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The Liquidity Trap in an Open Economy

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  • Buiter, Willem H.

Abstract

The Paper studies the implications of the zero lower bound on the short nominal rate of interest for the conduct of monetary policy in a small open economy with a floating exchange rate and perfect international capital mobility. Monetary policy affects aggregate demand through the real exchange rate. When monetary policy follows a simplified Taylor rule for the short nominal interest rate, there exists a unique solution orbit that leads to the normal steady state. For any initial inflation rate below the target inflation rate (the normal steady-state rate of inflation under the Taylor rule), there also exists a continuum of other solution orbits that do not converge to the normal steady state but instead circle the liquidity trap steady state. Along these solution orbits, periods of rising inflation and excess demand alternate with periods of falling inflation and excess capacity. For some solution orbits, nominal interest rates are at the zero lower bound for all maturities – the pure liquidity trap case. For others, nominal interest rates beyond a certain maturity will be positive. By adopting a rule for the short nominal interest rate on currency that systematically keeps it below the short nominal interest rate on non-monetary securities, the lower bound on the short nominal interest rate on non-monetary securities is eliminated and the liquidity trap disappears. This rule may involve paying negative interest on currency, or taxing currency. Proposals for taxing currency go back at least to Gesell. They inevitably involve non-trivial problems of administration and enforcement.

Suggested Citation

  • Buiter, Willem H., 2001. "The Liquidity Trap in an Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 2923, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2923
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2001. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-2), pages 40-69, January.
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    5. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 535-563, June.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Günter Coenen & Volker W. Wieland, 2004. "Exchange-Rate Policy and the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 80-84, May.
    2. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The zero-interest-rate bound and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1071-1101, July.
    3. 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.
    4. Coenen, Gunter & Wieland, Volker, 2004. "Exchange-rate policy and the zero bound on nominal interest rates," MPRA Paper 76687, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Coenen, Guenter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The Zero-Interest-Rate and the Role of the Exchange Rate for Monetary Policy in Japan," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Gesell; international capital mobility; Liquidity trap; taxing money;

    JEL classification:

    • E41 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Demand for Money
    • E42 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Monetary Sytsems; Standards; Regimes; Government and the Monetary System
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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