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Jel Classification:E61 

Working Paper
Optimal monetary policy in a currency union with interest rate spreads

We introduce ?financial imperfections? - asymmetric net wealth positions, incomplete risksharing, and interest rate spread across member countries - in a prototypical two-country currency union model and study implications for monetary policy transmission mechanism and optimal policy. In addition to, and independent from, the standard transmission mechanism associated with nominal rigidities, financial imperfections introduce a wealth redistribution role for monetary policy. Moreover, the two mechanisms reinforce each other and amplify the effects of monetary policy. On the normative side, ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 150

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Policy Games

Strategic interactions between policymakers arise whenever each policymaker has distinct objectives. Deviating from full cooperation can result in large welfare losses. To facilitate the study of strategic interactions, we develop a toolbox that characterizes the welfare-maximizing cooperative Ramsey policies under full commitment and open-loop Nash games. Two examples for the use of our toolbox offer some novel results. The first example revisits the case of monetary policy coordination in a two-country model to confirm that our approach replicates well-known results in the literature and ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-87

Capital controls: a normative analysis

Countries' concerns about the value of their currency have been studied and documented extensively in the literature. Capital controls can be?and often are?used as a tool to manage exchange rate fluctuations. This paper investigates whether countries can benefit from using such a tool. We develop a welfare-based analysis of whether (or, in fact, how) countries should tax international borrowing. Our results suggest that restricting international capital flows through the use of these taxes can be beneficial for individual countries, although it would limit cross-border pooling of risk. The ...
Staff Reports , Paper 600

Working Paper
Regulating Financial Networks Under Uncertainty

I study the problem of regulating a network of interdependent financial institutions that is prone to contagion when there is uncertainty regarding its precise structure. I show that such uncertainty reduces the scope for welfare-improving interventions. While improving network transparency potentially reduces this uncertainty, it does not always lead to welfare improvements. Under certain conditions, regulation that reduces the risk-taking incentives of a small set of institutions can improve welfare. The size and composition of such a set crucially depend on the interplay between (i) the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-056

Working Paper
Designing a simple loss function for the Fed: does the dual mandate make sense?

Variable and high rates of price inflation in the 1970s and 1980s led many countries to delegate the conduct of monetary policy to "instrument-independent" central banks and to give their central banks a clear mandate to pursue price stability and instrument independence to achieve it. Advances in academic research supported a strong focus on price stability as a means to enhance the independence and credibility of monetary policymakers. An overwhelming majority of these central banks also adopted an explicit inflation target to further strengthen credibility and facilitate accountability. ...
Working Papers , Paper 15-3

Working Paper
Monetary Policy Strategies for a Low-Rate Environment

In low-rate environments, policy strategies that involve holding rates ?lower for longer? (L4L) may mitigate the effects of the effective lower bound (ELB). However, these strategies work in part by managing the public?s expectations, which is not always realistic. Using the Fed?s large-scale macroeconometric model, we study the effectiveness of L4L policies when financial market participants are forward-looking but other agents are not. We find that the resulting limited ability to manage expectations reduces but does not eliminate the advantages of L4L policies. The best policies provide ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-009

Working Paper
Optimal Monetary and Macroprudential Policies: Gains and Pitfalls in a Model of Financial Intermediation

We estimate a quantitative general equilibrium model with nominal rigidities and financial intermediation to examine the interaction of monetary and macroprudential stabilization policies. The estimation procedure uses credit spreads to help identify the role of financial shocks amenable to stabilization via monetary or macroprudential instruments. The estimated model implies that monetary policy should not respond strongly to the credit cycle and can only partially insulate the economy from the distortionary effects of financial frictions/shocks. A counter-cyclical macroprudential instrument ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-78

Working Paper
The Optimal Degree of Monetary-Discretion in a New Keynesian Model with Private Information

This paper considers the optimal degree of monetary-discretion when the central bank conducts policy based on its private information about the state of the economy and is unable to commit. Society seeks to maximize social welfare by imposing restrictions on the central bank's actions over time, and the central bank takes these restrictions and the New Keynesian Phillips curve as constraints. By solving a dynamic mechanism design problem we find that it is optimal to grant ?constrained discretion? to the central bank by imposing both upper and lower bounds on permissible inflation, and that ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 320

Working Paper
What drives economic policy uncertainty in the long and short runs? European and U.S. evidence over several decades

Economic policy uncertainty (EPU) has increased markedly in recent years in the U.S. and Europe, and some have posited a link between this phenomenon and subpar economic growth in advanced economies (see Baker, Bloom, and Davis, 2015). But methodological and data concerns have thus far raised doubts about whether EPU contains marginal and exogenous information about other economic phenomena. Our work analyzes the impact on EPU of several possibly endogenous variables, such as inflation and unemployment rates in countries where EPU is measured. We also consider longer-term technological ...
Working Papers , Paper 1615

Optimal Cooperative Taxation in the Global Economy

We use the Ramsey and Mirrlees approaches to study how fiscal and trade policy should be set cooperatively when governments must raise revenues with distorting taxes. Free trade and unrestricted capital mobility are optimal. Efficient outcomes can be implemented with taxes only on final consumption goods and labor income. We study alternative tax systems, showing that uniform taxation of household asset returns, and not taxing corporate income yields efficient outcomes. Border adjustments exempting exports from and including imports in the tax base are desirable. Destination and residence ...
Staff Report , Paper 581


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