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Escaping the Great Recession

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  • Bianchi, Francesco

    (Duke University)

  • Melosi, Leonardo

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Abstract

While high uncertainty is an inherent implication of the economy entering the zero lower bound, deflation is not, because agents are likely to be uncertain about the way policymakers will deal with the large stock of debt arising from a severe recession. We draw this conclusion based on a new-Keynesian model in which the monetary/fiscal policy mix can change over time and zero-lower-bound episodes are recurrent. Given that policymakers’ behavior is constrained at the zero lower bound, beliefs about the exit strategy play a key role. Announcing a period of austerity is detrimental in the short run, but it preserves macroeconomic stability in the long run. A large recession can be avoided by abandoning fiscal discipline, but this results in a sharp increase in macroeconomic instability once the economy is out of the recession. Contradictory announcements by the fiscal and monetary authorities can lead to high inflation and large output losses. The policy trade-off can be resolved by committing to inflate away only the portion of debt resulting from an unusually large recession.

Suggested Citation

  • Bianchi, Francesco & Melosi, Leonardo, 2014. "Escaping the Great Recession," Working Paper Series WP-2014-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, revised 01 Jan 2014.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedhwp:wp-2014-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales & Francesco Bianchi, 2015. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Asset Prices," 2015 Meeting Papers 1224, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Bartosz Mackowiak & Marek Jarocinski, 2017. "Monetary-Fiscal Interactions and the Euro Area’s Malaise," NBER Chapters,in: NBER International Seminar on Macroeconomics 2017 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    4. Leonardo Melosi & Francesco Bianchi, 2017. "The Dire Effects of the Lack of Monetary and Fiscal Coordination," 2017 Meeting Papers 110, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Bianchi, Francesco & Kung, Howard, 2014. "Growth, Slowdowns, and Recoveries," CEPR Discussion Papers 10291, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Andrew Binning & Junior Maih, 2016. "Implementing the Zero Lower Bound in an Estimated Regime-Switching DSGE Model," Working Papers No 3/2016, Centre for Applied Macro- and Petroleum economics (CAMP), BI Norwegian Business School.
    7. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-041, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    8. Howard Kung & Gonzalo Morales & Alexandre Corhay, 2017. "Fiscal Discount Rates and Debt Maturity," 2017 Meeting Papers 840, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Schmidt, Sebastian, 2015. "Lack of confidence, the zero lower bound, and the virtue of fiscal rules," Working Paper Series 1795, European Central Bank.
    10. Albuquerque, Bruno & Baumann, Ursel, 2017. "Will US inflation awake from the dead? The role of slack and non-linearities in the Phillips curve," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, pages 247-271.
    11. Silvia Fabiani & Mario Porqueddu, 2015. "Changing prices ... changing times: evidence for Italy," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 275, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    12. Andrew Binning & Junior Maih, 2017. "Modelling Occasionally Binding Constraints Using Regime-Switching," Working Paper 2017/23, Norges Bank.
    13. Juan Carlos Hatchondo & Leonardo Martinez & César Sosa-Padilla, 2016. "Debt Dilution and Sovereign Default Risk," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 124(5), pages 1383-1422.
    14. Kulish, Mariano & Morley, James & Robinson, Tim, 2017. "Estimating DSGE models with zero interest rate policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, pages 35-49.
    15. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-46.
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    19. Corsetti, G. & Dedola, L. & Jarociński, M. & Mańkowiak, B. & Schmidt, S., 2016. "Macroeconomic Stabilization, Monetary-fiscal Interactions, and Europe's monetary Union," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1675, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    20. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Figueres, Juan Manuel, 2017. "Economic policy uncertainty and unemployment in the United States: A nonlinear approach," Economics Letters, Elsevier, pages 31-34.
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    22. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2017. "Estimating the real effects of uncertainty shocks at the Zero Lower Bound," European Economic Review, Elsevier, pages 257-272.
    23. Eric M. Leeper & Nora Traum & Todd B. Walker, 2017. "Clearing Up the Fiscal Multiplier Morass," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 2409-2454.
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    Keywords

    Policy uncertainty; macroeconomic uncertainty; Markov-switching models; shock-specific policy rules; zero lower bound;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • E63 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy; Stabilization; Treasury Policy

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