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The side effects of safe asset creation

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Abstract

We present an incomplete markets model to understand the costs and benefits of increasing government debt in a low interest rate environment. Higher risk increases the demand for safe assets, lowering the natural rate of interest below zero, constraining monetary policy at the zero lower bound, and raising unemployment. Higher government debt satiates the demand for safe assets, raising the natural rate and restoring full employment. While this permanently lowers investment, a policymaker committed to low inflation has no alternative. Higher inflation targets, instead, permit both full employment and high investment, but allow for harmful bubbles. Aggressive fiscal policy can prevent bubbles.

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  • Sushant Acharya & Keshav Dogra, 2018. "The side effects of safe asset creation," Staff Reports 842, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fednsr:842
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    Cited by:

    1. Siddhartha Biswas & Andrew Hanson & Toan Phan, 2020. "Bubbly Recessions," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 33-70, October.
    2. Paul Beaudry & Césaire Meh, 2021. "Monetary Policy, Trends in Real Interest Rates and Depressed Demand," Staff Working Papers 21-27, Bank of Canada.
    3. Paul Beaudry & Katsiaryna Kartashova & Césaire A Meh, 2022. "Gazing at r*: A Hysteresis Perspective," RBA Annual Conference Papers acp2022-08, Reserve Bank of Australia, revised Dec 2022.
    4. Paul Beaudry & Katya Kartashova & Césaire Meh, 2023. "Gazing at r-star: A Hysteresis Perspective," Staff Working Papers 23-5, Bank of Canada.
    5. Sushant Acharya & Julien Bengui & Keshav Dogra & Shu Lin Wee, 2022. "Slow Recoveries and Unemployment Traps: Monetary Policy in a Time of Hysteresis," The Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 132(646), pages 2007-2047.
    6. Bacchetta, Philippe & Benhima, Kenza & Kalantzis, Yannick, 2020. "Money and capital in a persistent liquidity trap," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 70-87.
    7. Sushant Acharya & Keshav Dogra & Sanjay R. Singh, 2021. "The financial origins of non-fundamental risk," Working Papers 345, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
    8. Harrison, Andre & Reed, Robert R., 2023. "International capital flows, liquidity risk, and monetary policy," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C).
    9. Sanjay R. Singh & Nicolas Caramp, 2020. "Bond Premium Cyclicality and Liquidity Traps," Working Papers 336, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    safe assets; negative natural rate; crowding out; risk premiums; liquidity traps; bubbles;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • G1 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets
    • H6 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt

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