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Negative nominal interest rates: Three ways to overcome the zero lower bound

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  • Buiter, Willem H.

Abstract

The paper considers three methods for eliminating the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates and thus for restoring symmetry to the domain over which the Central Bank can vary its official policy rate. They are: (1) abolishing currency (which would also be a useful crime-fighting measure); (2) paying negative interest on currency by taxing currency; and (3) decoupling the numéraire from the currency/medium of exchange/means of payment and introducing an exchange rate between the numéraire and the currency; this exchange rate can be set over time to achieve a forward discount (expected depreciation) of the currency vis-à-vis the numéraire when the nominal interest rate in terms of the numéraire is set at a negative level for monetary policy purposes.

Suggested Citation

  • Buiter, Willem H., 2009. "Negative nominal interest rates: Three ways to overcome the zero lower bound," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 213-238, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecofin:v:20:y:2009:i:3:p:213-238
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Buiter, Willem H. & Sibert, Anne C., 2007. "Deflationary Bubbles," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(04), pages 431-454, September.
    2. M. Fase, 2005. "On Economics and Religion," De Economist, Springer, vol. 153(1), pages 85-106, December.
    3. Willem H. Buiter & Nikolaos Panigirtzoglou, 2003. "Overcoming the zero bound on nominal interest rates with negative interest on currency: gesell's solution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(490), pages 723-746, October.
    4. Willem H. Buiter, 2003. "Helicopter Money: Irredeemable Fiat Money and the Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 10163, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Hall Robert, 2002. "Controlling the Price Level," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-21, July.
    6. Wilko Bolt, 2006. "Retail Payments in the Netherlands: Facts and Theory," De Economist, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 345-372, September.
    7. Hall, Robert E., 1983. "Optimal fiduciary monetary systems," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 33-50.
    8. W. Bolt, 2003. "Retail Payments in the Netherlands: some Facts and Some Theory," WO Research Memoranda (discontinued) 722, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    9. Marvin Goodfriend, 2000. "Overcoming the zero bound on interest rate policy," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 1007-1057.
    10. Kenneth Rogoff, 1998. "Blessing or curse? Foreign and underground demand for euro notes," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 13(26), pages 261-303, April.
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    12. Mitsuhiro Fukao, 2005. "The Effects of 'Gesell' (Currency) Taxes in Promoting Japan's Economic Recovery," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d05-94, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    13. Willem Buiter, 2007. "Is Numérairology the Future of Monetary Economics?," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(2), pages 127-156, April.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary policy Zero interest rate policy Liquidity trap Quantitative easing Gesell Eisler;

    JEL classification:

    • B1 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925
    • B2 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought since 1925
    • B3 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought: Individuals
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue

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