July 11th, 2021

Discussion Paper 2021/2 is now available: El-Shagi, M. / Ma, Y.: Nine blind men and the PBoC


Over the past decade, several dozen papers have been written that identify the People’s Bank of China’s monetary policy shocks. Yet, what often seems like minor differences in measurements of monetary policy and identifying assumptions yield vastly different implied shocks. In this paper, we pitch 20 shock time series from the literature against each other in a horse race. We use a local projections framework to produce impulse responses based on all shocks for production, prices, money and interest rates and use them to assess the economic plausibility of the competing results. Our results confirm the frequently mentioned relevance of monetary aggregates for Chinese monetary policy but also point the importance of using forward looking policy reaction functions (or account for forward looking variables in a VAR framework) when identifying monetary policy shocks.