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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, 2010. "Large-scale asset purchases by the Federal Reserve: did they work?," Staff Reports 441, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Jules van Binsbergen & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Ralph S.J. Koijen & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates in a DSGE Model with Recursive Preferences," NBER Working Papers 15890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Robert E. Hall, 2011. "The Long Slump," NBER Working Papers 16741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Vasco Curdia & Michael Woodford, 2010. "The Central Bank Balance Sheet as an Instrument of Monetary Policy," Discussion Papers 0910-16, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  5. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2008. "Investment shocks and business cycles," Staff Reports 322, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  6. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Fluctuating Macro Policies and the Fiscal Theory," NBER Working Papers 11212, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Vasco Cúrdia & Michael Woodford, 2009. "Credit Spreads and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 15289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Han Chen & Vasco Cúrdia & Andrea Ferrero, 2012. "The macroeconomic effects of large-scale asset purchase programs," Working Paper Series 2012-22, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
  10. Refet S Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2005. "Do Actions Speak Louder Than Words? The Response of Asset Prices to Monetary Policy Actions and Statements," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(1), May.
  11. Kapetanios, George & Mumtaz, Haroon & Stevens, Ibrahim & Theodoridis, Konstantinos, 2012. "Assessing the economy-wide effects of quantitative easing," Bank of England working papers 443, Bank of England.
  12. Hess Chung & Jean‐Philippe Laforte & David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2012. "Have We Underestimated the Likelihood and Severity of Zero Lower Bound Events?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 44, pages 47-82, 02.
  13. Eric T. Swanson, 2011. "Let’s twist again: a high-frequency event-study analysis of operation twist and its implications for QE2," Working Paper Series 2011-08, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Harrison, Richard, 2012. "Asset purchase policy at the effective lower bound for interest rates," Bank of England working papers 444, Bank of England.
  15. 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.
  16. Christopher J. Neely, 2010. "The large scale asset purchases had large international effects," Working Papers 2010-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  17. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2002. "An estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Research 35, National Bank of Belgium.
  18. Wallace, Neil, 1981. "A Modigliani-Miller Theorem for Open-Market Operations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 267-74, June.
  19. Bruce Preston & Stefano Eusepi, 2011. "The maturity structure of debt, monetary policy and expectations stabilization," 2011 Meeting Papers 1287, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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