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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. 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.
  2. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2000. "The Zero Bound in an Open Economy: A Foolproof Way of Escaping from a Liquidity Trap," NBER Working Papers 7957, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 675-87, August.
  4. Bennett T. McCallum, 2001. "Inflation Targeting and the Liquidity Trap," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 112, Central Bank of Chile.
  5. 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.
  6. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(3), pages 535-563, June.
  7. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2007. "Policy Interaction, Learning, And The Fiscal Theory Of Prices," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 11(05), pages 665-690, November.
  8. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1986. "Ruling out divergent speculative bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 349-362, May.
  12. 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.
  13. Benhabib, J. & Schmitt-Grohe, S. & Uribe, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy and Multiple Equilibria," Working Papers 98-02, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  14. Lawrence J. Christiano & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Money Growth Monitoring and the Taylor Rule," NBER Working Papers 8539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  16. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 1998. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," Working Papers 98-37, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  17. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. 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.).
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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  22. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2003. "Policy Interaction, Expectation and Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 3925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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