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Escaping the Great Recession

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  • Francesco Bianchi
  • Leonardo Melosi

Abstract

We show that policy uncertainty about how the rising public debt will be stabilized accounts for the lack of deflation in the US economy at the zero lower bound. We first estimate a Markov-switching VAR to highlight that a zero-lower-bound regime captures most of the comovements during the Great Recession: a deep recession, no deflation, and large fiscal imbalances. We then show that a microfounded model that features policy uncertainty accounts for these stylized facts. Finally, we highlight that policy uncertainty arises at the zero lower bound because of a trade-off between mitigating the recession and preserving long-run macroeconomic stability.

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  • Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Escaping the Great Recession," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(4), pages 1030-1058, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:4:p:1030-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20160186
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    Cited by:

    1. Schmidt, Sebastian, 2016. "Lack of confidence, the zero lower bound, and the virtue of fiscal rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 36-53.
    2. Francesco Bianchi & Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales, 2014. "Growth, Slowdowns, and Recoveries," NBER Working Papers 20725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Andrew Binning & Junior Maih, 2016. "Implementing the zero lower bound in an estimated regime-switching DSGE model," Working Paper 2016/3, Norges Bank.
    4. Andrew Binning & Junior Maih, 2017. "Modelling Occasionally Binding Constraints Using Regime-Switching," Working Paper 2017/23, Norges Bank.
    5. Bianchi, Francesco & Melosi, Leonardo, 2017. "The Dire Effects of the Lack of Monetary and Fiscal Coordination," Working Paper Series WP-2017-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    6. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    7. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2017. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(8), pages 2409-2454, August.
    8. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1971-2006 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Kulish, Mariano & Morley, James & Robinson, Tim, 2017. "Estimating DSGE models with zero interest rate policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 35-49.
    10. Corsetti, G. & Dedola, L. & Jarocinsk, M. & Mackowiak, B., 2016. "Macroeconomic Stabilization, Monetary-fiscal Interactions, and Europe’s monetary Union," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1675, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    11. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-46.
    12. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2017. "Estimating the real effects of uncertainty shocks at the Zero Lower Bound," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 257-272.
    13. repec:nbr:nberch:13968 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Bartosz Mackowiak & Marek Jarocinski, 2017. "Monetary-Fiscal Interactions and the Euro Area’s Malaise," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Jarociński, Marek & Bobeica, Elena, 2017. "Missing disinflation and missing inflation: the puzzles that aren't," Working Paper Series 2000, European Central Bank.
    16. Corsetti, Giancarlo & Dedola, Luca & Jarociński, Marek & Maćkowiak, Bartosz & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2016. "Macroeconomic stabilization, monetary-fiscal interactions, and Europe’s monetary union," Working Paper Series 1988, European Central Bank.
    17. repec:eee:jpolmo:v:39:y:2017:i:2:p:247-271 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales & Francesco Bianchi, 2015. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Asset Prices," 2015 Meeting Papers 1224, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. repec:eee:moneco:v:90:y:2017:i:c:p:176-192 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Christopher Gust & Edward Herbst & David López-Salido & Matthew E. Smith, 2017. "The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(7), pages 1971-2006, July.
    21. Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales & Alexandre Corhay, 2017. "Fiscal Discount Rates and Debt Maturity," 2017 Meeting Papers 840, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    22. Albuquerque, Bruno & Baumann, Ursel, 2017. "Will US inflation awake from the dead? The role of slack and non-linearities in the Phillips curve," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 247-271.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

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