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Monetary and Fiscal Policy Design at the Zero Lower Bound - Evidence from the Lab

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  • Hommes, C.H.

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Massaro, D.

    (University of Amsterdam)

  • Salle, I.

    (University of Amsterdam)

Abstract

The global economic crisis of 2007-8 pushed many advanced economies into a liquidity trap, a macroeconomic scenario characterised by nominal rates at the zero lower bound (ZLB), low inflation and output below trend. We design an experiment to generate empirical evidence on the effectiveness of policies aimed at managing expectations against liquidity traps in a controlled laboratory environment where expectations are elicited directly from human subjects. Our results suggest that monetary policy alone is not sufficient to insulate the economy from the risk of falling into a liquidity trap, even if it preventively cuts the interest rate when inflation threatens to fall below a certain threshold. However, such policy augmented with a fiscal switching rule succeeds in avoiding and escaping liquidity trap episodes. We also measure larger-than-unity fiscal multipliers when monetary policy is constrained by the ZLB. Experimental results in different treatments are well explained by adaptive learning.

Suggested Citation

  • Hommes, C.H. & Massaro, D. & Salle, I., 2015. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Design at the Zero Lower Bound - Evidence from the Lab," CeNDEF Working Papers 15-11, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Center for Nonlinear Dynamics in Economics and Finance.
  • Handle: RePEc:ams:ndfwpp:15-11
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    Cited by:

    1. Arifovic, Jasmina & Petersen, Luba, 2017. "Stabilizing expectations at the zero lower bound: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 21-43.
    2. Ahrens, Steffen & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Tettamanzi, Michele, 2017. "The Stabilizing Role of Forward Guidance: A Macro Experiment," VfS Annual Conference 2017 (Vienna): Alternative Structures for Money and Banking 168063, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Kryvtsov, Oleksiy & Petersen, Luba, 2021. "Central bank communication that works: Lessons from lab experiments," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 760-780.
    4. Hommes, Cars & Lustenhouwer, Joep, 2019. "Inflation targeting and liquidity traps under endogenous credibility," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 107(C), pages 48-62.
    5. Assenza, T. & Heemeijer, P. & Hommes, C.H. & Massaro, D., 2021. "Managing self-organization of expectations through monetary policy: A macro experiment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 170-186.
    6. Cars Hommes & Anita Kopányi-Peuker & Joep Sonnemans, 2021. "Bubbles, crashes and information contagion in large-group asset market experiments," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 24(2), pages 414-433, June.
    7. Ryan Rholes & Luba Petersen, 2020. "Should central banks communicate uncertainty in their projections?," Discussion Papers dp20-01, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University.
    8. Lustenhouwer, Joep, 2020. "Fiscal Stimulus In Expectations-Driven Liquidity Traps," Working Papers 0683, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    9. Lustenhouwer, Joep, 2018. "Fiscal stimulus in an expectation driven liquidity trap," BERG Working Paper Series 138, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    10. Hommes, Cars & Massaro, Domenico & Weber, Matthias, 2019. "Monetary policy under behavioral expectations: Theory and experiment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 118(C), pages 193-212.
    11. Hommes, Cars & Makarewicz, Tomasz, 2021. "Price level versus inflation targeting under heterogeneous expectations: a laboratory experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 182(C), pages 39-82.
    12. Rholes, Ryan & Petersen, Luba, 2021. "Should central banks communicate uncertainty in their projections?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 320-341.
    13. Ahrens, Steffen & Lustenhouwer, Joep & Tettamanzi, Michele, 2018. "The stabilizing role of forward guidance: A macro experiment," BERG Working Paper Series 137, Bamberg University, Bamberg Economic Research Group.
    14. Jasmina Arifovic & Alex Grimaud & Isabelle Salle & Gauthier Vermandel, 2020. "Social Learning and Monetary Policy at the Effective Lower Bound," Staff Working Papers 20-2, Bank of Canada.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E70 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • C92 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Group Behavior
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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