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Asset purchase policy at the effective lower bound for interest rates

  • Harrison, Richard

    ()

    (Bank of England)

This paper studies optimal policy in a stylised New Keynesian model that is extended to incorporate imperfect substitutability between short-term and long-term bonds. This simple modification provides a channel through which asset purchases by the policy maker can affect aggregate demand. Because assets are imperfect substitutes, central bank asset purchases that alter the relative supplies of assets can influence their prices. In the model, aggregate demand depends on the prices (or interest rates) of both long-term and short-term bonds. To the extent that central bank asset purchases reduce long-term interest rates (over and above the effect of expected future short rates), aggregate demand can be stimulated, leading to higher inflation through a standard New Keynesian Phillips Curve. However, the imperfect substitutability between bonds that gives asset purchases their traction also reduces the potency of conventional monetary policy because reductions in the short-term nominal interest rate reduce the relative supply of short-term bonds, increasing the premium on long-term bonds. Nevertheless, a policy in which the policymaker uses asset purchases as an additional policy instrument can improve outcomes in the face of a negative demand shock that drives the short-term policy rate to its lower bound. This is true even if asset purchases policies are also subject to (both upper and lower) bounds.

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Paper provided by Bank of England in its series Bank of England working papers with number 444.

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Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: 27 Jan 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boe:boeewp:0444
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  1. Jung, Taehun & Teranishi, Yuki & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero-Interest-Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 813-35, October.
  2. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2004. "Optimal monetary policy under commitment with a zero bound on nominal interest rates," Working Paper Series 0377, European Central Bank.
  3. Pierpaolo Benigno & Michael Woodford, 2006. "Linear-Quadratic Approximation of Optimal Policy Problems," NBER Working Papers 12672, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kenneth Kuttner, 2006. "Can Central Banks Target Bond Prices?," NBER Working Papers 12454, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2010. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," CQER Working Paper 2010-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Conventional and unconventional monetary policy," Staff Reports 404, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Joyce, Michael & Lasaosa, Ana & Stevens , Ibrahim & Tong, Matthew, 2010. "The financial market impact of quantitative easing," Bank of England working papers 393, Bank of England.
  8. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  9. Anton Nakov, 2008. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2), pages 73-127, June.
  10. Javier Andres & J. David López-Salido & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Tobin's imperfect asset substitution in optimizing general equilibrium," Working Papers 2004-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  11. Gertler, Mark & Karadi, Peter, 2011. "A model of unconventional monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 17-34, January.
  12. Dennis, Richard, 2007. "Optimal Policy In Rational Expectations Models: New Solution Algorithms," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 31-55, February.
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