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Keywords:liquidity traps OR Liquidity traps OR Liquidity Traps 

Working Paper
Optimal Inflation Target with Expectations-Driven Liquidity Traps

In expectations-driven liquidity traps, a higher inflation target is associated with lower inflation and consumption. As a result, introducing the possibility of expectations-driven liquidity traps to an otherwise standard model lowers the optimal inflation target. Using a calibrated New Keynesian model with an effective lower bound (ELB) constraint on nominal interest rates, we find that even a very small probability of falling into an expectations-driven liquidity trap lowers the optimal inflation target nontrivially. Our analysis provides a reason to be cautious about the argument that ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2019-036

Working Paper
A Tractable Model of Monetary Exchange with Ex-Post Heterogeneity

We construct a continuous-time, New-Monetarist economy with general preferences that displays an endogenous, non-degenerate distribution of money holdings. Properties of equilibria are obtained analytically and equilibria are solved in closed form in a variety of cases. We study policy as incentive-compatible transfers financed with money creation. Lump-sum transfers are welfare-enhancing when labor productivity is low, but regressive transfers achieve higher welfare when labor productivity is high. We introduce illiquid government bonds and draw implications for the existence of ...
Working Paper , Paper 17-6

Working Paper
Conservatism and Liquidity Traps

Appointing Rogoff's (1985) conservative central banker improves welfare if the economy is subject to large contractionary shocks and the policy rate occasionally falls to the zero lower bound (ZLB). In an economy with occasionally binding ZLB constraints, the anticipation of future ZLB episodes creates a trade-off between inflation and output stabilization. As a consequence, inflation systematically falls below target even when the policy rate is above zero. A conservative central banker mitigates this deflationary bias away from the ZLB, improving allocations both at and away from the ZLB ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-105

Working Paper
Speed Limit Policy and Liquidity Traps

The zero lower bound (ZLB) constraint on interest rates makes speed limit policies (SLPs)---policies aimed at stabilizing the output growth---less effective. Away from the ZLB, the history dependence induced by a concern for output growth stabilization improves the inflation-output tradeoff for a discretionary central bank. However, in the aftermath of a deep recession with a binding ZLB, a central bank with an objective for output growth stabilization aims to engineer a more gradual increase in output than under the standard discretionary policy. The anticipation of a more restrained ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-050

Working Paper
The Dire Effects of the Lack of Monetary and Fiscal Coordination

What happens if the government?s willingness to stabilize a large stock of debt is waning, while the central bank is adamant about preventing a rise in inflation? The large fiscal imbalance brings about inflationary pressures, triggering a monetary tightening, further debt accumulation, and additional inflationary pressure. Thus, the economy will go through a spiral of higher inflation, output contraction, and further debt accumulation. A coordinated commitment to inflate away the portion of debt resulting from a large recession leads to better macroeconomic outcomes by separating the issue ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2017-19

The side effects of safe asset creation

We present an incomplete markets model to understand the costs and benefits of increasing government debt in a low interest rate environment. Higher risk increases the demand for safe assets, lowering the natural rate of interest below zero, constraining monetary policy at the zero lower bound, and raising unemployment. Higher government debt satiates the demand for safe assets, raising the natural rate and restoring full employment. While this permanently lowers investment, a policymaker committed to low inflation has no alternative. Higher inflation targets, instead, permit both full ...
Staff Reports , Paper 842

Working Paper
Negative Nominal Interest Rates Can Worsen Liquidity Traps

Can central banks use negative nominal interest rates to overcome the adverse effects of the zero lower bound? I show that negative rates are likely to be counterproductive in an expectations-driven liquidity trap. In a liquidity trap, firms expect low demand and cut prices, which leads the central bank to reduce nominal rates to their lower bound. If the resulting decline in real rates is not enough to stabilize demand, then the pessimism of price setters is fulfilled. Theoretically, the effect of a negative nominal rate is non-monotonic: a marginally negative rate is not enough to escape ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 19-7

Working Paper
Raising the Inflation Target: How Much Extra Room Does It Really Give?

Some, but less than intended. The reason is a shift in the behavior of the private sector: Prices adjust more frequently, lowering the potency of monetary policy. We quantitatively investigate this channel across different models, based on a calibration using micro data. By raising the target from 2 percent to 4 percent, the monetary authority gets only between 0.51 and 1.60 percentage points of effective extra policy room for monetary policy (not 2 percentage points as intended). Getting 2 percentage points of effective extra room requires raising the target to more than 4 percent. Taking ...
Working Papers , Paper 202016

Working Paper
Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target

Since the 2001 recession, average core inflation has been below the Federal Reserve?s 2% target. This deflationary bias is a predictable consequence of a low nominal interest rates environment in which the central bank follows a symmetric strategy to stabilize inflation. The deflationary bias increases if macroeconomic uncertainty rises or the natural real interest rate falls. An asymmetric rule according to which the central bank responds less aggressively to above-target inflation corrects the bias and allows inflation to converge to the central bank?s target. We show that adopting this ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-7

Working Paper
Gradualism and Liquidity Traps

Modifying the objective function of a discretionary central bank to include an interest-rate smoothing objective increases the welfare of an economy in which large contractionary shocks occasionally force the central bank to lower the policy rate to its effective lower bound. The central bank with an interest-rate smoothing objective credibly keeps the policy rate low for longer than the central bank with the standard objective function. Through expectations, the temporary overheating of the economy associated with such a low-for-long interest rate policy mitigates the declines in inflation ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-092



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