BPEA | 1989 No. 1

Institutional Change and the Efficacy of Monetary Policy

discussants: David H. Romer
David H. Romer
David H. Romer Nonresident Senior Fellow - Economic Studies

1989, No. 1

DURING THE 1980s monetary policy emerged as the sole tool of U.S. stabilization policy when U.S. fiscal policy got caught up in an ideological battle over the appropriate size of government. Despite the inherent risks of reliance on a single tool to manage a multiplicity of domestic and external economic objectives, the monetary authorities have been highly successful over the past six years. There is, however, substantial uncertainty about the sustainability of the current policy mix. Financial markets, in particular, have been highly volatile and susceptible to sharp reactions to every rumor of potential change in Federal Reserve policy.