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Unconventional Monetary Policy in the UK: A Modern Money Critique

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  • Timothy Sharpe
  • Martin Watts
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    Abstract

    The ongoing Global Financial Crisis (GFC) has posed a growing challenge to the implementation of monetary stimulus measures in both sovereign (e.g. US, UK, Japan) and non-sovereign (eurozone) economies. With the policy rate close to the zero nominal bound, the UK has relied on quantitative easing, ostensibly to improve market liquidity and/or stimulate economic activity, despite being freed from the policy constraints of a non-sovereign economy. The evidence regarding the macroeconomic effects of quantitative easing is, however, largely inconclusive. Meanwhile, UK growth forecasts have been revised downwards but, at the time of writing, the government remains committed to its fiscal austerity programme. In this paper we explore the origins of quantitative easing, its underlying objectives, the theoretical arguments for its use and the empirical evidence concerning its impact. Our analysis focuses on the policies of the Bank of England since the advent of the GFC, and is informed by the principles of Modern Monetary Theory.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Economic Issues in its journal Economic Issues.

    Volume (Year): 18 (2013)
    Issue (Month): 2 (September)
    Pages: 41-64

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    Handle: RePEc:eis:articl:213sharpe

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    1. Jens H. E. Christensen & Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2012. "The Response of Interest Rates to US and UK Quantitative Easing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F385-F414, November.
    2. Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Olivier J. Blanchard & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," IMF Staff Position Notes 2010/03, International Monetary Fund.
    3. Michael A.S. Joyce & Matthew Tong, 2012. "QE and the Gilt Market: a Disaggregated Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F348-F384, November.
    4. George Kapetanios & Haroon Mumtaz & Ibrahim Stevens & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2012. "Assessing the Economy‐wide Effects of Quantitative Easing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F316-F347, November.
    5. Stephanie Kelton, 2011. "Limitations of the Government Budget Constraint: Users vs. Issuers of the Currency," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 58(1), pages 57-66, March.
    6. Alan S. Blinder, 2010. "Quantitative easing: entrance and exit strategies," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 465-480.
    7. Francis Breedon & Jagjit S. Chadha & Alex Waters, 2012. "The Financial Market Impact of UK Quantitative Easing," Studies in Economics 1211, Department of Economics, University of Kent.
    8. Ben S. Bernanke & Vincent R. Reinhart & Brian P. Sack, 2004. "Monetary policy alternatives at the zero bound: an empirical assessment," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Joyce, Michael & Tong, Matthew & Woods, Robert, 2011. "The United Kingdom’s quantitative easing policy: design, operation and impact," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 51(3), pages 200-212.
    10. Michael Joyce & David Miles & Andrew Scott & Dimitri Vayanos, 2012. "Quantitative Easing and Unconventional Monetary Policy – an Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F271-F288, November.
    11. Bridges, Jonathan & Thomas, Ryland, 2012. "The impact of QE on the UK economy – some supportive monetarist arithmetic," Bank of England working papers 442, Bank of England.
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