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Interest Rates, Inflation, and Federal Reserve Policy Since 1980

By Peter N. Ireland

Abstract

This paper characterizes Federal Reserve policy since 1980 as one that actively manages short-term nominal interest rates in order to control inflation and evaluates this policy using a dynamic, stochastic, sticky-price model of the United States economy. The results show that the Fed's policy insulates aggregate output from the effects of exogenous demand-side disturbances and, by calling for a modest but persistent reduction in short-term interest rates following a positive technology shock, helps the economy to respond to supply-side disturbances as it would in the absence of nominal rigidities.Interest Rates, Inflation, Federal Reserve

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