Michael Bordo, Klodiana Istrefi, 20 August 2018

US presidents can influence monetary policy through the appointment process of the Federal Open Market Committee members. This column examines the policy preferences of Committee members in relation to the ideology of their appointers. Democratic Board nominees have been mostly perceived to be doves, while the shares of both hawks and doves (as opposed to swingers) appears higher for Republican nominees. In contrast, a high share of hawks among Federal Reserve Bank presidents, who are appointed by their bank’s board of directors, is observed irrespective of the president’s party.

Agnès Bénassy-Quéré, Matthieu Bussière, Pauline Wibaux, 16 August 2018

Recent events on the international stage have reignited the debate on trade and currency wars. This column compares two forms of non-cooperative policies – import tariffs and currency devaluations – within a single framework. The results show that tariffs and devaluations do not have equivalent effects on trade flows. A 1% depreciation of the importer's currency reduces imports by around 0.5% in current dollars, whereas an increase in import tariffs by 1 percentage point reduces imports by around 1.4%.

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 25 July 2018

Antoine Levy, 22 July 2018

The euro improved the credibility of monetary policy for many member states, but the downsides of not having monetary autonomy became painfully apparent during the European debt crisis. This column proposes ‘targeted inflation targeting’ as a way to improve stabilisation mechanisms in the euro area, without losing the benefits of integration. The ECB would maintain a rules-based approach that targets countries in a weaker macroeconomic position more aggressively.

Akvile Bertasiute, Domenico Massaro, Matthias Weber, 07 July 2018

A key critique of commonly used macroeconomic models is their reliance on the assumption of rational expectations. This column addresses this concern with a model of currency unions wherein expectations are formed through behavioural reinforcement learning, that is, learning from past mistakes. The model suggests that economic integration is of crucial importance to the functioning of a currency union. Monetary policy, in contrast, can only play a limited stabilising role.

Simon Wren-Lewis, 03 July 2018

Stephen Cecchetti, 25 June 2018

Though central banks do not seem concerned about being driven obsolete by cryptocurrencies, some are considering issuing digital currencies with similar technology. Stephen Cecchetti discusses three policy implications this might have, namely for restricting the illegal use of cash, allowing for negative interest rates, and improving financial access. All three are possible, but come with risk.

Stephen Cecchetti, Kim Schoenholtz, 10 May 2018

Juan Dolado, Gergo Motyovszki, Evi Pappa, 17 May 2018

There is ongoing debate over the welfare implications of the unorthodox measures adopted by central banks in the wake of the Global Crisis. Using US data, this column explores the implications of monetary policy for income and wealth inequality. Unexpected monetary expansions are found to increase inequality between high- and low-skilled workers. In terms of stabilising the economy, strict inflation targeting is found to be the most successful policy.

Claudia Buch, Matthieu Bussière, Linda Goldberg, Robert Hills, 20 April 2018

The channels through which one country’s monetary policy affects the international economy are still not that well understood. This column presents findings from latest project of the International Banking Research Network, which reveal that monetary policy spillover effects via bank lending are significant across countries in both conventional and unconventional periods. While the results provide some support to the bank lending and portfolio channels traditionally studied in the literature, they also suggest that other bank-level frictions matter.

Hélène Rey, 23 April 2018

There are significant commonalities between the movements of credit aggregates, credit flows, and asset prices - referred to as the global financial cycle. Helene Rey explains how this cycle is impacted by US monetary policy. Raising interest rates by the Fed will tighten credit in dollar-dependent economies, leading to capital outflows. To withstand such impact, policymakers must employ macroprudential tools to hit their domestic targets.

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SUERF / WU / OeNB Conference
Date: Friday, 4 May 2018
Venue: Oesterreichische Nationalbank, Otto-Wagner-Platz 3, 1090 Vienna

Yasin Mimir, Enes Sunel, 03 April 2018

The Global Crisis originated in developed economies but was also a large shock to emerging market economies. Based on this event, this column argues that emerging market central banks should take into account domestic and external financial variables such as bank credit, asset prices, credit spreads, the US interest rate and the real exchange rate, not just effects on inflation and real economic activity. A stronger anti-inflationary stance is needed when monetary policy aims to maintain financial stability.

Charles Bean, 15 March 2018

Interest rates are near zero and inflation is even lower. Professor Sir Charles Bean, former Deputy Governor at the Bank of England and President of the Royal Economic Society, talks to Mark Thoma about the importance of clear communication in such uncertain times. The interview was recorded at the Royal Economic Society annual conference at The University of Manchester in Spring 2015 and produced by Econ Films.

David Cobham, 16 March 2018

Monetary policy characterisations across countries rely on the availability of data, but while exchange rate classifications are well developed, the same is not true for domestic targets. This column introduces a new classification of the monetary policy frameworks of different advanced and emerging countries, including domestic and external targets. One trend revealed by the classification is the movement over time away from exchange rate targets and loosely structured discretion towards inflation targeting.

Gianluca Benigno, Luca Fornaro, 15 March 2018

Existing research offers little guidance to policymakers who want to understand the interactions between economic fluctuations, growth, and stabilisation policies. This column introduces a Keynesian growth framework that provides a theory of long-run growth, built on a Keynesian approach to economic fluctuations. In the model, pessimistic expectations about future growth can give rise to stagnation traps. It suggests that monetary policy during a stagnation trap is hindered by credibility issues.

Thomas Lustenberger, Enzo Rossi, 04 March 2018

Most central banks communicate more openly with the markets than they did 20 years ago. The column argues that more speeches, more forward guidance, and more transparency has often worsened the accuracy of private-sector forecasts. Too much communication may be the problem, creating a cacophony of policy voices.

K. Kıvanç Karaman, Sevket Pamuk, Seçil Yıldırım-Karaman, 24 February 2018

There is a notable lack of long-run analyses of monetary systems and their stability. This column addresses this gap by looking at the monetary systems of major European states between 1300 and 1914. The evidence collected suggests that, despite many switches between standards and systems, fiscal capacity and political regimes ultimately shaped patterns of monetary stability. Theories of monetary stability that rely on the mechanics of monetary systems perform poorly when such a long-run perspective is taken.

Gauti Eggertsson, Ragnar Juelsrud, Ella Getz Wold, 31 January 2018

Economists disagree on the macroeconomic role of negative interest rates. This column describes how, due to an apparent zero lower bound on deposit rates, negative policy rates have so far had very limited impact on the deposit rates faced by households and firms, and this lower bound on the deposit rate seems to be causing a decline in pass-through to lending rates as well. Negative interest rates thus appear ineffective in stimulating aggregate demand.

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