Money, prices, interest rates and the business cycle

Robert G. King, Mark W. Watson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


The mechanisms governing the relationship of money, prices and interest rates to the business cycle are the most studied and most disputed topics in macroeconomics. In this paper, we first document key empirical aspects of this relationship. We then ask how well three benchmark rational expectations macroeconomic models - a real business cycle model, a sticky price model and a liquidity effect model - account for these central facts. While the models have diverse successses and failures, none can account for the fact that real and nominal interest rates are "inverted leading indicators" of real economic activity. That is, none of the models captures the post-war U.S. business cycle fact that a high real or nominal interest rate in the current quarter predicts a low level of real economic activity two to four quarters in the future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-53
Number of pages19
JournalReview of Economics and Statistics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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