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Keywords:zero lower bound 

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 20-16

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
Escaping the Great Recession

While high uncertainty is an inherent implication of the economy entering the zero lower bound, deflation is not, because agents are likely to be uncertain about the way policymakers will deal with the large stock of debt arising from a severe recession. We draw this conclusion based on a new-Keynesian model in which the monetary/fiscal policy mix can change over time and zero-lower-bound episodes are recurrent. Given that policymakers? behavior is constrained at the zero lower bound, beliefs about the exit strategy play a key role. Announcing a period of austerity is detrimental in the short ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-17

Journal Article
How Likely Is the Zero Lower Bound?

We estimate the probability that the federal funds rate will be at or below the zero lower bound over a ten-year time horizon. We do so by specifying and estimating a time-varying parameter vector autoregressive model for key US macroeconomic aggregates. Based on the estimated model, we generate a distribution of future outcomes from which we compute such probabilities. We find that the zero lower bound probability ranges between 15 percent and 30 percent in the longer term depending on the specific measure used. In the near term, this probability is effectively zero. Robustness checks for ...
Economic Quarterly , Issue 1Q , Pages 41-54

Working Paper
Identifying the Stance of Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound: A Markov-switching Estimation Exploiting Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interdependence

In this paper, I propose an econometric technique to estimate a Markov-switching Taylor rule subject to the zero lower bound of interest rates. I show that incorporating a Tobit-like specification allows to obtain consistent estimators. More importantly, I show that linking the switching of the Taylor rule coefficients to the switching of the coefficients of an auxiliary uncensored Markov-switching regression improves the identification of an otherwise unidentifiable prevalent monetary regime. To illustrate the proposed estimation technique, I use U.S. quarterly data spanning 1960:1-2013:4. ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-97

What to expect from the lower bound on interest rates: evidence from derivatives prices

This paper analyzes the effects of the lower bound for interest rates on the distributions of inflation and interest rates. We study a stylized New Keynesian model where the policy instrument is subject to a lower bound to motivate the empirical analysis. Two equilibria emerge: In the “target equilibrium,” policy is unconstrained most or all of the time, whereas in the “liquidity trap equilibrium,” policy is mostly or always constrained. We use options data on future interest rates and inflation to study whether the decrease in the natural real rate of interest leads to forecast ...
Staff Reports , Paper 865

Working Paper
Understanding the Great Recession

We argue that the vast bulk of movements in aggregate real economic activity during the Great Recession were due to financial frictions interacting with the zero lower bound. We reach this conclusion looking through the lens of a New Keynesian model in which firms face moderate degrees of price rigidities and no nominal rigidities in the wage setting process. Our model does a good job of accounting for the joint behavior of labor and goods markets, as well as inflation, during the Great Recession. According to the model the observed fall in total factor productivity and the rise in the cost ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1107

Working Paper
The zero lower bound and endogenous uncertainty

This paper documents a strong negative correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth since the Great Recession. Prior to that event the correlation was weak, even when conditioning on recessions. At the same time, many central banks reduced their policy rate to its zero lower bound (ZLB), which we contend contributed to the strong correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth. To test that theory, we use a model where the ZLB occasionally binds. The model roughly matches the correlation in the data?away from the ZLB the correlation is weak but strongly ...
Working Papers , Paper 1405

An interest rate rule to uniquely implement the optimal equilibrium in a liquidity trap

We propose a new interest rate rule that implements the optimal equilibrium and eliminates all indeterminacy in a canonical New Keynesian model in which the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates (ZLB) is binding. The rule commits to zero nominal interest rates for a length of time that increases in proportion to how much past inflation has deviated?either upward or downward?from its optimal level. Once outside the ZLB, interest rates follow a standard Taylor rule. Following the Taylor principle outside the ZLB is neither necessary nor sufficient to ensure uniqueness of equilibria. ...
Staff Reports , Paper 745

Working Paper
A Probability-Based Stress Test of Federal Reserve Assets and Income

To support the economy, the Federal Reserve amassed a large portfolio of long-term bonds. We assess the Fed?s associated interest rate risk ? including potential losses to its Treasury securities holdings and declines in remittances to the Treasury. Unlike past examinations of this interest rate risk, we attach probabilities to alternative interest rate scenarios. These probabilities are obtained from a dynamic term structure model that respects the zero lower bound on yields. The resulting probability-based stress test finds that the Fed?s losses are unlikely to be large and remittances are ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2013-38


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