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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. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Bennett McCallum, 2001. "Inflation targeting and the liquidity trap," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  4. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2004. "Policy interaction, expectations and the liquidity trap," Macroeconomics 0404033, EconWPA.
  5. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Matthew B. Canzoneri & Robert E. Cumby & Behzad T. Diba, 2001. "Is the Price Level Determined by the Needs of Fiscal Solvency?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1221-1238, December.
  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. 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.
  9. Jess Benhabib & Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 1998. "Monetary policy and multiple equilibria," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. 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.
  11. Michael Woodford, 2001. "The Taylor Rule and Optimal Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 232-237, May.
  12. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2003. "Policy Interaction, Expectation and Liquidity Trap," CEPR Discussion Papers 3925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," CEPR Discussion Papers 2948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2000. "Price level determinacy and monetary policy under a balanced-budget requirement," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 211-246, February.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Woodford, Michael, 1994. "Monetary Policy and Price Level Determinacy in a Cash-in-Advance Economy," Economic Theory, Springer, vol. 4(3), pages 345-80.
  19. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1986. "Ruling out divergent speculative bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 349-362, May.
  20. Lawrence J. Christiano & Massimo Rostagno, 2001. "Money Growth Monitoring and the Taylor Rule," NBER Working Papers 8539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 1996. "Foundations of International Macroeconomics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262150476, June.
  22. 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.
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