Reconsidering Monetary Policy: An Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between Interest Rates and Nominal GDP Growth in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Japan
Kang-Soek Lee and
Richard A. Werner
Ecological Economics, 2018, vol. 146, issue C, 26-34
The rate of interest – the price of money – is said to be a key policy tool. Economics has in general emphasised prices. This theoretical bias results from the axiomatic-deductive methodology centring on equilibrium. Without equilibrium, quantity constraints are more important than prices in determining market outcomes. In disequilibrium, interest rates should be far less useful as policy variable, and economics should be more concerned with quantities (including resource constraints). To investigate, we test the received belief that lower interest rates result in higher growth and higher rates result in lower growth. Examining the relationship between 3-month and 10-year benchmark rates and nominal GDP growth over half a century in four of the five largest economies we find that interest rates follow GDP growth and are consistently positively correlated with growth. If policy-makers really aimed at setting rates consistent with a recovery, they would need to raise them. We conclude that conventional monetary policy as operated by central banks for the past half-century is fundamentally flawed. Policy-makers had better focus on the quantity variables that cause growth.
Keywords: Interest rates; Economic growth; Monetary policy; Monetary transmission; Prices vs. quantities; Quantity constraints; Resource constraints; Quantity theory of credit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E43 E50 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:146:y:2018:i:c:p:26-34
Access Statistics for this article
Ecological Economics is currently edited by C. J. Cleveland
More articles in Ecological Economics from Elsevier
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Dana Niculescu ().