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Policy Interaction, Expectations and the Liquidity Trap


  • George W. Evans

    (University of Oregon)

  • Seppo Honkapohja

    (University of Helsinki)


We consider inflation and debt dynamics under a global interest rate rule when private agents forecast using adaptive learning. Given the zero lower bound on interest rates, active interest rate rules are known to imply the existence of a second, low-inflation steady state. Under learning the economy can slip below this low-inflation steady state and be driven to an even lower inflation floor supported by a switch to an aggressive money supply rule. Fiscal policy alone cannot push the economy out of this liquidity trap. Raising the inflation floor sufficiently can ensure a return to the target equilibrium. (Copyright: Elsevier)

Suggested Citation

  • George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2005. "Policy Interaction, Expectations and the Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 303-323, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:issued:v:8:y:2005:i:2:p:303-323
    DOI: 10.1016/

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Bullard, James & Cho, In-Koo, 2005. "Escapist policy rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1841-1865, November.
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    7. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1995. "Local Convergence of Recursive Learning to Steady States and Cycles in Stochastic Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(1), pages 195-206, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
    2. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Expectations, Learning and Monetary Policy: An Overview of Recent Research," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 2, pages 027-076 Central Bank of Chile.
    3. Gibbs, Christopher G., 2018. "Learning to believe in secular stagnation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 50-54.
    4. Stefano Eusepi, 2008. "Central bank transparency and nonlinear learning dynamics," Staff Reports 342, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    5. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert, 2011. "Internal rationality, imperfect market knowledge and asset prices," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1224-1252, May.
    6. Bullard, James & Cho, In-Koo, 2005. "Escapist policy rules," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1841-1865, November.
    7. Benhabib, Jess & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2014. "Liquidity traps and expectation dynamics: Fiscal stimulus or fiscal austerity?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 220-238.
    8. Evans, George W. & Guse, Eran & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2008. "Liquidity traps, learning and stagnation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1438-1463, November.
    9. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2009. "Expectations, deflation traps and macroeconomic policy," Research Discussion Papers 24/2009, Bank of Finland.
    10. Emanuel Gasteiger, 2013. "Do heterogeneous expectations constitute a challenge for policy interaction?," Working Papers Series 2 13-02, ISCTE-IUL, Business Research Unit (BRU-IUL).
    11. Karel R. S. M. Mertens & Morten O. Ravn, 2014. "Fiscal Policy in an Expectations-Driven Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(4), pages 1637-1667.
    12. Todd E. Clark & Michael W. McCracken, 2006. "Forecasting of small macroeconomic VARs in the presence of instabilities," Research Working Paper RWP 06-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
    13. Bartholomew Moore, 2016. "The stability of learning prior to an anticipated change in the target inflation rate," International Journal of Monetary Economics and Finance, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 9(3), pages 267-293.
    14. Alstadheim Ragna & Henderson Dale W., 2006. "Price-Level Determinacy, Lower Bounds on the Nominal Interest Rate, and Liquidity Traps," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-27, November.
    15. André, Marine Charlotte & Dai, Meixing, 2017. "Is central bank conservatism desirable under learning?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 281-296.
    16. Gomes, S. & Jacquinot, P. & Mestre, R. & Sousa, J., 2015. "Global policy at the zero lower bound in a large-scale DSGE model," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 134-153.
    17. George W. Evans, 2008. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy under Learning in the Presence of a Liquidity Trap," Monetary and Economic Studies, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan, vol. 26, pages 59-86, December.
    18. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2008. "Stabilizing expectations under monetary and fiscal policy coordination," Staff Reports 343, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    19. Loisel, O., 2006. "Bubble-free interest-rate rules," Working papers 161, Banque de France.
    20. Ryo Kato & Yoko Takeda, 2004. "Reviewing US Monetary Policy in Disinflation Era: A Primer," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 04-E-13, Bank of Japan.
    21. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
    22. Séverine Menguy, 2016. "Optimal Discretionary Monetary Policy in A Potential Zero Lower Bound Framework," International Journal of Economics and Financial Research, Academic Research Publishing Group, vol. 2(6), pages 104-126, 06-2016.

    More about this item


    Adaptive Learning; Monetary Policy; Fiscal Policy; Zero Interest Rate Lower Bound; Indeterminacy;

    JEL classification:

    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • 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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