Conventional and unconventional monetary policy
The authors extend a standard New Keynesian model to incorporate heterogeneity in spending opportunities and two sources of (potentially time-varying) credit spreads and to allow a role for the central bank's balance sheet in equilibrium determination. They use the model to investigate the implications of imperfect financial intermediation for familiar monetary policy prescriptions, and to consider additional dimensions of central bank policy - variations in the size and composition of the central bank's balance sheet and payment of interest on reserves - alongside the traditional question of ...
Monetary Policy Tradeoffs and the Federal Reserve's Dual Mandate
Some key structural features of the U.S. economy appear to have changed in the recent decades, making the conduct of monetary policy more challenging. In particular, there is high uncertainty about the levels of the natural rate of interest and unemployment as well as about the effect of economic activity on inflation. At the same time, a prolonged period of below-target inflation has raised concerns about the unanchoring of inflation expectations at levels below the Federal Open Market Committee’s inflation target. In addition, a low natural rate of interest increases the probability of ...
The Asymmetric Costs of Misperceiving R-star
The natural rate of interest, or r-star, is used to evaluate whether monetary policy is restrictive or supportive of economic activity. However, this benchmark rate can only be estimated, and policymakers’ misperceptions of the level of the natural rate can carry substantial economic costs in terms of unemployment and inflation. A scenario using mistaken perceptions shows that the costs of overestimating the natural rate are greater than the cost of underestimating it if policy space is limited by the effective lower bound on the nominal federal funds rate.
Monetary Regime Change and Business Cycles
This paper proposes a simple method to structurally estimate a model over a period of time containing a regime shift. It then evaluates to which degree it is relevant to explicitly acknowledge the break in the estimation procedure. We apply our method on Swedish data, and estimate a DSGE model explicitly taking into account the monetary regime change in 1993, from exchange rate targeting to inflation targeting. We show that ignoring the break in the estimation leads to spurious estimates of model parameters including parameters in both policy and non-policy economic relations. Accounting for ...
Mitigating COVID-19 Effects with Conventional Monetary Policy
The Federal Reserve slashed the federal funds rate in response to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The full impact of the pandemic on the economy is still uncertain and depends on many factors. Analysis suggests that allowing the federal funds rate to fall fast will help the economy cope with the aftermath of COVID-19. In particular, the limited policy space due to the effective lower bound of the federal funds rate before the pandemic reinforces rather than offsets the need for a rapid funds rate decline.
How stimulatory are large-scale asset purchases?
The Federal Reserve?s large-scale purchases of long-term Treasury securities most likely provided a moderate boost to economic growth and inflation. Importantly, the effects appear to depend greatly on the Fed?s guidance that short-term interest rates would remain low for an extended period. Indeed, estimates from a macroeconomic model suggest that such interest rate forward guidance probably has greater effects than signals about the amount of assets purchased.
The central-bank balance sheet as an instrument of monetary policy
While many analyses of monetary policy consider only a target for a short-term nominal interest rate, other dimensions of policy have recently been of greater importance: changes in the supply of bank reserves, changes in the assets acquired by central banks, and changes in the interest rate paid on reserves. We first extend a standard New Keynesian model to allow a role for the central bank?s balance sheet in equilibrium determination and then consider the connections between these alternative policy dimensions and traditional interest rate policy. We distinguish between ?quantitative ...
The macroeconomic effects of large-scale asset purchase programs
The effects of asset purchase programs on macroeconomic variables are likely to be moderate. We reach this conclusion after simulating the impact of the Federal Reserve?s second large-scale asset purchase program (LSAP II) in a DSGE model enriched with a preferred habitat framework and estimated on U.S. data. Our simulations suggest that such a program increases GDP growth by less than half a percentage point, although the effect on the level of GDP is very persistent. The program?s marginal contribution to inflation is very small. One key reason for our findings is that we estimate a small ...
Average Inflation Targeting in the Financial Crisis Recovery
The Federal Reserve adopted average inflation targeting as part of its long-run monetary strategy framework in 2020. This strategy allows inflation to rise and fall such that it averages 2% over time. Analysis shows that a version of average inflation targeting that is partly forward-looking—that is, one that responds in part to expected future inflation—could have improved economic outcomes in the recovery from the financial crisis of 2008, as well as substantially reduced the uncertainty around economic outcomes.
Is there a case for inflation overshooting?
In the wake of the financial crisis, the Federal Reserve dropped the federal funds rate to near zero to bolster the U.S. economy. Recent research suggests that the constraint preventing this rate from being even lower has kept the economy from reaching its full potential. Given the lingering economic slack, allowing inflation to rise temporarily above the Fed?s 2% target might help achieve a better balance between the Fed?s dual mandates of maximum employment and stable prices more quickly.