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Is there a zero lower bound? The effects of negative policy rates on banks and firms

Author

Listed:
  • Altavilla, Carlo
  • Burlon, Lorenzo
  • Giannetti, Mariassunta
  • Holton, Sarah

Abstract

Exploiting confidential data from the euro area, we show that sound banks can pass negative rates on to their corporate depositors without experiencing a contraction in funding. These pass-through effects become stronger as policy rates move deeper into negative territory. Banks offering negative rates provide more credit than other banks suggesting that the transmission mechanism of monetary policy is not hampered. The negative interest rate policy (NIRP) provides further stimulus to the economy through firms’ asset rebalancing. Firms with high current assets linked to banks offering negative rates appear to increase their investment in tangible and intangible assets and to decrease their cash holdings to avoid the costs associated with negative rates. Overall, our results challenge the commonly held view that conventional monetary policy becomes ineffective when policy rates reach the zero lower bound. JEL Classification: E52, E43, G21, D22, D25

Suggested Citation

  • Altavilla, Carlo & Burlon, Lorenzo & Giannetti, Mariassunta & Holton, Sarah, 2019. "Is there a zero lower bound? The effects of negative policy rates on banks and firms," Working Paper Series 2289, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20192289
    Note: 2279334
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Carlo Altavilla & Marco Pagano & Saverio Simonelli, 2017. "Bank Exposures and Sovereign Stress Transmission," Review of Finance, European Finance Association, vol. 21(6), pages 2103-2139.
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    Cited by:

    1. Darmouni, Olivier & Geisecke, Oliver & Rodnyanky, Alexander, 2019. "The Bond Lending Channel of Monetary Policy," MPRA Paper 95141, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    corporate channel; lending channel; monetary policy; negative rates;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • 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
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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