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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Engle, Robert F. & Kroner, Kenneth F., 1995. "Multivariate Simultaneous Generalized ARCH," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(01), pages 122-150, February.
    2. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman & Guido Kuersteiner, 2004. "Estimation with weak instruments: Accuracy of higher-order bias and MSE approximations," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 7(1), pages 272-306, June.
    3. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 2002. "A New Specification Test for the Validity of Instrumental Variables," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 163-189, January.
    4. Hahn, Jinyong & Hausman, Jerry, 2002. "Notes on bias in estimators for simultaneous equation models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 237-241, April.
    5. Hausman, Jerry A., 1983. "Specification and estimation of simultaneous equation models," Handbook of Econometrics,in: Z. Griliches† & M. D. Intriligator (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 391-448 Elsevier.
    6. Jinyong Hahn & Jerry Hausman, 2003. "Weak Instruments: Diagnosis and Cures in Empirical Econometrics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 118-125, May.
    7. Engle, Robert F, 1982. "Autoregressive Conditional Heteroscedasticity with Estimates of the Variance of United Kingdom Inflation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 987-1007, July.
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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. Ali al-Nowaihi & Sanjit Dhami, 2011. "Strategic monetary and fiscal policy interaction in a liquidity trap," Discussion Papers in Economics 11/43, Department of Economics, University of Leicester.
    3. 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, Department of Economics, University of Leicester, revised Aug 2006.

    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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