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Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era

Author

Listed:
  • David L. Reifschneider
  • John C. Williams

Abstract

The zero lower bound on nominal interest rates constrains the central bank's ability to stimulate the economy during downturns. We use the FRB/US model to quantify the effects of the zero bound on macroeconomic stabilization and to explore how policy can be designed to minimize these effects. During particularly severe contractions, open-market operations alone may be insufficient to restore equilibrium; some other stimulus is needed. Abstracting from such rare events, if policy follows the Taylor rule and targets a zero-inflation rate, there is a significant increase in the variability of output but not inflation. However, a simple modification to the Taylor rule yields a dramatic reduction in the detrimental effects of the zero bound.

Suggested Citation

  • David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2000. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low-inflation era," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, pages 936-978.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedbcp:y:2000:p:936-978
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