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Macroeconomic stabilisation and monetary policy effectiveness in a low-interest-rate environment

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  • Coenen, Günter
  • Montes-Galdón, Carlos
  • Schmidt, Sebastian

Abstract

The secular decline in the equilibrium real interest rate observed over the past decades has materially limited the room for policy-rate reductions in recessions, and has led to a marked increase in the incidence of episodes where policy rates are likely to be at, or near, the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates. Using the ECB's New Area-Wide Model, we show that, if unaddressed, the effective lower bound can cause substantial costs in terms of worsened macroeconomic performance, as reflected in negative biases in inflation and economic activity, as well as heightened macroeconomic volatility. These costs can be mitigated by the use of nonstandard instruments, notably the joint use of interest-rate forward guidance and large-scale asset purchases. When considering alternatives to inflation targeting, we find that make-up strategies such as price-level targeting and average-inflation targeting can, if they are well-understood by the private sector, largely undo the negative biases and heightened volatility induced by the effective lower bound. JEL Classification: E31, E32, E37, E52, E58

Suggested Citation

  • Coenen, Günter & Montes-Galdón, Carlos & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2021. "Macroeconomic stabilisation and monetary policy effectiveness in a low-interest-rate environment," Working Paper Series 2572, European Central Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20212572
    Note: 241047
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    Cited by:

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    2. Kollmann, Robert, 2021. "Liquidity traps in a world economy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 132(C).
    3. Stéphane Dupraz & Hervé Le Bihan & Julien Matheron, 2022. "Make-up Strategies with Finite Planning Horizons but Forward-Looking Asset Prices," Working papers 862, Banque de France.
    4. Kollmann, Robert & Lubik, Thomas & Roeger, Werner, 2021. "Secular Stagnation, Low Interest Rates and Low Inflation: Causes and Implications for Policy," MPRA Paper 108979, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Cecion, Martina & Coenen, Günter & Gerke, Rafael & Le Bihan, Hervé & Motto, Roberto & Aguilar, Pablo & Ajevskis, Viktors & Giesen, Sebastian & Albertazzi, Ugo & Gilbert, Niels & Al-Haschimi, Alexander, 2021. "The ECB’s price stability framework: past experience, and current and future challenges," Occasional Paper Series 269, European Central Bank.
    6. Elfsbacka Schmöller, Michaela & Spitzer, Martin, 2022. "Lower for longer under endogenous technology growth," Research Discussion Papers 6/2022, Bank of Finland.
    7. Eleni Argiri & Ifigeneia Skotida, 2021. "The 2021 review of the monetary policy strategy of the Eurosystem: an economy of forces," Economic Bulletin, Bank of Greece, issue 54, pages 23-57, December.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    asset purchases; effective lower bound; forward guidance; make-up strategies; monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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