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Long-Term Debt Pricing and Monetary Policy Transmission under Imperfect Knowledge

  • Eusepi, Stefano
  • Giannoni, Marc
  • Preston, Bruce

Under rational expectations monetary policy is generally highly effective in stabilizing the economy. Aggregate demand management operates through the expectations hypothesis of the term structure --- anticipated movements in future short-term interest rates control current demand. This paper explores the effects of monetary policy under imperfect knowledge and incomplete markets. In this environment the expectations hypothesis of the yield curve need not hold, a situation called unanchored financial market expectations. Whether or not financial market expectations are anchored, private sector imperfect knowledge mitigates the efficacy of optimal monetary policy. Under anchored expectations, slow adjustment of interest-rate beliefs limits scope to adjust current interest-rate policy in response to evolving macroeconomic conditions. Imperfect knowledge represents an additional distortion confronting policy, leading to greater inflation and output volatility relative to rational expectations. Under unanchored expectations, current interest-rate policy is divorced from interest-rate expectations. This permits aggressive adjustment in current interest-rate policy to stabilize inflation and output. However, unanchored expectations are shown to raise significantly the probability of encountering the zero lower bound constraint on nominal interest rates. This constraint is more severe the longer is the average maturity structure of the public debt.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8845.

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Date of creation: Feb 2012
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8845
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  1. Milani, Fabio, 2007. "Expectations, learning and macroeconomic persistence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(7), pages 2065-2082, October.
  2. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Michael Woodford & Marc P. Giannoni, 2010. "Optimal Target Criteria for Stabilization Policy," 2010 Meeting Papers 932, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Bruce Preston & Stefano Eusepi, 2011. "The maturity structure of debt, monetary policy and expectations stabilization," 2011 Meeting Papers 1287, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2012. "Debt, Policy Uncertainty, And Expectations Stabilization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 860-886, 08.
  6. 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.
  7. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  8. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-22, December.
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