Chen, Yuanquan and Werner, Richard A.
The role of monetary aggregates in Chinese monetary policy implementation
Journal of the Asia Pacific Economy, 16, (3), . (doi:10.1080/13547860.2011.589633).
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Monetary targeting has been abandoned in deregulated and liberalised financial systems. Theoretically, this could imply that emerging markets that have not yet deregulated financial markets could employ monetarist policies. We analyse the case of China, in order to explore whether monetary targeting was in theory a possible policy framework for the central bank, and in order to glean policy lessons for emerging markets. Employing Svensson’s (1997) criteria for the selection of intermediate targets, we find that a measure such as M1 fulfils the criteria and can serve as intermediate target. However, it is also found that the relatively small error between monetary target and actual variables may be due to alternative monetary policy procedures, in particular the use of ‘window guidance’ credit controls. Next, we test the relevance of the McCallum (2000) rule in China, which appears more relevant than the Taylor rule. In particular, we find that the actual movement of M1 fits the McCallum rule reasonably well, even during the high inflation period from 1992 to 1994. This suggests that before the official adoption of M1 as the intermediate target in 1994, the PBC may have already been “practicing” its use by implicitly following the McCallum rule. It is also found that monetary policy was too loose during 1992 to 1994, and a little too tight during 1998 to 2002. We conclude that an analysis of the traditional monetary aggregates is insufficient, and research on the role of credit aggregates would appear to be more promising. Meanwhile, policy lessons from our study include that central banks even in emerging markets that maintain relatively regulated and ‘repressed’ financial markets, cannot rely too much on quantitative monetary aggregates, if traditionally defined
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