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Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
Economic Review
Monetary policy without reserve requirements : case studies and options for the United States
Gordon H. Sellon
Stuart E. Weiner
Abstract

Over the past decade, the level of required balances held by depository institutions in the United States has declined dramatically. The decline in reserve balances has fueled a debate over the role of reserve requirements. On the one hand, proponents of reserve requirements argue that low reserve balances may complicate monetary policy operations and increase short-term interest rate volatility. On the other hand, critics of reserve requirements argue that lower reserve requirements remove a distortionary tax on depository institutions and need not complicate monetary policy operations. ; In this article, the authors examine how three countries - Canada, the United Kingdom, and New Zealand conduct monetary policy without using reserve requirements. The experience of these three countries provides insight into the linkages between the payments system and monetary policy and into the connection between reserve requirements and interest rate volatility. This insight is particularly helpful in understanding the implications of a further reduction of reserve balances in the United States.


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Gordon H. Sellon & Stuart E. Weiner, "Monetary policy without reserve requirements : case studies and options for the United States" , Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, Economic Review, issue Q II, pages 5-30, 1997.
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Keywords: Monetary policy ; Bank reserves ; Monetary policy - Canada ; Monetary policy - Great Britain ; Monetary policy - New Zealand
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