NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Monetary Policy in a Financial Crisis

Lawrence J. Christiano, Christopher Gust, Jorge Roldos

NBER Working Paper No. 9005
Issued in June 2002
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ME

What are the economic effects of an interest rate cut when an economy is in the midst of a financial crisis? Under what conditions will a cut stimulate output and employment, and raise welfare? Under what conditions will a cut have the opposite e ffects? We answer these questions in a general class of open economy models, where a financial crisis is modeled as a time when collateral constraints are suddenly binding. We find that when there are frictions in adjusting the level of output in the traded good sector and in adjusting the rate at which that output can be used in other parts of the economy, then a cut in the interest rate is most likely to result in a welfare-reducing fall in output and employment. When these frictions are absent, a cut in the interest rate improves asset positions and promotes a welfare-increasing economic expansion.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9005

Published: Christiano, Lawrence J., Christopher Gust and Jorge Roldos. "Monetary Policy In A Financial Crisis," Journal of Economic Theory, 2004, v119(1,Nov), 64-103. citation courtesy of

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