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Endogenous Volatility at the Zero Lower Bound: Implications for Stabilization Policy


  • Susanto Basu
  • Brent Bundick


At the zero lower bound, the central bank's inability to offset shocks endogenously generates volatility. In this setting, an increase in uncertainty about future shocks causes significant contractions in the economy and may lead to non-existence of an equilibrium. The form of the monetary policy rule is crucial for avoiding catastrophic outcomes. State-contingent optimal monetary and fiscal policies can attenuate this endogenous volatility by stabilizing the distribution of future outcomes. Fluctuations in uncertainty and the zero lower bound help our model match the unconditional and stochastic volatility in the recent macroeconomic data.

Suggested Citation

  • Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2015. "Endogenous Volatility at the Zero Lower Bound: Implications for Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 21838, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21838
    Note: EFG ME

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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Angelini & Luca Fanelli, 2019. "Exogenous uncertainty and the identification of structural vector autoregressions with external instruments," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 34(6), pages 951-971, September.
    2. He Nie & Jordan Roulleau-Pasdeloup, 2023. "The promises (and perils) of control-contingent forward guidance," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 49, pages 77-98, July.
    3. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2022. "Uncertainty Before and During COVID-19: A Survey," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0279, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    4. Martin Seneca, 2020. "Risk Shocks and Monetary Policy in the New Normal," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(6), pages 185-232, December.
    5. Bianchi, Francesco & Melosi, Leonardo & Rottner, Matthias, 2021. "Hitting the elusive inflation target," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 107-122.
    6. Seneca, Martin, 2016. "Risk shocks close to the zero lower bound," Bank of England working papers 606, Bank of England.
    7. Arias, Jonas E. & Erceg, Christopher & Trabandt, Mathias, 2016. "The macroeconomic risks of undesirably low inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 88-107.
    8. Amendola, Adalgiso & Di Serio, Mario & Fragetta, Matteo & Melina, Giovanni, 2020. "The euro-area government spending multiplier at the effective lower bound," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    9. Fuest, Angela & Schmidt, Torsten, 2017. "Inflation expectation uncertainty, inflation and the output gap," Ruhr Economic Papers 673, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    10. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2019. "Domestic and global uncertainty: A survey and some new results," CAMA Working Papers 2019-75, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    11. Swaminathan, Anthony, 2021. "Macroeconomic volatility at the zero lower bound: Evidence from the OECD," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    12. Caggiano, Giovanni & Castelnuovo, Efrem & Pellegrino, Giovanni, 2017. "Estimating the real effects of uncertainty shocks at the Zero Lower Bound," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 257-272.
    13. Ascari, Guido & Mavroeidis, Sophocles, 2022. "The unbearable lightness of equilibria in a low interest rate environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 1-17.
    14. Giovanni Caggiano & Efrem Castelnuovo & Gabriela Nodari, 2014. "Uncertainty and Monetary Policy in Good and Bad Times," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0188, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
    15. Tom D. Holden, 2023. "Existence and Uniqueness of Solutions to Dynamic Models with Occasionally Binding Constraints," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 105(6), pages 1481-1499, November.
    16. Strobel, Johannes & Lee, Gabriel & Dorofeenko, Victor & Salyer, Kevin, 2019. "Time-Varying Risk Shocks and the Zero Lower Bound," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203491, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    17. Roulleau-Pasdeloup, Jordan, 2020. "Optimal monetary policy and determinacy under active/passive regimes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    18. Isabel Cairo & Jae Sim, 2017. "Income Inequality, Financial Crises and Monetary Policy," 2017 Meeting Papers 1433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    19. Schmidt, Sebastian, 2018. "Time-consistent monetary policy, terms of trade manipulation and welfare in open economies," Working Paper Series 2128, European Central Bank.
    20. Michael Plante & Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2018. "The Zero Lower Bound and Endogenous Uncertainty," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 128(611), pages 1730-1757, June.
    21. G. Angelini & L. Fanelli, 2018. "Identification and estimation issues in Structural Vector Autoregressions with external instruments," Working Papers wp1122, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    22. Alexander W. Richter & Nathaniel A. Throckmorton, 2017. "A New Way to Quantify the Effect of Uncertainty," Working Papers 1705, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    23. Holden, Tom D., 2016. "Existence, uniqueness and computation of solutions to dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," EconStor Preprints 127430, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    24. Lansing, Kevin J., 2021. "Endogenous forecast switching near the zero lower bound," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 153-169.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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