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Uncertainty at the zero lower bound

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  • Taisuke Nakata

Abstract

This paper examines how the presence of uncertainty alters allocations and prices when the nominal interest rate is constrained by the zero lower bound. I conduct the analysis using a standard New Keynesian model in which the nominal interest rate is determined according to a truncated Taylor rule. I find that an increase in the variance of shocks to the discount factor process reduces consumption, inflation, and output by a substantially larger amount when the zero lower bound is binding than when it is not. Due to the zero lower bound constraint, policy functions for the real interest rates and the marginal costs of production are highly convex and concave, respectively. As a result, a mean-preserving spread in the shock distribution increases the expectation of future real interest rates and decreases the expectation of future real marginal costs, which lead forward-looking households and firms to reduce consumption and set lower prices today. The more flexible prices are, the larger the effects of uncertainty are at the zero lower bound.

Suggested Citation

  • Taisuke Nakata, 2013. "Uncertainty at the zero lower bound," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2013-09, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2013-09
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2006. "Optimal Monetary Policy under Commitment with a Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(7), pages 1877-1905, October.
    2. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Gordon, Grey & Guerrón-Quintana, Pablo & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan F., 2015. "Nonlinear adventures at the zero lower bound," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 182-204.
    3. Anton Nakov, 2008. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 4(2), pages 73-127, June.
    4. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    5. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2015. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(11), pages 3352-3384, November.
    6. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2011. "When Is the Government Spending Multiplier Large?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 78-121.
    7. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1971-2006 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Optimal Inflation for the US Economy," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 29-52, July.
    9. Gust, Christopher J. & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Smith, Matthew E. & Herbst, Edward, 2012. "The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-83, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised Jan 2016.
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    Cited by:

    1. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    2. Johannsen, Benjamin K., 2014. "When are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Uncertainty Large?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. Schmidt, Sebastian & Nakata, Taisuke & Hills, Timothy, 2016. "The risky steady state and the interest rate lower bound," Working Paper Series 1913, European Central Bank.
    4. Guerrieri, Luca & Iacoviello, Matteo, 2015. "OccBin: A toolkit for solving dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints easily," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 22-38.
    5. Charles Evans & Jonas Fisher & Francois Gourio & Spencer Krane, 2015. "Risk Management for Monetary Policy Near the Zero Lower Bound," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 46(1 (Spring), pages 141-219.
    6. Yasuo Hirose & Takeki Sunakawa, 2015. "Parameter bias in an estimated DSGE model: does nonlinearity matter?," CAMA Working Papers 2015-46, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Nakata, Taisuke, 2016. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with occasionally binding zero bound constraints," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 220-240.
    8. Francois Gourio & Jonas Fisher, 2015. "Risk Management for Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound," 2015 Meeting Papers 665, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Yasuo Hirose & Atsushi Inoue, 2016. "The Zero Lower Bound and Parameter Bias in an Estimated DSGE Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 630-651, June.
    10. Taisuke Nakata, 2017. "Optimal Government Spending at the Zero Lower Bound: A Non-Ricardian Analysis," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 150-169, January.
    11. Gust, Christopher J. & Lopez-Salido, J. David & Smith, Matthew E. & Herbst, Edward, 2012. "The Empirical Implications of the Interest-Rate Lower Bound," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2012-83, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), revised Jan 2016.
    12. Taisuke Nakata, 2018. "Reputation and Liquidity Traps," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 28, pages 252-268, April.
    13. Mitsuru Katagiri, 2016. "Forward Guidance as a Monetary Policy Rule," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 16-E-6, Bank of Japan.
    14. Richter, Alexander & Throckmorton, Nathaniel, 2016. "Are nonlinear methods necessary at the zero lower bound?," Working Papers 1606, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    15. Hills, Timothy S. & Nakata, Taisuke, 2014. "Fiscal Multipliers at the Zero Lower Bound: The Role of Policy Inertia," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-107, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    16. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:7:p:1971-2006 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Seneca, Martin, 2016. "Risk shocks close to the zero lower bound," Bank of England working papers 606, Bank of England.
    18. Richter Alexander W. & Throckmorton Nathaniel A., 2015. "The zero lower bound: frequency, duration, and numerical convergence," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 15(1), pages 1-26, January.
    19. Mustafa Caglayan & Ozge Kandemir & Kostas Mouratidis, 2011. "Real effects of inflation uncertainty in the US," Working Papers 2011002, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Feb 2015.
    20. Plante, Michael D. & Richter, Alexander & Throckmorton, Nathaniel, 2014. "The zero lower bound and endogenous uncertainty," Working Papers 1405, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    21. Yasuo Hirose & Atsushi Inoue, 2016. "The Zero Lower Bound and Parameter Bias in an Estimated DSGE Model," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(4), pages 630-651, June.
    22. Michael P. Hughes & Karl Rogers, 2016. "Zero Lower Bound Monetary Policy’s Effect on Financial Asset’s Correlations," International Advances in Economic Research, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 22(2), pages 151-170, May.

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