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The zero lower bound: frequency, duration, and numerical convergence

Author

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  • Richter Alexander W.

    (Department of Economics, Auburn University, 0332 Haley Center, Auburn, AL, USA)

  • Throckmorton Nathaniel A.

    (Department of Economics, Indiana University and DePauw University, 7 E Larabee St, Harrison Hall, Greencastle, IN, USA)

Abstract

When monetary policy faces a zero lower bound (ZLB) constraint on the nominal interest rate, a minimum state variable (MSV) solution may not exist even if the Taylor principle holds when the ZLB does not bind. This paper shows there is a clear tradeoff between the expected frequency and average duration of ZLB events along the boundary of the convergence region – the region of the parameter space where our policy function iteration algorithm converges to an MSV solution. We show this tradeoff with two alternative stochastic processes: one where monetary policy follows a 2-state Markov chain, which exogenously governs whether the ZLB binds, and the other where ZLB events are endogenous due to discount factor or technology shocks. We also show that small changes in the parameters of the stochastic processes cause meaningful differences in the decision rules and where the ZLB binds in the state space.

Suggested Citation

  • Richter Alexander W. & Throckmorton Nathaniel A., 2015. "The zero lower bound: frequency, duration, and numerical convergence," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:15:y:2015:i:1:p:26:n:7
    DOI: 10.1515/bejm-2013-0185
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    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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