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The Safety Trap

Author

Listed:
  • Ricardo J. Caballero
  • Emmanuel Farhi

Abstract

In this paper we provide a model of the macroeconomic implications of safe asset shortages. In particular, we discuss the emergence of a deflationary safety trap equilibrium with endogenous risk premia. It is an acute form of a liquidity trap, in which the shortage of a specific form of assets, safe assets, as opposed to a general shortage of assets, is the fundamental driving force. At the ZLB, our model has a Keynesian cross representation, in which net safe asset supply plays the role of an aggregate demand shifter. Essentially, safety traps correspond to liquidity traps in which the emergence of an endogenous risk premium significantly alters the connection between macroeconomic policy and economic activity. “Helicopter drops” of money, safe public debt issuances, swaps of private risky assets for safe public debt, or increases in the inflation target, stimulate aggregate demand and output, while forward guidance is less effective. The safety trap can be arbitrarily persistent, as in the secular stagnation hypothesis, despite the existence of infinitely lived assets.

Suggested Citation

  • Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi, 2014. "The Safety Trap," NBER Working Papers 19927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19927
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19927.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni, 2017. "Credit Crises, Precautionary Savings, and the Liquidity Trap," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(3), pages 1427-1467.
    2. Arvind Krishnamurthy & Annette Vissing-Jorgensen, 2011. "The Effects of Quantitative Easing on Interest Rates: Channels and Implications for Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 42(2 (Fall)), pages 215-287.
    3. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi, 2013. "A Model of the Safe Asset Mechanism (SAM): Safety Traps and Economic Policy," Working Paper 70936, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    4. Emmanuel Farhi & Ivan Werning, "undated". "Fiscal Multipliers: Liquidity Traps and Currency Unions," Working Paper 78556, Harvard University OpenScholar.
    5. Anton Korinek & Alp Simsek, 2016. "Liquidity Trap and Excessive Leverage," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(3), pages 699-738, March.
    6. Robert J. Barro, 2014. "Safe Assets," Working Papers 2014-28, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    7. Nicola Gennaioli & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 2010. "Financial Innovation and Financial Fragility," NBER Chapters,in: Market Institutions and Financial Market Risk National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. How to Ensure the Crisis Provision of Safe Assets
      by Steve Cecchetti and Kim Schoenholtz in Money, Banking and Financial Markets on 2017-06-26 13:52:56

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Michelacci, Claudio & Paciello, Luigi, 2017. "Ambiguous Policy Announcements," CEPR Discussion Papers 11754, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides, 2017. "The Fiscal-Monetary Policy Mix in the Euro Area: Challenges at the Zero Lower Bound," European Economy - Discussion Papers 2015 - 060, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    3. Gary Gorton & Tyler Muir, 2016. "Mobile Collateral versus Immobile Collateral," NBER Working Papers 22619, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dániel Horváth & Róbert Szini, 2015. "The safety trap – the financial market and macroeconomic consequences of the scarcity of safe assets," Financial and Economic Review, Magyar Nemzeti Bank (Central Bank of Hungary), vol. 14(1), pages 111-138.
    5. Robert J. Barro, 2014. "Safe Assets," Working Papers 2014-28, Economic Research Institute, Bank of Korea.
    6. Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James & Singh, Aarti & Suda, Jacek, 2015. "Incomplete Credit Markets and Monetary Policy," Working Papers 2015-12, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Feb 2017.
    7. Benjamin D. Keen & Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2017. "Forward Guidance And The State Of The Economy," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 55(4), pages 1593-1624, October.
    8. repec:cbh:journl:v:14:y:2015:i:1:p:111-138 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:ucp:macann:doi:10.1086/696069 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:nbr:nberch:13955 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Sanjay R. Singh & Lawrence H. Summers, 2016. "A Contagious Malady? Open Economy Dimensions of Secular Stagnation," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 64(4), pages 581-634, November.
    12. Patrizio Pagano & Massimo Sbracia, 2014. "The secular stagnation hypothesis: a review of the debate and some insights," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 231, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    13. Azariadis, Costas & Bullard, James B. & Singh, Aarti & Suda, Jacek, 2015. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound," Working Papers 2015-10, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    14. Gilles Le Garrec & Vincent Touzé, 2016. "Capital accumulation and the dynamic of secular stagnation," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2016-17, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
    15. Gertler, M. & Kiyotaki, N. & Prestipino, A., 2016. "Wholesale Banking and Bank Runs in Macroeconomic Modeling of Financial Crises," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    16. Michele Lanotte & Giacomo Manzelli & Anna Maria Rinaldi & Marco Taboga & Pietro Tommasino, 2016. "Easier said than done? Reforming the prudential treatment of banks’ sovereign exposures," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 326, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    17. Luigi Bonatti, 2016. "Anemic economic growth in advanced economies: structural factors and the impotence of expansionary macroeconomic policies," DEM Working Papers 2016/11, Department of Economics and Management.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E0 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General
    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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