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Price-level determinacy, lower bounds on the nominal interest rate, and liquidity traps

  • Ragna Alstadheim
  • Dale W. Henderson

We consider monetary-policy rules with inflation-rate targets and interest-rate or money-growth instruments using a flexible-price, perfect-foresight model. There is always a locally-unique target equilibrium. There may also be below-target equilibria (BTE) with inflation always below target and constant, asymptotically approaching or eventually reaching a below-target value, or oscillating. Liquidity traps are neither necessary nor sufficient for BTE which can arise if monetary policy keeps the interest rate above a lower bound. We construct monetary rules that preclude BTE when fiscal policy does not. Plausible fiscal policies preclude BTE for any monetary policy; those policies exclude surpluses and, possibly, balanced budgets.

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Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 795.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:795
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  1. Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto, 2002. "Inflation Targeting: An Overview," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 1, pages 001-022 Central Bank of Chile.
  2. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 1999. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," CEPR Discussion Papers 2314, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 1999. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," CEPR Discussion Papers 2316, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 1982. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," NBER Working Papers 0855, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Policy Interaction, Expectations and the Liquidity Trap," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2003-33, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 06 Jul 2004.
  6. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  7. Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Efficient Monetary Policy Design near Price Stability," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 327-365, December.
  8. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 1998. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," NBER Working Papers 6471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1997. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1997-17, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," CEPR Discussion Papers 2948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  12. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  14. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  15. Svensson, Lars E O, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 2566, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Lawrence J. Christiano & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Money Growth Monitoring and the Taylor Rule," NBER Working Papers 8539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  18. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1986. "Ruling out divergent speculative bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 349-362, May.
  19. Bennett McCallum, 2002. "Inflation Targeting and the Liquidity Trap," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series, in: Norman Loayza & Raimundo Soto & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series Editor) (ed.), Inflation Targeting: Desing, Performance, Challenges, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 9, pages 395-438 Central Bank of Chile.
  20. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2002. "Policy Interaction, Learning and the Fiscal Theory of Prices," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2002-17, University of Oregon Economics Department, revised 07 Jun 2007.
  21. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2003. "Policy Interaction, Expectation and Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 3925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Paul R. Krugman, 1998. "It's Baaack: Japan's Slump and the Return of the Liquidity Trap," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 137-206.
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