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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. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Grey Gordon & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2012. "Nonlinear adventures at the zero lower bound," Working Papers 12-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan Rubio-Ramirez, 2011. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-022, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  4. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2011. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 774, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 20 Sep 2012.
  5. 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.
  6. Anton Nakov, 2008. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2), pages 73-127, June.
  7. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2004. "Optimal monetary policy under commitment with a zero bound on nominal interest rates," CFS Working Paper Series 2004/13, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  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. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty shocks in a model of effective demand," Working Papers 12-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  2. 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.
  3. Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2014. "The Zero Lower Bound: Frequency, Duration, and Numerical Convergence," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-09, 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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