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Author:Fuerst, Timothy S. 

Journal Article
Perils of price deflations: an analysis of the Great Depression

If a central bank adopted a zero inflation target, it would, in practice, occasionally deviate up and down from that rate, and the economy would experience episodes of mild inflation and deflation. Is deflation-a decrease in the level of prices-a cause for concern? Deflation can cause output to decline, but to what extent? This Economic Commentary explores how much of a problem deflation might be for modern economies by estimating the effect of massive price declines on output during the Great Depression. The authors find that while deflation can cause output to decline, mild episodes of ...
Economic Commentary , Issue Feb

Journal Article
Inertial Taylor rules: the benefit of signaling future policy

This article traces the consequences of an energy shock on the economy under two different monetary policy rules: (i) a standard Taylor rule, where the Fed responds to inflation and the output gap, and (ii) a Taylor rule with inertia, where the Fed moves slowly to the rate predicted by the standard rule. The authors show that, with both sticky wages and sticky prices, the outcome of an inertial Taylor rule is superior to that of the standard rule, in the sense that inflation is lower and output is higher following an adverse energy shock. However, if prices alone are sticky, the results are ...
Review , Volume 90 , Issue May , Pages 193-203

Working Paper
Term Premium Variability and Monetary Policy

Two traditional explanations for the mean and variability of the term premium are: (i) time-varying risk premia on long bonds, and (ii) segmented markets between long- and short-term bonds. This paper integrates these two approaches into a medium-scale DSGE model. We consider two sources of business cycle variability: shocks to total factor productivity (TFP), and shocks to the marginal efficiency of investment (MEI). The ability of the risk approach to match the first moment of the term premium depends upon the relative importance of these two shocks. If MEI shocks are an important driver of ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1611

Working Paper
Real indeterminacy in monetary models with nominal interest rate distortions: the problem with inflation targets

This paper demonstrates that in a standard monetary model with a cash-in-advance constraint on consumption there exists real indeterminacy whenever the nominal interest rate moves too closely with the real rate. A particular example of such a policy is an inflation rate target. This is not a knife-edge result. The conclusion is robust to a wide range of calibrations and to a monetary environment that allows for endogenous velocity.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 9818R

Working Paper
Price-level and interest-rate targeting in a model with sticky prices

An examination of a standard sticky-price monetary model whose conditions are perturbed relative to the canonical real-business-cycle model by two varying distortions: marginal cost and the nominal rate of interest. The paper explores the implications of two monetary policies that are frequently advocated: (1) an inflation target and (2) an interest rate target.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 9819

Journal Article
Forecasts and sunspots: looking back for a better future

To head off inflation before it gets started, central banks must use forecasts to determine monetary policy actions. But doing so introduces the possibility that inflation will increase just because the public expects it to. This Economic Commentary explains how random events (sunspots) can affect economic systems and create price volatility. The authors suggest that sunspots can be avoided with an approach that responds predominantly to past, rather than predicted, inflation.
Economic Commentary , Issue Nov

Working Paper
Indexed debt contracts and the financial accelerator

This paper addresses the positive and normative implications of indexing risky debt to observable aggregate conditions. These issues are pursued within the context of the celebrated financial accelerator model of Bernanke, Gertler and Gilchrist (1999). The principal conclusions are that the optimal degree of indexation is significant, and that the business cycle properties of the model are altered under this level of indexation.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1117

Journal Article
Oil prices, monetary policy, and the macroeconomy

Recessions are associated with both rising oil prices and increases in the federal funds rate. Are recessions caused by the spikes in oil prices or by the sharp tightening of monetary policy? The authors discuss how to disentangle these two effects.
Economic Commentary , Issue Jul

Working Paper
Interest rate rules vs. money growth rules: a welfare comparison in a cash-in-advance economy

A consideration of the welfare consequences of two simple monetary policy rules--an interest rate peg and a money growth peg--in a dynamic general-equilibrium model, indicating that the interest rate rule dominates the money growth rule.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 9504

Journal Article
Stock prices and output growth: an examination of the credit channel

When stock market values fall, we know that investors expect lower economic growth in the future. But can stock market declines actually affect future growth? There is some evidence that they can-through the credit channel.
Economic Commentary , Issue Aug



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