Can Monetary Policy Affect the Real Economy?

Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 355

22 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2002

See all articles by Philip Arestis

Philip Arestis

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy; Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)

Malcolm C. Sawyer

Levy Economics Institute

Date Written: September 2002

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Monetary Policy, Central Banks, Euro

JEL Classification: E5

Suggested Citation

Arestis, Philip and Sawyer, Malcolm C., Can Monetary Policy Affect the Real Economy? (September 2002). Levy Economics Institute Working Paper No. 355. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=335620 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.335620

Philip Arestis (Contact Author)

University of Cambridge - Department of Land Economy ( email )

19 Silver Street
Cambridge, CB3 9EP
United Kingdom

Universidad del País Vasco (UPV/EHU)

Barrio Sarriena s/n
Leioa, Bizkaia 48940
Spain

Malcolm C. Sawyer

Levy Economics Institute ( email )

Blithewood
Annandale-on-Hudson, NY 12504-5000
United States
845-758-7700 (Phone)
845-758-1149 (Fax)

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