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Structural Breaks and Regional Disparities in the Transmission of Monetary Policy

Using a regional VAR, we find large differences in the effects of monetary policy shocks across regions of the United States. We also find that the region-level effects of monetary policy differ a great deal between the pre-Volcker and Volcker-Greenspan periods in terms of their depth and length. The two sample periods also yield very different rankings of the regions in terms of the effects of monetary policy. We find that regional difference in the depths of recession are related to the banking concentration, whereas differences in the total cost of recession are related to industry mix. Finally, we demonstrate that the differences between the two sample periods are due to changes in the mechanism by which monetary policy shocks are propagated.

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