On the Need for a New Approach to Analyzing Monetary Policy

Posted: 21 Sep 2008

See all articles by Andrew Atkeson

Andrew Atkeson

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Patrick J. Kehoe

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis - Research Department; University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

We present a pricing kernel that summarizes well the main features of the dynamics of interest rates and risk in postwar U.S. data and use it to uncover how the pricing kernel has moved with the short rate. Our findings imply that standard monetary models miss an essential link between the central bank instrument and the economic activity that monetary policy is intended to affect, and thus we call for a new approach to monetary policy analysis. We sketch a new approach using an economic model based on our pricing kernel. The model incorporates the key relationships between policy and risk movements in an unconventional way: the central bank's policy changes are viewed as primarily intended to compensate for exogenous business cycle fluctuations in risk that threaten to push inflation off target. This model, while an improvement over standard models, is considered just a starting point for their revision.

Keywords: Asset pricing kernel, Interest rate dynamics, Expected excess returns, Yield curve, Term structure, Taylor rule

JEL Classification: E52, E42, G12

Suggested Citation

Atkeson, Andrew G. and Kehoe, Patrick J., On the Need for a New Approach to Analyzing Monetary Policy (September 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1270540

Andrew G. Atkeson (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 951477
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1477
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Patrick J. Kehoe

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis - Research Department ( email )

90 Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55480
United States
612-204-5525 (Phone)
612-204-5515 (Fax)

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Economics ( email )

271 19th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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