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Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Great Recession: Estimating the Macroeconomic Effects of a Spread Compression at the Zero Lower Bound

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Author Info

  • Christiane Baumeister

    (Bank of Canada)

  • Luca Benati

    (University of Bern)

Abstract

We explore the macroeconomic effects of a compression in the long-term bond yield spread within the context of the Great Recession of 2007–09 via a time-varying parameter structural VAR model. We identify a “pure” spread shock defined as a shock that leaves the policy rate unchanged, which allows us to characterize the macroeconomic consequences of a decline in the yield spread induced by central banks’ asset purchases within an environment in which the policy rate is constrained by the effective zero lower bound. Two key findings stand out. First, compressions in the long-term yield spread exert a powerful effect on both output growth and inflation. Second, conditional on available estimates of the impact of the Federal Reserve’s and the Bank of England’s asset purchase programs on long-term yield spreads, our counterfactual simulations suggest that U.S. and U.K. unconventional monetary policy actions have averted significant risks both of deflation and of output collapses comparable to those that took place during the Great Depression.

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Bibliographic Info

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

Volume (Year): 9 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 165-212

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Handle: RePEc:ijc:ijcjou:y:2013:q:2:a:9

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Cited by:
  1. Goodness C. Aye & Rangan Gupta & Mampho P. Modise, 2012. "Do Stock Prices Impact Consumption and Interest Rate in South Africa? Evidence from a Time-Varying Vector Autoregressive Model," Working Papers 201224, University of Pretoria, Department of Economics.
  2. M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron P. Smith, 2012. "Counterfactual Analysis in Macroeconometrics: An Empirical Investigation into the Effects of Quantitative Easing," CESifo Working Paper Series 3879, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. João Barata R. B. Barroso & Luiz A. Pereira da Silva & Adriana Soares Sales, 2013. "Quantitative Easing and Related Capital Flows into Brazil: measuring its effects and transmission channels through a rigorous counterfactual evaluation," Working Papers Series 313, Central Bank of Brazil, Research Department.
  4. Carlo Altavilla & Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza, 2014. "The Financial and Macroeconomic Effects of the OMT Announcements," CSEF Working Papers 352, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.

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