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Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US)
Finance and Economics Discussion Series
The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound
Christopher J. Gust
J. David Lopez-Salido
Matthew E. Smith
Edward Herbst
Abstract

Using Bayesian methods, we estimate a nonlinear DSGE model in which the interest-rate lower bound is occasionally binding. We quantify the size and nature of disturbances that pushed the U.S. economy to the lower bound in late 2008 as well as the contribution of the lower bound constraint to the resulting economic slump. We find that the interest-rate lower bound was a significant constraint on monetary policy that exacerbated the recession and inhibited the recovery, as our mean estimates imply that the zero lower bound (ZLB) accounted for about 30 percent of the sharp contraction in U.S. GDP that occurred in 2009 and an even larger fraction of the slow recovery that followed.


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Christopher J. Gust & J. David Lopez-Salido & Matthew E. Smith & Edward Herbst, The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-83, 2012, revised Jan 2016.
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