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The New-Keynesian Liquidity Trap

  • John H. Cochrane

In standard solutions, the new-Keynesian model produces a deep recession with deflation in a liquidity trap. The model also makes unusual policy predictions: Useless government spending, technical regress, and capital destruction have large multipliers. These predictions become larger as prices become less sticky. I show that both sets of predictions are strongly affected by equilibrium selection. For the same interest-rate path, different choices of equilibria - either by the researcher's direct selection or the researcher's specification of expected Federal Reserve policy - can overturn all these results. A set of "local-to-frictionless" equilibria predicts mild inflation, no output reduction and negative multipliers during the liquidity trap, and its predictions approach the frictionless model smoothly, all for the same interest rate path.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19476.

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Date of creation: Sep 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19476
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  1. John H. Cochrane, 2007. "Determinacy and Identification with Taylor Rules," NBER Working Papers 13410, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bennett McCallum, . "Multiple-Solution Indeterminacies in Monetary Policy Analysis," GSIA Working Papers 2003-E77, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  3. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1983. "Speculative Hyperinflations in Maximizing Models: Can We Rule Them Out?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 675-87, August.
  4. Braun, R Anton & Koerber, Lena & Waki, Yuichiro, 2015. "Some Unpleasant Properties of Loglinearized Solutions When the Nominal Rate is Zero," Bank of England working papers 553, Bank of England.
  5. Olaf Posch & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, 2011. "Solving the new Keynesian model in continuous time," 2011 Meeting Papers 829, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," NBER Working Papers 15394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Olivier Blanchard & Giovanni Dell'Ariccia & Paolo Mauro, 2010. "Rethinking Macroeconomic Policy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 42(s1), pages 199-215, 09.
  8. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 1986. "Ruling out divergent speculative bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 349-362, May.
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