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The Perils of Taylor Rules

Author

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  • Benhabib, Jess
  • Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie
  • Uribe, Martin

Abstract

Since John Taylor's (1993) seminal paper, a large literature has argued that active interest rate feedback rules, that is, rules that respond to increases in inflation with a more than one-for-one increase in the nominal interest rate, are stabilizing. In this paper, we argue that once the zero bound on nominal interest rates is taken into account, active interest rate feedback rules can easily lead to unexpected consequences. Specifically, we show that even if the steady state at which monetary policy is active, is locally the unique equilibrium, typically there exists an infinite number of equilibrium trajectories originating arbitrarily close to that steady state, that converge to a liquidity trap, that is, a steady state in which the nominal interest rate is near zero and inflation is possibly negative.
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Suggested Citation

  • Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1998. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," Working Papers 98-37, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  • Handle: RePEc:cvs:starer:98-37
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Prescott, Edward C., 1986. "Theory ahead of business-cycle measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 11-44, January.
    2. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2000. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 211-246, February.
    3. Clarida, Richard & Gali, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary policy rules in practice Some international evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(6), pages 1033-1067, June.
    4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    5. Ben S. Bernanke & Michael Woodford, 1997. "Inflation forecasts and monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 653-686.
    6. Taylor, John B., 1999. "The robustness and efficiency of monetary policy rules as guidelines for interest rate setting by the European central bank," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3), pages 655-679, June.
    7. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Jess Benhabib & Martin Uribe, 2001. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(1), pages 167-186, March.
    8. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G, 1997. "Returns to Scale in U.S. Production: Estimates and Implications," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(2), pages 249-283, April.
    9. Ben S. Bernanke & Julio J. Rotemberg (ed.), 1997. "NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026252242x, March.
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    11. Sbordone, Argia M., 2002. "Prices and unit labor costs: a new test of price stickiness," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 265-292, March.
    12. Andrew T.. Levin & Volker Wieland & John Williams, 1999. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 263-318 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    interest rate feedback rules; zero bound on nominal rates; liquidity traps; multiple equilibria;

    JEL classification:

    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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