Why Didn’t Inflation Collapse in the Great Recession?
GDP contracted 4 percent from 2008:Q2 to 2009:Q2, and the unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent in October 2010. Traditional backward-looking Phillips curve models of inflation, which relate inflation to measures of “slack” in activity and past measures of inflation, would have predicted a substantial drop in inflation. However, core inflation declined by only one percentage point, from 2.2 percent in 2007 to 1.2 percent in 2009, giving rise to the “missing deflation” puzzle. Based on this evidence, some authors have argued that slack must have been smaller than suggested by ...
Why Are Interest Rates So Low?
In a recent series of blog posts, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Ben Bernanke, has asked the question: 'Why are interest rates so low?' (See part 1, part 2, and part 3.) He refers, of course, to the fact that the U.S. government is able to borrow at an annualized rate of around 2 percent for ten years, or around 3 percent for thirty years. If you expect that inflation is going to be on average 2 percent over the next ten or thirty years, this implies that the U.S. government can borrow at real rates of interest between 0 and 1 percent at the ten- and thirty-year ...
The FRBNY DSGE Model Meets Julia
We have implemented the FRBNY DSGE model in a free and open-source language called Julia. The code is posted here on GitHub, a public repository hosting service. This effort is the result of a collaboration between New York Fed staff and folks from the QuantEcon project, whose aim is to coordinate development of high performance open-source code for quantitative economic modeling.
The Macro Effects of the Recent Swing in Financial Conditions
Credit conditions tightened considerably in the second half of 2015 and U.S. growth slowed. We estimate the extent to which tighter credit conditions last year were responsible for the slowdown using the FRBNY DSGE model. We find that growth would have slowed substantially more had the Federal Reserve not delayed liftoff in the federal funds rate.
The inflation-output trade-off revisited
A rich literature from the 1970s shows that as inflation expectations become more and more ingrained, monetary policy loses its stimulative effect. In the extreme, with perfectly anticipated inflation, there is no trade-off between inflation and output. A recent literature on the interest-rate zero lower bound, however, suggests there may be some benefits from anticipated inflation when he economy is in a liquidity trap. In this paper, we reconcile these two views by showing that while it is true, at positive interest rates, that inflation loses its stimulative effects as it becomes better ...
Safety, liquidity, and the natural rate of interest
Why are interest rates so low in the Unites States? We find that they are low primarily because the premium for safety and liquidity has increased since the late 1990s, and to a lesser extent because economic growth has slowed. We reach this conclusion using two complementary perspectives: a flexible time-series model of trends in Treasury and corporate yields, inflation, and long-term survey expectations, and a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. We discuss the implications of this finding for the natural rate of interest.
Has monetary policy become less powerful?
Recent vector autoregression (VAR) studies have shown that monetary policy shocks have had a reduced effect on the economy since the beginning of the 1980s. This paper investigates the causes of this change. First, we estimate an identified VAR over the pre- and post-1980 periods, and corroborate the existing results suggesting a stronger systematic response of monetary policy to the economy in the later period. Second, we present and estimate a fully specified model that replicates well the dynamic response of output, inflation, and the federal funds rate to monetary policy shocks in both ...
Long-term debt pricing and monetary policy transmission under imperfect knowledge
Under rational expectations, monetary policy is generally highly effective in stabilizing the economy. Aggregate demand management operates through the expectations hypothesis of the term structure: Anticipated movements in future short-term interest rates control current demand. This paper explores the effects of monetary policy under imperfect knowledge and incomplete markets. In this environment, the expectations hypothesis of the yield curve need not hold, a situation called unanchored financial market expectations. Whether or not financial market expectations are anchored, the private ...
Optimal interest rate rules and inflation stabilization versus price-level stabilization
This paper compares the properties of interest rate rules such as simple Taylor rules and rules that respond to price-level fluctuations?called Wicksellian rules?in a basic forward-looking model. By introducing appropriate history dependence in policy, Wicksellian rules perform better than optimal Taylor rules in terms of welfare and robustness to alternative shock processes, and they are less prone to equilibrium indeterminacy. A simple Wicksellian rule augmented with a high degree of interest rate inertia resembles a robustly optimal rule?that is, a monetary policy rule that implements the ...
Inflation in the Great Recession and New Keynesian models
It has been argued that existing DSGE models cannot properly account for the evolution of key macroeconomic variables during and following the recent great recession. We challenge this argument by showing that a standard DSGE model with financial frictions available prior to the recent crisis successfully predicts a sharp contraction in economic activity along with a modest and protracted decline in inflation following the rise in financial stress in the fourth quarter of 2008. The model does so even though inflation remains very dependent on the evolution of economic activity and of monetary ...