est que les coûts du logement pour les propriétaires occupants font une différence. Une autre conclusion importante est que l’impact de ces coûts dépend sensiblement de la méthode qui est employée pour les intégrer à l’indice de prix. En conclusion, l'étude examine la question du choix de la méthode du point de vue des opérateurs de la politique économique. "Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l'Étude économique de l'OCDE de Euro area, 2005. ("
    Keywords: housing, logement, ECB, BCE, inflation, inflation, HICP, Eurostat, user cost, imputed rents, IPCH, Eurostat, coût d'usage, loyers imputés
    JEL: E30 E31
    Date: 2005–10–12
  16. By: Joseph H. Haslag; Antoine Martin
    Abstract: We examine models with spatial separation and limited communication that have shown some promise toward resolving the disparity between theory and practice concerning optimal monetary policy; these models suggest that the Friedman rule may not be optimal. We show that intergenerational transfers play a key role in this result, the Friedman rule is a necessary condition for an efficient allocation in equilibrium, and the Friedman rule is chosen whenever agents can implement mutually beneficial arrangements. We conclude that in order for these models to resolve the aforementioned disparity, they must answer the following question: Where do the frictions that prevent agents from implementing mutually beneficial arrangements come from?
    Keywords: Monetary policy ; Friedman, Milton ; Econometric models ; Equilibrium (Economics)
    Date: 2005
  17. By: William H. Branson; Conor N. Healy
    Abstract: This paper develops the basis for monetary and exchange rate coordination in Asia as part of a package of monetary integration that could support growth and poverty reduction. This could be achieved directly through coordinated exchange rate stabilization, and indirectly through the implications of this for reserve pooling and investment in an Asian development fund (ADF) and through development of the Asian bond market (ABM). Macro policy coordination could be viewed as a necessary condition for further development of both reserve pooling via the Chiang Mai Initiative (CMI) and of the ABM. The paper analyzes the trade structure of ASEAN and China in terms of both geographic sources of imports and markets for exports, and of the commodity structure of trade. The similarities of the geographic and commodity trade structures across the region are consistent with adoption of a common currency basket for stabilization, and with an argument for monetary integration across the region along the lines of Mundell (1961) on optimum currency areas. The paper constructs currency baskets and real effective exchange rates (REERs) for the countries in the region. Since their trade patterns are quite similar and their policies are already implicitly coordinated, their REERs tend to move together. This means that ASEAN and China are already moving toward integration in practical effect. Explicit movement toward coordination could support surveillance and reserve-sharing under the CMI, and release reserves to be invested in an ADF.
    JEL: F33 F41 G15
    Date: 2005–10
  18. By: Robert Pollin; Andong Zhu
    Abstract: This paper presents new non-linear regression estimates of the relationship between inflation and economic growth for 80 countries over the period 1961 – 2000. We perform tests using the full sample of countries as well as sub-samples consisting of OECD countries, middle-income countries, and low-income countries. We also consider the full sample of countries within the four separate decades between 1961 – 2000. Considering our full data set we consistently find that higher inflation is associated with moderate gains in GDP growth up to a roughly 15 – 18 percent inflation threshold. However, the findings diverge when we divide our full data set according to income levels. With the OECD countries, no clear pattern emerges at all with either the inflation coefficient or our estimated turning point. With the middle income countries, we return to a consistently positive pattern of inflation coefficients, though none are statistically significant. The turning points range within a narrow band in this sample, between 14 – 16 percent. With the low income countries, we obtain positive and higher coefficient values on the inflation coefficient than with the middle-income countries. With the groupings by decade, the results indicate that inflation and growth will be more highly correlated to the degree that macroeconomic policy is focused on demand management as a stimulus to growth. We consider the implications of these findings for the conduct of monetary policy. One is that there is no justification for inflation-targeting policies as they are currently being practiced throughout the middle- and low-income countries, that is, to maintain inflation with a 3 – 5 percent band.
    Date: 2005
  19. By: Michael D. Bordo
    Abstract: In this essay I distill the seven major themes in A History of the Federal Reserve which covers the Federal Reserve's record from 1914 to 1951. I conclude with a critique.
    JEL: E58
    Date: 2005–10
  20. By: James L. Butkiewicz (Department of Economics,University of Delaware)
    Abstract: Eugene Meyer was a highly respected financier and government official when he was appointed Governor of the Federal Reserve Board in 1930. Through his force of character, he dominated economic policy making during the last years of Hoover’s administration. He initially found that sizable foreign short-term claims had put the Fed in a precarious position. After reductions in interest rates reduced foreign claims relative to the Fed’s gold reserves, he developed a plan for expansion. His initial plans were constrained by the weak institutional structure of the Fed and the lack of free gold. He obtained legislation creating the Reconstruction Finance Corporation and section 3 of the 1932 Glass-Steagall Act, temporarily allowing use of government securities as collateral for Federal Reserve notes, overcoming the free gold problem. However, when the 1932 open market policy failed to produce an immediate expansion of bank credit, the Federal Reserve Bank governors were able to end additional expansionary policies. Suffering from poor health, political stalemate, and possible sensing Hoover’s ultimate defeat, Meyer’s expansionary efforts effectively came to an end in August 1932. Thus, in spite of strong leadership favoring expansion, the Fed was unable to pursue a sustained expansionary policy. This failure was the direct result of the increased decentralization of power due to the creation of the Open Market Policy Conference in 1930. Foreign claims on the dollar, particularly French claims, were always a serious concern, at times imposing a dominate constraint on policy. The free gold issue was viewed as a real constraint within the Fed. The 1932 open market policy was not a disingenuous ploy to forestall other legislation. It was the direct result of Meyer’s desire to counter the deflationary forces depressing the economy.
    Keywords: Central Banking, Economic History
    JEL: E5 N
    Date: 2005
  21. By: Sharon Kozicki; P.A. Tinsley
    Abstract: A time-varying parameter framework is suggested for use with real-time multiperiod forecast data to estimate implied forecast equations. The framework is applied to historical briefing forecasts prepared for the Federal Open Market Committee to estimate the U.S. central bank’s ex ante perceptions of the natural rate of unemployment. Relative to retrospective estimates, empirical results do not indicate severe underestimation of the natural rate of unemployment in the 1970s.
    Date: 2005
  22. By: James Foreman-Peck (Cardiff Business School)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the states brought together in the Italian monetary union of the nineteenth century constituted an optimum monetary area, either before or after unification. Interest rate shocks indicate close relations between states in northern Italy but negative correlations between the North and the South before unification, suggesting some advantages of continued Southern monetary independence. The proportion of Southern Italian trade with the North was small, in contrast to intra- Northern trade, and therefore monetary independence imposed a light burden. Changes in the wheat market indicate that the South and North after unification (though not probably because of it) increasingly specialised according to their comparative advantages. Coupled with differences in economic behaviour of the Southern economy, this meant that monetary policies appropriate for the North were less so for the South. In the face of agricultural shocks originating in the New World and in France, the South would have gained from depreciating its exchange rate against the North or against the non-Italian world. As it was, nineteenth century Italian monetary union did not create the conditions for its own success, contrary to the findings of Frankel and Rose (1998) for the later twentieth century.
    JEL: E42 N23 F15 F33
    Date: 2005
  23. By: Sébastien Wälti; (Department of Economics, Trinity College Dublin; )
    Abstract: This paper studies the survival of fixed exchange rate regimes. The probability of an exit from a fixed exchange rate regime depends on the time spent within this regime. In such a context durations models are appropriate, in particular because of the possible non-monotonic pattern of duration dependence. Non-parametric estimates show that the pattern of duration dependence exhibits non-monotonic behaviour and that it differs across types of economies. This behaviour persists when we control for time-varying covariates in a proportional hazard specification. We conclude that how long a regime has lasted will affect the probability that it will end, in a non-monotonic fashion.
    JEL: F30 F31 F41
    Date: 2005–08
  24. By: Ralph Setzer
    Date: 2005
  25. By: Shu Wu (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas); Yong Zeng
    Abstract: This paper develops a tractable dynamic term structure models under jump-diffusion and regime shifts with time varying transition probabilities. The model allows for regime-dependent jumps while both jump risk and regime-switching risk are priced. Closed form solution for the term structure is obtained for an ane-type model under loglinear approximation.
    Keywords: Term Structure, Regime Switching, Jump Diffusion, Marked Point Process
    JEL: G12 E43 E52
    Date: 2005–10

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