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Monetary Policy, Asset-Price Bubbles and the Zero Lower Bound

  • Tim Robinson
  • Andrew Stone

We use a simple model of a closed economy to study the recommendations of monetary policy-makers, attempting to respond optimally to an asset-price bubble whose stochastic properties they understand. We focus on the impact which the zero lower bound (ZLB) on nominal interest rates has on the recommendations of such policy-makers. For a given target inflation rate, we identify several different forms of `insurance' which policy-makers could potentially take out against encountering the ZLB due to the future bursting of a bubble. Even with perfect knowledge of the bubble process, however, which of these will be optimal varies from one type of bubble to another and, for certain bubbles, from one period to the next. It is therefore difficult to say whether the ZLB should cause policy-makers to operate policy more tightly or loosely than they would otherwise do, while a bubble is growing -- even after abstracting from the informational difficulties they face in practice. We also examine the implications of the ZLB for policy-makers' preferences as to their inflation target. Policy-makers who wish to avoid concerns about the ZLB should take care not to set too low a target -- especially if the neutral real interest rate is low.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11105.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11105.

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Date of creation: Feb 2005
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Publication status: published as Ito, Takatoshi and Andrew K. Rose (eds.) Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics vol. 15. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2006.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11105
Note: ME
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  1. Glenn Rudebusch, 1995. "What are the lags in monetary policy?," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue feb3.
  2. Laurence Ball, 1994. "What Determines the Sacrifice Ratio?," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy, pages 155-193 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. McCallum, Bennett T, 2000. "Theoretical Analysis Regarding a Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 870-904, November.
  4. Coenen, Günter & Orphanides, Athanasios & Wieland, Volker, 2003. "Price Stability and Monetary Policy Effectiveness when Nominal Interest Rates are Bounded at Zero," CEPR Discussion Papers 3892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  10. Reifschneider, David & Willams, John C, 2000. "Three Lessons for Monetary Policy in a Low-Inflation Era," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 32(4), pages 936-66, November.
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  12. 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.).
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  14. Philip Lowe & Claudio Borio, 2002. "Asset prices, financial and monetary stability: exploring the nexus," BIS Working Papers 114, Bank for International Settlements.
  15. Mitsuhiro Fukao, 2006. "Financial Strains and the Zero Lower Bound: The Japanese Experience," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy with Very Low Inflation in the Pacific Rim, NBER-EASE, Volume 15, pages 203-232 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Laurence Ball, 1997. "Efficient rules for monetary policy," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Discussion Paper Series G97/3, Reserve Bank of New Zealand.
  17. Ben S. Bernanke & Mark Gertler, 2001. "Should Central Banks Respond to Movements in Asset Prices?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 253-257, May.
  18. Stephen G Cecchetti, 2003. "What the FOMC Says and Does When the Stock Market Booms," RBA Annual Conference Volume, in: Anthony Richards & Tim Robinson (ed.), Asset Prices and Monetary Policy Reserve Bank of Australia.
  19. David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 1999. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low inflation era," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  20. 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.
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