Monetary Policy

By Mishkin, Frederic S. | NBER Reporter, Winter 2001 | Go to article overview

Monetary Policy


Mishkin, Frederic S., NBER Reporter


Frederic S. Mishkin (*)

From the beginning of my academic career, my research has always been driven by an interest in the role of monetary policy in the economy, even when it dealt with somewhat different topics such as econometric technique or financial instability and banking issues. (1) My stint inside the Federal Reserve System as the research director at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York naturally further stimulated my interest in monetary policy issues and so has led me to think more about how central banks actually conduct monetary policy and how the conduct of monetary policy might be improved. This research summary reports on my work over the past several years on monetary policy strategy and tactics, not only in the United States, but also in emerging markets and other industrialized countries.

Monetary Policy Strategies: The International Experience

In recent years a growing consensus has emerged to elevate price stability to the overriding, long-run goal of monetary policy. Thus it is not surprising that a central feature of monetary policy strategies is the use of a nominal anchor in some form. There are four basic types of monetary policy strategies, each of which uses a different nominal anchor: 1) exchange-rate targeting; 2) monetary targeting; 3) inflation targeting; and 4) monetary policy with an explicit goal, but not an explicit nominal anchor (what I call the "just do it" approach.)

Monetary Targeting

My work on monetary policy strategy began with a paper written with Ben Bernanke in 1992 that focused on monetary targeting in six industrialized countries; this has been followed by a series of other papers analyzing monetary targeting in industrialized countries. (2) Monetary targeting has been used as a successful strategy for monetary policy in two countries, Germany and Switzerland; for this reason, monetary targeting still has strong advocates and is part of the official policy strategy for the European Central Bank. However, monetary targeting in Germany and Switzerland is quite different from a Friedman-type monetary targeting rule, in which a monetary aggregate is kept on a constant-growth-rate path and is the primary focus of monetary policy. Instead, monetary targeting in Germany and Switzerland should be seen as a method of communicating the strategy of monetary policy, focusing on long-run considerations and the control of inflation. The very flexible approach to monetary targeting -- for exampl e, the Bundesbank missed its target ranges on the order of 50 percent of the time -- was adopted because the relationship between monetary aggregates and goal variables, such as inflation and nominal income, has not remained strong or reliable in Germany and Switzerland, or in other industrialized countries. (3) Indeed, the key elements of monetary targeting that led to its success in Germany and Switzerland -- flexibility, transparency, and accountability -- are also central elements in inflation targeting regimes. Other industrialized countries that have pursued monetary targeting, such as the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, have found it to be an even less successful strategy, partially because it was not pursued seriously, but also because of the dramatic breakdown of the relationship between monetary aggregates and inflation when monetary targeting was adopted.

Emerging market countries also have toyed with the idea of monetary targeting, particularly in Latin America, but as my paper with Miguel Savastano points out, despite what is often said, no central bank in Latin America has truly practiced monetary targeting. (4) The monetary policy frameworks of many Latin American central banks have used the information conveyed by a monetary aggregate to conduct monetary policy, but the other two elements (public announcements of the targets and some type of accountability mechanism) rarely have been present at the same time. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Monetary Policy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.