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The Magic of the Exchange Rate: Optimal Escape from a Liquidity Trap in Small and Large OPen Economies

  • Lars E.O. Svensson

    (Princeton University, CEPR and NBER)

The optimal escape from a liquidity trap involves generating private-sector expectations of a higher future price level and higher future inflation. This lowers the real interest rate and reduces the recession during the liquidity trap. The problem, emphasized by Krugman, is that central-bank promises of a higher future price level may not be credible. The current exchange rate will be a good indicator of private-sector expectations of the future price level. An intentional currency depreciation (which is technically feasible) will create private-sector expectations of a future weaker currency and a higher future price level. An intentional currency depreciation and a crawling peg (as in the Foolproof Way) can implement the optimal escape from a liquidity trap and make this credible. Optimal escape from a liquidity trap in a large economy does not prevent the rest of the world from achieving its monetary-policy objectives, if the rest of the world is not in a liquidity trap. For negative international output externalities (which may not be very realistic, since they rely on optimal international risk sharing), the rest of the world may fall into a liquidity trap. This nevertheless moves the world equilibrium towards the equilibrium corresponding to optimal international cooperation. For positive international output externalities, any initial liquidity trap in the rest of the world is alleviated or eliminated.

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Paper provided by Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research in its series Working Papers with number 072004.

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Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hkm:wpaper:072004
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  1. Giancarlo Corsetti & Paolo Pesenti, 2001. "International Dimensions of Optimal Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 8230, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Olivier Jeanne & Lars E.O. Svensson, 2004. "Credible Commitment to Optimal Escape from a Liquidity Trap: The Role of the Balance Sheet of an Independent Central Bank," NBER Working Papers 10679, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2001. "Avoiding Liquidity Traps," CEPR Discussion Papers 2948, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. V.V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe & Ellen R. McGrattan, 2000. "Can Sticky Price Models Generate Volatile and Persistent Real Exchange Rates?," NBER Working Papers 7869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Bayoumi, Tamim & Laxton, Doug & Pesenti, Paolo, 2004. "Benefits and Spillovers of Greater Competition in Europe: A Macroeconomic Assessment," CEPR Discussion Papers 4481, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Svensson, L.E.O., 1993. "Term, Inflation and Foreign Exchange Risk Premia: A Unified Treatment," Papers 548, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  8. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Theoretical Analysis Regarding a Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," NBER Working Papers 7677, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Coenen, Günter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The zero-interest-rate bound and the role of the exchange rate for monetary policy in Japan," Working Paper Series 0218, European Central Bank.
  10. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2002. "What Is Wrong with Taylor Rules? Using Judgment in Monetary Policy through Targeting Rules," Working Papers 118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  11. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Michael Woodford, 2003. "The Zero Bound on Interest Rates and Optimal Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 34(1), pages 139-235.
  12. Canzoneri, Matthew B. & Cumby, Robert E. & Diba, Behzad T., 2005. "The need for international policy coordination: what's old, what's new, what's yet to come?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(2), pages 363-384, July.
  13. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2002. "Global Implications Of Self-Oriented National Monetary Rules," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 117(2), pages 503-535, May.
  14. Lars E.O. Svensson, 2003. "Escaping from a Liquidity Trap and Deflation: The Foolproof Way and Others," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 17(4), pages 145-166, Fall.
  15. James Clouse & Dale Henderson & Athanasios Orphanides & David Small & Peter Tinsley, 2000. "Monetary policy when the nominal short-term interest rate is zero," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-51, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. Marvin Goodfriend, 2000. "Overcoming the zero bound on interest rate policy," Working Paper 00-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
  17. Hamid Faruqee & Douglas Laxton & Bart Turtelboom & Peter Isard & Eswar Prasad, 1998. "Multimod Mark III; The Core Dynamic and Steady State Model," IMF Occasional Papers 164, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo, 2003. "Designing targeting rules for international monetary policy cooperation," Working Paper Series 0279, European Central Bank.
  19. Athanasios Orphanides & Volker Wieland, 1999. "Efficient monetary policy design near price stability," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-67, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. Coenen, Guenter & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "The Zero-Interest-Rate and the Role of the Exchange Rate for Monetary Policy in Japan," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
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