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Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others

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  • Lars E.O. Svensson

Abstract

Existing proposals to escape from a liquidity trap and deflation, including my "Foolproof Way," are discussed in the light of the optimal way to escape. The optimal way involves three elements: (1) an explicit central-bank commitment to a higher future price level; (2) a concrete action that demonstrates the central bank's commitment, induces expectations of a higher future price level and jump-starts the economy; and (3) an exit strategy that specifies when and how to get back to normal. A currency depreciation is a direct consequence of expectations of a higher future price level and hence an excellent indicator of those expectations. Furthermore, an intentional currency depreciation and a crawling peg, as in the Foolproof Way, can implement the optimal way and, in particular, induce the desired expectations of a higher future price level. I conclude that the Foolproof Way is likely to work well for Japan, which is in a liquidity trap now, as well as for the euro area and the United States, in case either would fall into a liquidity trap in the future.

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/089533003772034934
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Volume (Year): 17 (2003)
Issue (Month): 4 (Fall)
Pages: 145-166

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jecper:v:17:y:2003:i:4:p:145-166

Note: DOI: 10.1257/089533003772034934
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References

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  1. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "How should monetary policy be conducted in an era of price stability?," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 195-259.
  2. Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "Inflation Targeting: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 1, pages 001-022 Central Bank of Chile.
  3. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
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  6. Auerbach, Alan J. & Obstfeld, Maurice, 2012. "The Case for Open-Market Purchases in a Liquidity Trap," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt84s7d8c8, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  11. Lars E.O Svensson, 2002. "Monetary policy and real stabilization," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 261-312.
  12. Bennett McCallum, 2002. "Inflation Targeting and the Liquidity Trap," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 9, pages 395-438 Central Bank of Chile.
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