published in: Macroeconomic Dynamics

The Quantity Theory Revisited: A New Structural Approach

While the long run relation between money and inflation is well established, empirical evidence on the adjustment to the long run equilibrium is very heterogeneous. In this paper we show, that the development of US consumer price inflation between 1960Q1 and 2005Q4 is strongly driven by money overhang. To this end, we use a multivariate state space framework that substantially expands the traditional vector error correction approach. This approach allows us to estimate the persistent components of velocity and GDP. A sign restriction approach is subsequently used to identify the structural shocks to the signal equations of the state space model, that explain money growth, inflation and GDP growth. We also account for the possibility that measurement error exhibited by simple-sum monetary aggregates causes the consequences of monetary shocks to be improperly identified by using a Divisia monetary aggregate. Our findings suggest that when the money is measured using a reputable index number, the quantity theory holds for the United States.

18. April 2011

Authors Makram El-Shagi Sebastian Giesen

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The Quantity Theory Revisited: A New Structural Approach

Makram El-Shagi Sebastian Giesen

in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, No. 1, 2015


We propose a unified identification scheme to identify monetary shocks and track their propagation through the economy. We combine three approaches dealing with the consequences of monetary shocks. First, we adjust a state space version of the P-star type model employing money overhang as the driving force of inflation. Second, we identify the contemporaneous impact of monetary policy shocks by applying a sign restriction identification scheme to the reduced form given by the state space signal equations. Third, to ensure that our results are not distorted by the measurement error exhibited by the official monetary data, we employ the Divisia M4 monetary aggregate provided by the Center for Financial Stability. Our approach overcomes one of the major difficulties of previous models by using a data-driven identification of equilibrium velocity. Thus, we are able to show that a P-star model can fit U.S. data and money did indeed matter in the United States.

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