Monetary Policy and Inflation

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Chapter 14The Monetary Policy Approach to Stabilization

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Monetary Policy of the Fed Monetary policy involves changing the amount of money in circulation in order to affect interest rates.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Loose Monetary PolicyIf the Fed implements a loose monetary policy (often called expansionary) , the supply of credit increases and its cost falls. A loose money policy is often implemented as an attempt to encourage economic growth.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-* Tight Monetary PolicyIf the Fed allows a tight monetary policy, the supply of credit decreases and its cost increases. Why would any nation want a tight money policy? In order to control inflation

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Figure 14-1: The Two Faces of Monetary Policy

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*The Traditional Tools of Monetary PolicyThe Fed has at its disposal a number of tools that it can use to engage in monetary policy. We will study: Open market operations The discount rate Reserve requirements

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Open Market OperationsThis term refers to the Fed changing the amount of reserves in the banking system by its purchases and sales of government securities issued by the U.S. Treasury.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*The Discount RateThe discount rate is the interest rate the Fed charges on loans to member banks. Alternatively, banks can go to the federal funds market, in which banks can borrow reserves from other banks that want to lend them and pay the federal funds rate.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Reserve Requirements The Fed rarely uses changes in reserve requirements as a form of monetary policy. Most recently it did so in 1992, when it decreased reserve requirement on checkable deposits to 10 percent.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Changes in Money Supply affect Aggregate DemandThe direct effect of an increase in the money supply refers to people purchasing more goods and services because they have more money or cash balances than they desire.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Changes in Money Supply affect Aggregate Demand (cont.)The indirect effect of an increase in the money supply occurs when such a monetary policy leads to a decrease in interest rates, which then lead to higher levels in desired borrowing by individuals and businesses.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Changes in Money Supply affect Equilibrium Real GDPWhen the Federal Reserve System engages in contractionary monetary policy. The Fed does so by taking money out of the banking system. The result is that aggregate demand is reduced. Consequently, the equilibrium level of real GDP per year falls.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Example: The Great DepressionThe Great Depression during the 1930s was one of the most disastrous episodes in this nation’s economic history. During this time, the money supply in circulation dropped by one-third! Certainly, the result was a decrease in aggregate demand.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Monetary Policy and Inflation In the short run (several months to a year), many factors can affect inflation beside monetary policy. In the long run, empirical studies show, there is a relatively stable relationship between excess growth in the money supply and inflation.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*International ExampleThere is considerable evidence of the empirical validity of the relationship between high monetary growth and high rates of inflation. Figure 14-4, next, shows the correspondence between money supply growth and the rates of inflation in various countries around the world.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Figure 14-4: Money Supply Growth Rates and Rates of Inflation

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*The Keynesian Money Transmission MechanismKeynesian economists believe that the indirect effect of monetary policy is the most important of the two effects. According to this view, changes in the money supply change the interest rate, which in turn changes the desired rate of investment.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Figure 14-5: The Keynesian Money Transmission Mechanism

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*The Monetarists’ Transmission MechanismMonetarists contend that monetary policy works its way more directly into the economy. They believe that changes in the money supply lead to changes in equilibrium real GDP in the same direction, in the short run.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*The Monetarists’ Transmission Mechanism (cont.)If the economy is starting out at its long-run equilibrium level of real GDP, there can only be a short-run increase in real GDP due to an expansionary monetary policy. Ultimately the public cannot buy more of everything; people simply bid up prices so the price level rises.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Criticism of Monetary Policy Some monetarists argue that although monetary policy can affect output (and employment) in the short run, the length of time required before money supply changes take effect is so long and variable that such policy is difficult to conduct.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*One Alternative Monetary Policy: Following a Monetary Rule According to some monetarists, policymakers should follow a monetary rule: Increase the money supply smoothly at a constant rate consistent with the economy’s long-run potential growth rate. For instance, increase the money supply smoothly at 3.5 percent per year.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Another Alternative Monetary Policy: Inflation Targeting Some countries have taken another policy route, inflation targeting. This involves setting a goal, or target, that concerns the measured rate of inflation. For example, the target could be inflation of no more than 2 percent a year.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*The Way Federal Reserve Policy Is Currency Announced The Fed makes current monetary policy known by making announcements concerning the federal funds rate target. If the Fed talks about changing interest rates, it can do so by actively entering the market for federal government securities.

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Copyright © 2005 Pearson Addison-Wesley. All rights reserved.14-*Key Terms and Conceptsdiscount rate federal funds market federal funds rate inflation targeting loose monetary policy monetarists monetary rule open market operations tight monetary policy

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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