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The stimulative effect of forward guidance

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  • Gavin, William T.

    ()
    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Keen, Benjamin D.

    ()
    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Richter, Alexander

    ()
    (Auburn University)

  • Throckmorton, Nathaniel

    ()
    (Indiana University)

Abstract

This paper examines the stimulative effect of central bank forward guidance—the promise to keep future policy rates lower than its policy rule suggests—when the short-term nominal interest rate is stuck at its zero lower bound (ZLB).We utilize a standard New Keynesian model in which forward guidance enters our model as news shocks to the monetary policy rule. Three key findings emerge: (1) Forward guidance is more stimulative at the ZLB when households believe the economic recovery will be strong. When households expect a weak recovery or initially have low confidence in the economy, forward guidance is less stimulative because interest rates are already expected to remain low; (2) Longer forward guidance horizons do not cause the stimulative effect to explode or reverse, but rather spread the effect across the entire horizon; and (3) Failing to include a ZLB constraint causes the model to substantially overstate the stimulative effect of forward guidance. Given those findings, we use Blue Chip survey data to compare our model’s predictions of the stimulative effect of forward guidance to data before and after the Fed’s historic policy announcement on August 9, 2011. The results in that case study provide an explanation for the Forward Guidance Puzzle—the claim that New Keynesian models overestimate the effect of forward guidance.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2013-38.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: 30 Apr 2014
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2013-038

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Keywords: Monetary Policy; Forward Guidance; Zero Lower Bound; Global Solution Method;

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  1. 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.
  2. William T. Gavin & Benjamin D. Keen & Alexander Richter & Nathaniel Throckmorton, 2013. "Global dynamics at the zero lower bound," Working Papers 2013-007, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  3. Refet Gürkaynak & Brian Sack, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words?The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 323, Society for Computational Economics.
  4. Alexander L. Wolman, 1999. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1152, Society for Computational Economics.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Wilbur John Coleman II, 1989. "Equilibrium in a production economy with an income tax," International Finance Discussion Papers 366, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  9. 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.
  10. R. Anton Braun & Lena Mareen Körber & Yuichiro Waki, 2012. "Some unpleasant properties of log-linearized solutions when the nominal rate is zero," Working Paper 2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Andrew Levin & David López-Salido & Edward Nelson & Yack Yun, 2010. "Limitations on the Effectiveness of Forward Guidance at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 6(1), pages 143-189, March.
  12. Todd B. Walker & Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2014. "Accuracy, Speed and Robustness of Policy Function Iteration," Auburn Economics Working Paper Series auwp2014-08, Department of Economics, Auburn University.
  13. S. Borağan Aruoba & Pablo Cuba-Borda & Frank Schorfheide, 2013. "Macroeconomic Dynamics Near the ZLB: A Tale of Two Countries," NBER Working Papers 19248, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. S. Boragan Aruoba & Frank Schorfheide, 2013. "Macroeconomic dynamics near the ZLB: a tale of two equilibria," Working Papers 13-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
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