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Quantitative easing: a sceptical survey

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  • Christopher Martin
  • Costas Milas

Abstract

Evaluation of quantitative easing (QE) is difficult as it is only used in response to severe and unusual economic difficulties. Despite this, we argue that two main conclusions can be drawn from a sceptical reading of the evidence. First, large-scale asset purchases reduce government bond rates, especially at the longer end of the yield curve. However, this effect may be temporary and is small if bond rates are already low, while initial waves of QE are more effective than subsequent programmes. Second, QE appears to have been effective in late 2008 and 2009, preventing even larger declines in output and inflation than were experienced. We argue that the literature is limited, relying on similar methodologies and largely originating in central banks. Exploration of alternative approaches to QE would be useful in widening an evidence base that is currently too narrow. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher Martin & Costas Milas, 2012. "Quantitative easing: a sceptical survey," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 750-764, WINTER.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:28:y:2012:i:4:p:750-764
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/oxrep/grs029
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    Cited by:

    1. Tyers, Rod, 2015. "International effects of China's rise and transition: Neoclassical and Keynesian perspectives," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Massimo Guidolin & Alexei G. Orlov & Manuela Pedio, 2014. "Understanding the Impact of Monetary Policy Shocks on the Corporate Bond Market in Good and Bad Times: A Markov Switching Model," BAFFI CAREFIN Working Papers 1623, BAFFI CAREFIN, Centre for Applied Research on International Markets Banking Finance and Regulation, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy.
    3. Francis Breedon & Jagjit S Chadha & Alex Waters, 2012. "The financial market impact of UK quantitative easing," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Threat of fiscal dominance?, volume 65, pages 277-304 Bank for International Settlements.
    4. Mamatzakis, Emmanuel & Bermpei, Theodora, 2014. "What drives investment bank performance? The role of risk, liquidity and fees prior to and during the crisis," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 102-117.
    5. Manuel Sanchez, 2016. "The Powers and Limits of Monetary Policy," Cato Journal, Cato Journal, Cato Institute, vol. 36(2), pages 269-278, Spring/Su.
    6. Engelbert Stockhammer & collin constantine & Severin Reissl, 2016. "Explaining the Euro crisis: Current account imbalances, credit booms and economic policy in different economic paradigms," Working Papers PKWP1617, Post Keynesian Economics Study Group (PKSG).
    7. repec:eee:jbfina:v:80:y:2017:i:c:p:176-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Guidolin, Massimo & Orlov, Alexei G. & Pedio, Manuela, 2017. "The impact of monetary policy on corporate bonds under regime shifts," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 176-202.
    9. Steeley, James M. & Matyushkin, Alexander, 2015. "The effects of quantitative easing on the volatility of the gilt-edged market," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 37(C), pages 113-128.
    10. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Walker Ray, 2017. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing: Taking a Cue from Treasury Auctions," NBER Working Papers 24122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Issing, Otmar, 2013. "A new paradigm for monetary policy?," CFS Working Paper Series 2013/02, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
    12. repec:eee:reveco:v:51:y:2017:i:c:p:174-192 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. David Cobham, 2013. "Monetary policy under the Labour government: the first 13 years of the MPC," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(1), pages 47-70, SPRING.
    14. repec:bla:intfin:v:20:y:2017:i:2:p:174-188 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:eee:finana:v:52:y:2017:i:c:p:281-291 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Christopher Bowdler & Amar Radia, 2012. "Unconventional monetary policy: the assessment," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 603-621, WINTER.
    17. David Cobham, 2013. "Monetary policy under the Labour government 1997-2010: the first 13 years of the MPC," Heriot-Watt University Economics Discussion Papers 1302, Department of Economics, School of Management and Languages, Heriot Watt University.
    18. Florackis, Chris & Giorgioni, Gianluigi & Kostakis, Alexandros & Milas, Costas, 2014. "On stock market illiquidity and real-time GDP growth," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 210-229.
    19. Matthias Neuenkirch, 2016. "An Unconventional Approach to Evaluate the Bank of England's Asset Purchase Program," Research Papers in Economics 2016-11, University of Trier, Department of Economics.
    20. De Santis, Roberto A., 2016. "Impact of the asset purchase programme on euro area government bond yields using market news," Working Paper Series 1939, European Central Bank.
    21. Ryan-Collins, Josh & Werner, Richard A. & Castle, Jennifer, 2016. "A half-century diversion of monetary policy? An empirical horse-race to identify the UK variable most likely to deliver the desired nominal GDP growth rate," Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 158-176.
    22. Amaral, Pedro S., 2017. "Monetary Policy and Inequality," Economic Commentary, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, issue January.
    23. Michael Ellington & Costas Milas, 2014. "Global liquidity, money growth and UK inflation," Working Paper series 21_14, Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
    24. Steeley, James M., 2015. "The side effects of quantitative easing: Evidence from the UK bond market," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 303-336.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • 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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