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The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound

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  • Christopher Gust
  • Edward Herbst
  • David López-Salido
  • Matthew E. Smith

Abstract

Using Bayesian methods, we estimate a nonlinear DSGE model in which the interest-rate lower bound is occasionally binding. We quantify the size and nature of disturbances that pushed the US economy to the lower bound in late 2008 as well as the contribution of the lower bound constraint to the resulting economic slump. We find that the interest-rate lower bound was a significant constraint on monetary policy that exacerbated the recession and inhibited the recovery, as our mean estimates imply that the zero lower bound (ZLB) accounted for about 30 percent of the sharp contraction in US GDP that occurred in 2009 and an even larger fraction of the slow recovery that followed.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1971-2006
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20121437
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • G01 - Financial Economics - - General - - - Financial Crises

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