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Uncertainty at the zero lower bound

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  • Taisuke Nakata

Abstract

This paper examines how the presence of uncertainty alters allocations and prices when the nominal interest rate is constrained by the zero lower bound. I conduct the analysis using a standard New Keynesian model in which the nominal interest rate is determined according to a truncated Taylor rule. I find that an increase in the variance of shocks to the discount factor process reduces consumption, inflation, and output by a substantially larger amount when the zero lower bound is binding than when it is not. Due to the zero lower bound constraint, policy functions for the real interest rates and the marginal costs of production are highly convex and concave, respectively. As a result, a mean-preserving spread in the shock distribution increases the expectation of future real interest rates and decreases the expectation of future real marginal costs, which lead forward-looking households and firms to reduce consumption and set lower prices today. The more flexible prices are, the larger the effects of uncertainty are at the zero lower bound.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2013-09.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-09

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  1. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A. & Kuester, Keith & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco, 2011. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," CEPR Discussion Papers 8528, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
  3. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78 - 121.
  4. Anton Nakov, 2006. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0637, Banco de Espa�a.
  5. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," NBER Working Papers 18420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Gust, Christopher & López-Salido, J David & Smith, Matthew E, 2012. "The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound," CEPR Discussion Papers 9214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Grey Gordon & Pablo A. Guerrón-Quintana & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2012. "Nonlinear Adventures at the Zero Lower Bound," NBER Working Papers 18058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Gust, Christopher & López-Salido, J David & Smith, Matthew E, 2012. "The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound," CEPR Discussion Papers 9214, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," NBER Working Papers 18420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2013. "The Zero Lower Bound: Frequency, Duration, and Determinacy," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2013-16, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  4. Taisuke Nakata, 2013. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with occasionally binding zero bound constraints," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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