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The stimulative effect of forward guidance

  • Gavin, William T.

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis)

  • Keen, Benjamin D.

    ()

    (University of Oklahoma)

  • Richter, Alexander

    ()

    (Auburn University)

  • Throckmorton, Nathaniel

    ()

    (Indiana University)

This paper examines the stimulative effect of central bank forward guidance—the promise to keep future policy rates lower than its policy rule suggests—when the short-term nominal interest rate is stuck at its zero lower bound (ZLB).We utilize a standard New Keynesian model in which forward guidance enters our model as news shocks to the monetary policy rule. Three key findings emerge: (1) Forward guidance is more stimulative at the ZLB when households believe the economic recovery will be strong. When households expect a weak recovery or initially have low confidence in the economy, forward guidance is less stimulative because interest rates are already expected to remain low; (2) Longer forward guidance horizons do not cause the stimulative effect to explode or reverse, but rather spread the effect across the entire horizon; and (3) Failing to include a ZLB constraint causes the model to substantially overstate the stimulative effect of forward guidance. Given those findings, we use Blue Chip survey data to compare our model’s predictions of the stimulative effect of forward guidance to data before and after the Fed’s historic policy announcement on August 9, 2011. The results in that case study provide an explanation for the Forward Guidance Puzzle—the claim that New Keynesian models overestimate the effect of forward guidance.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis in its series Working Papers with number 2013-38.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision: 30 Apr 2014
Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:2013-038
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  1. Nathaniel Throckmorton & Benjamin Keen & Alexander Richter & William Gavin, 2013. "Global Dynamics at the Zero Lower Bound," 2013 Meeting Papers 839, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Wolman, Alexander L, 2005. "Real Implications of the Zero Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(2), pages 273-96, April.
  3. Refet Gurkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," Macroeconomics 0504013, EconWPA.
  4. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Grey Gordon & Pablo A. Guerrón-Quintana & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2012. "Nonlinear Adventures at the Zero Lower Bound," NBER Working Papers 18058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  6. Rotemberg, Julio J, 1982. "Sticky Prices in the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(6), pages 1187-1211, December.
  7. Wilbur John Coleman II, 1989. "Equilibrium in a production economy with an income tax," International Finance Discussion Papers 366, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. R. Anton Braun & Lena Mareen Körber & Yuichiro Waki, 2012. "Some unpleasant properties of log-linearized solutions when the nominal rate is zero," Working Paper 2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Alexander Richter & Nathaniel Throckmorton & Todd Walker, 2014. "Accuracy, Speed and Robustness of Policy Function Iteration," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 44(4), pages 445-476, December.
  10. Christopher Gust & David Lopez-Salido & Matthew E. Smith, 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.).
  11. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2011. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 774, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 20 Sep 2012.
  12. S. Borağan Aruoba & Pablo Cuba-Borda & Frank Schorfheide, 2012. "Macroeconomic Dynamics Near the ZLB: A Tale of Two Countries," PIER Working Paper Archive 14-035, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 19 Jun 2014.
  13. S. Boragan Aruoba & Frank Schorfheide, 2013. "Macroeconomic dynamics near the ZLB: a tale of two equilibria," Working Papers 13-29, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  14. Anton Nakov, 2006. "Optimal and Simple Monetary Policy Rules with Zero Floor on the Nominal Interest Rate," Banco de Espa�a Working Papers 0637, Banco de Espa�a.
  15. Levin, Andrew & López-Salido, J David & Nelson, Edward & Yun, Tack, 2009. "Limitations on the Effectiveness of Forward Guidance at the Zero Lower Bound," CEPR Discussion Papers 7581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Gavin, William T. & Keen, Benjamin D. & Richter, Alexander W. & Throckmorton, Nathaniel A., 2015. "The zero lower bound, the dual mandate, and unconventional dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 14-38.
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