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Price-Level Determinacy, Lower Bounds on the Nominal Interest Rate, and Liquidity Traps

  • Alstadheim Ragna

    ()

    (Norges Bank)

  • Henderson Dale W.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Board)

We study standard monetary-policy rules with inflation-rate targets and either interest-rate or money-supply instruments using a flexible-price, perfect-foresight model. We focus mainly on interest-rate rules, but the results for money-supply rules are analogous. A locally-unique target equilibrium always exists. There are also below-target equilibria (BTE) with inflation below target and constant or asymptotically approaching or eventually reaching a below-target value. Liquidity traps are neither necessary nor sufficient for BTE. Such equilibria can also arise if monetary policy keeps the interest rate above a lower bound. We construct monetary-policy rules that preclude BTE. All are non-monotonic and discontinuous in current inflation. Each implies a difference equation in inflation. Some of these difference equations are continuous, but others are not. They are all non-monotonic and non-differentiable at a point. We argue that Japan's difficulties in the 1990s were probably the result of a stabilization problem rather than an indeterminacy problem.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 6 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (November)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:contributions.6:y:2006:i:1:n:12
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