Can the Federal Reserve Save the Environment?

33 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2021

See all articles by Kyoung-Gon Kim

Kyoung-Gon Kim

Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA)

Doyoung Park

University of Arkansas


This paper studies the effect of monetary policy on environmental quality via the channel of global value chains (GVCs). From a proxy-VAR analysis with U.S. monetary policy surprise as an external instrument, we show that a contractionary monetary policy which escalates domestic credit costs and induces stronger local currency has a causal effect of reducing emissions, but more importantly, raising emission intensities due to firms’ discouraged participation to GVCs which, in turn, entails reduction in pollution offshoring. This result indicates that monetary policies primarily aiming for economic stabilization have unrecognized environmental externality.

Keywords: Domestic Credit Cost, Emission, Emission Intensity, Global Value Chain, Monetary Policy, Real Effective Exchange Rate

JEL Classification: E52, F18, F41, Q53

Suggested Citation

Kim, Kyoung-Gon and Park, Doyoung, Can the Federal Reserve Save the Environment?. Available at SSRN: or

Kyoung-Gon Kim

Korea Institute for Defense Analyses (KIDA) ( email )

Dongdaemun-ku, Chengryangri
PO Box 250 Seoul
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Doyoung Park (Contact Author)

University of Arkansas ( email )

Fayetteville, AR 72701
United States

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