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The macroeconomic effects of large-scale asset purchase programs

  • Han Chen
  • Vasco Cúrdia
  • Andrea Ferrero

The effects of asset purchase programs on macroeconomic variables are likely to be moderate. We reach this conclusion after simulating the impact of the Federal Reserve’s second large-scale asset purchase program (LSAP II) in a DSGE model enriched with a preferred habitat framework and estimated on U.S. data. Our simulations suggest that such a program increases GDP growth by less than half a percentage point, although the effect on the level of GDP is very persistent. The program’s marginal contribution to inflation is very small. One key reason for our findings is that we estimate a small degree of financial market segmentation. If we enrich the set of observables with a measure of long-term debt, the semi-elasticity of the risk premium to the amount of debt in private-sector hands is substantially smaller than that reported in the recent empirical literature. In this case, our baseline estimates of the effects of LSAP II on the macroeconomy decrease by at least a factor of two. Throughout the analysis, a commitment to an extended period at the zero lower bound for nominal interest rates increases the effects of asset purchase programs on GDP growth and inflation.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Staff Reports with number 527.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:527
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  1. Joseph Gagnon & Matthew Raskin & Julie Remache & Brian Sack, 2011. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 41-59.
  2. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Working Papers 11212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Hess Chung & Jean-Philippe Laforte & David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2011. "Have we underestimated the likelihood and severity of zero lower bound events?," Working Paper Series 2011-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2008. "Investment shocks and business cycles," Staff Reports 322, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  6. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "The Long Slump," NBER Working Papers 16741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Vasco Curdia & Andrea Ferrero & Han Chen, 2012. "The Macroeconomic Effects of Large-Scale Asset Purchase Programs," 2012 Meeting Papers 372, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  14. George Kapetanios & Haroon Mumtaz & Ibrahim Stevens & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2012. "Assessing the Economy‐wide Effects of Quantitative Easing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F316-F347, November.
  15. van Binsbergen, Jules H. & Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Koijen, Ralph S.J. & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan, 2012. "The term structure of interest rates in a DSGE model with recursive preferences," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(7), pages 634-648.
  16. Wallace, Neil, 1981. "A Modigliani-Miller Theorem for Open-Market Operations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 267-74, June.
  17. Javier Andres & J. David López-Salido & Edward Nelson, 2004. "Tobin's imperfect asset substitution in optimizing general equilibrium," Working Papers 2004-003, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  18. Christopher J. Neely, 2010. "The large scale asset purchases had large international effects," Working Papers 2010-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  19. Harrison, Richard, 2012. "Asset purchase policy at the effective lower bound for interest rates," Bank of England working papers 444, Bank of England.
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