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Limitations on the Effectiveness of Forward Guidance at the Zero Lower Bound

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  • Andrew Levin

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • David López-Salido

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Edward Nelson

    (Federal Reserve Board)

  • Yack Yun

    (Federal Reserve Board)

Abstract

The recent literature on monetary policy in the presence of a zero lower bound on interest rates has shown that forward guidance regarding the path of interest rates can be very effective in preserving macroeconomic stability in the face of a contractionary demand shock; moreover, that literature apparently leaves little scope for any further improvements in stabilization performance via non-traditional monetary policies. In this paper, we characterize optimal policy under commitment in a prototypical New Keynesian model and examine whether those conclusions are sensitive to the specifiation of the shock process and to the interest elasticity of aggregate demand. Although forward guidance is effective in offsetting natural rate shocks of moderate size and persistence, we find that the macroeconomic outcomes are much less appealing for larger and more persistent shocks, especially when the interest elasticity parameter is set to values widely used in the literature. Thus, while forward guidance could be suffcient for mitigating the effects of a "Great Moderation"-style shock, a combination of forward guidance and other monetary policy measures - such as large-scale asset purchases - might well be called for in responding to a "Great Recession"-style shock.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by International Journal of Central Banking in its journal International Journal of Central Banking.

Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 143-189

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2010:q:1:a:8

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  1. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Estimation and control of an optimization-based model with sticky prices and wages," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 27(7), pages 1181-1215, May.
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  1. > Macroeconomics > Monetary Theory
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Cited by:
  1. Michael Hatcher, 2013. "Indexed versus nominal government debt under inflation and price-level targeting," Working Papers 2013_11, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  2. Gavin, William T. & Keen, Benjamin D. & Richter, Alexander & Throckmorton, Nathaniel, 2013. "The stimulative effect of forward guidance," Working Papers 2013-38, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised 30 Apr 2014.
  3. Jouchi Nakajima & Shigenori Shiratsuka & Yuki Teranishi, 2010. "The Effects of Monetary Policy Commitment: Evidence from Time- varying Parameter VAR Analysis," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-06, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  4. Kozo Ueda, 2010. "A Time-Invariant Duration Policy under the Zero Lower Bound," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-12, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
  5. Michael Hatcher, 2013. "Aggregate and welfare effects of long run inflation risk under inflation and price-level targeting," Working Papers 2013_03, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
  6. Gerberding, Christina & Gerke, Rafael & Hammermann, Felix, 2012. "Price-level targeting when there is price-level drift," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 757-768.
  7. Stephan Fahr & Roberto Motto & Massimo Rostagno & Frank Smets & Oreste Tristani, 2013. "A monetary policy strategy in good and bad times: lessons from the recent past," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 28(74), pages 243-288, 04.
  8. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Optimal Monetary Stabilization Policy," Discussion Papers 0910-18, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  9. Hess Chung & Edward Herbst & Michael Kiley, 2014. "Effective Monetary Policy Strategies in New-Keynesian Models: A Re-Examination," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2014, Volume 29 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Hatcher, Michael C. & Minford, Patrick, 2013. "Stabilization policy, rational expectations and price-level versus inflation targeting: a survey," Cardiff Economics Working Papers E2013/14, Cardiff University, Cardiff Business School, Economics Section.
  11. Maria Lucia Florez-Jimenez & Julian A. Parra-Polania, 2014. "Forward guidance with an escape clause: When half a promise is better than a full one," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 011143, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  12. Bodenstein, Martin & Hebden, James & Nunes, Ricardo, 2012. "Imperfect credibility and the zero lower bound," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 135-149.
  13. Carlstrom, Charles & Fuerst, Timothy & Paustian, Matthias, 2012. "Inflation and output in New Keynesian models with a transient interest rate peg," Bank of England working papers 459, Bank of England.
  14. Kiley, Michael T., 2014. "Policy Paradoxes in the New Keynesian Model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  15. Tambakis, Demosthenes N., 2014. "On the risk of long-run deflation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(2), pages 176-181.
  16. Bennani, Hamza, 2014. "The art of central banks' forward guidance at the zero lower bound," MPRA Paper 57043, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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