Abstract

The paper exploits a unique panel, covering some 2,000 Italian manufacturing firms and 14 years of data on individual prices and individual interest rates paid on several types of debt, to address the question of the existence of a channel of transmission of monetary policy operating through the effect of interest expenses on the marginal cost of production. It has been argued that this mechanism may explain the dimension of the real effects of monetary policy, give a rationale for the positive short-run response of prices to interest rate increases (the “price puzzle”) and call for a more gradual monetary policy response to shocks. We find robust evidence in favor of the presence of a cost channel of monetary policy transmission, proportional to the amount of working capital held by each firm. The channel is large enough to have non-trivial monetary policy implications.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4616
Print ISSN
0022-2879
Pages
pp. 2013-2037
Launched on MUSE
2007-01-22
Open Access
No
Archive Status
Archived 2007
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