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Price-level determinacy, lower bounds on the nominal interest rate, and liquidity traps

We consider standard monetary-policy rules with inflation-rate targets and interest-rate or money-growth instruments using a flexible-price, perfect-foresight model. There is always a locally-unique target equilibrium. There are also below-target equilibria (BTE) with inflation always below target and constant asymptotically approaching or eventually reaching a below-target value. Liquidity traps are neither necessary or sufficient for BTE which can arise if monetary policy keeps the interest rate above a lower bound. We construct monetary-policy rules that preclude BTE, some which are monotonic in inflation but all of which are non-differentiable at a point. For standard monetary-policy rules, there are plausible fiscal policies that insure uniqueness by precluding BTE; those policies exclude perpetual surpluses and, possibly, perpetual balanced budgets.

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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2006/03.

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Length: 34 pages
Date of creation: 18 Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2006_03
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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  2. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2003. "Policy Interaction, Expectation and Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 3925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 1999. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Policy interaction, expectations, and the liquidity trap," Working Paper 2003-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  5. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  6. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1982. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," NBER Working Papers 0855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Price Level Determinacy and Monetary Policy under a Balanced-Budget Requirement," Departmental Working Papers 199833, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  10. Svensson, Lars, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," Seminar Papers 687, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  11. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Monetary policy and multiple equilibria," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "Inflation Targeting: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 1, pages 001-022 Central Bank of Chile.
  13. Benhabib, J. & Schmitt-Grohe, S. & Uribe, M., 1999. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Working Papers 99-21, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Bennett McCallum, 2001. "Inflation targeting and the liquidity trap," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  15. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2001. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1221-1238, December.
  16. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  17. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
  18. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2002. "Policy Interaction, Learning and the Fiscal Theory of Prices," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-17, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 07 Jun 2007.
  19. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1986. "Ruling out divergent speculative bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 349-362, May.
  20. Lawrence J. Christiano & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Money Growth Monitoring and the Taylor Rule," NBER Working Papers 8539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  22. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
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