NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation

Ben S. Bernanke

NBER Working Paper No. 1842
Issued in February 1986
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ME

Standard explanations of the bivariate correlation of money and income attribute this correlation to an inability of agents to discriminate in the short run between real and nominal sources of price shocks. This paper is an empirical comparison of the standard explanation with two alternatives: 1) the"credit view", which focuses on financial market imperfections rather than real-nominal confusion; and 2) the real business cycle approach, which argues that the money-income correlation reflects a passive response of money to income. The methodology, which is a variant of the Sims VAR approach, follows Blanchard and Watson (1984) in using an estimated, explicitly structural model to orthogonalize the VAR residuals. (This variant methodology, I argue, is the more appropriate for structural hypothesis testing.) The results suggest that the standard explanations of the money-income relation are largely, but perhaps not completely, displaced by the alternatives.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w1842

Published:

  • Bernanke, Ben S., 1986. "Alternative explanations of the money-income correlation," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 49-99, January. ,
  • Bernanke, Ben S. "Alternative Explanations of the Money-Income Correlation," Real Business Cycles, Real Exchange Rates, and Actual Policies, Carnegie- Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy,Vol. 25, Autumn 1986, pp. 49-9 9. eds. Karl Brunner and Allan Meltzer. Amsterdam: North-Holland.

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