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Inflation Target as a Buffer against Liquidity Trap


  • Shin-Ichi Nishiyama


In times of low-inflation, conventional monetary policy is perpetually exposed to the risk of being caught by the liquidity trap. As a part of a pre-emptive monetary policy to avoid the liquidity trap, many economists have pointed out that this risk can be possibly circumvented by targeting a small but positive inflation rate - i.e., so-called the ‘buffer’ role of an inflation target. In this paper, based on the stylized framework of a central bank's linear-quadratic dynamic optimization problem taking into account the zero lower-bound constraint on the nominal interest rate, we analyze the role of an inflation target in reducing the long run stabilization cost stemming from the liquidity trap. We prove the existence of the‘buffer’ role of small but positive inflation in the presence of a liquidity trap. Moreover, we analytically show that a central bank's loss function evaluated at the steady state is decreasing and convex function of an inflation target. Finally, these analytical properties of an inflation target are verified by a numerical method. Sensitivity analyses suggest that, in the presence of a liquidity trap, a central bank faced with volatile macroeconomic shocks should consider the ‘buffer’ role of an

Suggested Citation

  • Shin-Ichi Nishiyama, 2004. "Inflation Target as a Buffer against Liquidity Trap," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 568, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:568

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    Cited by:

    1. Kato, Ryo & Nishiyama, Shin-Ichi, 2005. "Optimal monetary policy when interest rates are bounded at zero," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 97-133, January.
    2. Krawczyk, Jacek B & Pharo, Alastair & Simpson, Mark, 2011. "Approximations to viability kernels for sustainable macroeconomic policies," Working Paper Series 1531, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    3. Hitoshi Fuchi & Nobuyuki Oda & Hiroshi Ugai, 2007. "The Costs and Benefits of Inflation: Evaluation for Japan's Economy," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 07-E-10, Bank of Japan.
    4. Youngsoo Bae & Robert M. de Jong, 2007. "Money demand function estimation by nonlinear cointegration," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(4), pages 767-793.
    5. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2011. "Strategic monetary and fiscal policy interaction in a liquidity trap," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/43, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester.
    6. Sanjit Dhami & Ali al-Nowaihi, 2005. "Alice Through the Looking Glass: Strategic Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interaction in a Liquidity Trap," Discussion Papers in Economics 05/17, Division of Economics, School of Business, University of Leicester, revised Aug 2006.
    7. Jacek Krawczyk & Kunhong Kim, 2014. "Viable Stabilising Non-Taylor Monetary Policies for an Open Economy," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 43(2), pages 233-268, February.

    More about this item


    deflation; inflation target; liquidity trap; zero-bound;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • C63 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computational Techniques

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