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Inferring the Shadow Rate from Real Activity
We estimate a shadow rate consistent with the paths of time series capturing real activity. This allows us to quantify the real effects of unconventional monetary policy in terms of equivalent short-term interest rate movements. We find that large-scale asset purchases and forward guidance had significant real effects equivalent of up to a four percent reduction in the federal funds rate.
Monetary Policy Options at the Effective Lower Bound : Assessing the Federal Reserve's Current Policy Toolkit
We simulate the FRB/US model and a number of statistical models to quantify some of the risks stemming from the effective lower bound (ELB) on the federal funds rate and to assess the efficacy of adjustments to the federal funds rate target, balance sheet policies, and forward guidance to provide monetary policy accommodation in the event of a recession. Over the next decade, our simulations imply a roughly 20 to 50 percent probability that the federal funds rate will be constrained by the ELB at some point. We also find that forward guidance and balance sheet polices of the kinds used in ...
Strengthening the FOMC’s Framework in View of the Effective Lower Bound and Some Considerations Related to Time-Inconsistent Strategies
We analyze the framework for monetary policy in view of the effective lower bound (ELB). We find that the ELB is likely to bind in most future recessions and propose some ways that theoretical models imply that the framework could be strengthened. We also discuss ways that commitment strategies, which are not part of the framework, may improve economic outcomes. These policies can suffer from a time-inconsistency problem, which we analyze.
Distributional Considerations for Monetary Policy Strategy
We show that makeup strategies, such as average inflation targeting and price-level targeting, can be more effective than a flexible inflation targeting strategy in overcoming the obstacles created by the effective lower bound in a heterogeneous agent New Keynesian (HANK) model. We also show that the macroeconomic stabilization benefits from such alternative strategies can be substantially larger in a HANK environment than in a representative agent New Keynesian model. We argue that gains in employment outcomes from switching to an alternative strategy would generate disproportionate ...
Monetary Policy and Economic Performance since the Financial Crisis
We review macroeconomic performance over the period since the Global Financial Crisis and the challenges in the pursuit of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate. We characterize the use of forward guidance and balance sheet policies after the federal funds rate reached the effective lower bound. We also review the evidence on the efficacy of these tools and consider whether policymakers might have used them more forcefully. Finally, we examine the post-crisis experience of other major central banks with these policy tools.
Issues Regarding the Use of the Policy Rate Tool
We review two nonstandard uses of the policy rate tool, which provide additional stimulus when interest rates are close to or at the effective lower bound—forward guidance and negative interest rate policy. In particular, we survey the use of these tools since the star otf the Great Recession, review evidence of their effectiveness, and discuss key considerations that confront monetary policymakers while using them.
Alternative Strategies: How Do They Work? How Might They Help?
Several structural developments in the U.S. economy—including lower neutral interest rates and a flatter Phillips curve—have challenged the ability of the current monetary policy framework to deliver on the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) dual-mandate goals. This paper explores whether makeup strategies, in which policymakers seek to stabilize average inflation around the inflation target over some horizon, could strengthen the FOMC’s ability to fulfill its dual mandate. The quantitative analysis discussed here suggests that credible makeup strategies may provide some moderate ...
How Robust Are Makeup Strategies to Key Alternative Assumptions?
We analyze the robustness of makeup strategies—policies that aim to offset, at least in part, past misses of inflation from its objective—to alternative modeling assumptions, with an emphasis on the role of inflation expectations. We survey empirical evidence on the behavior of shorter-run and long-run inflation expectations. Using simulations from the FRB/US macroeconomic model, we find that makeup strategies can moderately offset the real effects of adverse economic shocks, even when much of the public is uninformed about the monetary strategy. We also discuss the robustness of makeup ...
Pandemic Recession Dynamics: The Role of Monetary Policy in Shifting a U-Shaped Recession to a V-Shaped Rebound
COVID-19 has depressed economic activity around the world. The initial contraction may be amplified by the limited space for conventional monetary policy actions to support recovery implied by the low level of nominal interest rates recently. Model simulations assuming an initial contraction in output of 10 percent suggest several policy lessons. Adverse effects of constrained monetary policy space are large, changing a V-shaped rebound into a deep U-shaped recession absent large-scale Quantitative Easing (QE). Additionally, the medium-term scarring on economic potential can be large, and ...
Attenuating the Forward Guidance Puzzle : Implications for Optimal Monetary Policy
We examine the implications of less powerful forward guidance for optimal policy using a sticky-price model with an effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates as well as a discounted Euler equation and Phillips curve. When the private-sector agents discount future economic conditions more in making their decisions today, an announced cut in future interest rates becomes less effective in stimulating current economic activity. While the implication of such discounting for optimal policy depends on its degree, we find that, under a wide range of plausible degrees of discounting, it ...