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Uncertainty and the Zero Lower Bound: A Theoretical Analysis

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  • Mendes, Rhys R.

Abstract

This paper demonstrates how to analytically characterize the set of rational expectations equilibria in a simple stochastic New Keynesian model with the zero lower bound. In this environment, purely forward-looking (non-history-dependent) monetary policies are not generally consistent with existence of rational expectations equilibria. In particular, equilibria exist only when the volatility of the shocks is below some threshold level. This non-existence result is a consequence of the fact that the expected average policy rate rises with the level of uncertainty in the presence of the zero lower bound under forward-looking policies. History-dependent policies can be designed to eliminate the tendency of the expected average policy rate to rise with uncertainty, thereby potentially mitigating the non-existence problems. The non-existence results are likely quite robust, as the only structural feature of the economy upon which they depend is the Fisher condition.

Suggested Citation

  • Mendes, Rhys R., 2011. "Uncertainty and the Zero Lower Bound: A Theoretical Analysis," MPRA Paper 59218, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:59218
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    File URL: https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/60103/1/MPRA_paper_60103.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Benhabib, Jess & Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2001. "The Perils of Taylor Rules," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 96(1-2), pages 40-69, January.
    2. Kato, Ryo & Nishiyama, Shin-Ichi, 2005. "Optimal monetary policy when interest rates are bounded at zero," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 97-133, January.
    3. Adam, Klaus & Billi, Roberto M., 2007. "Discretionary monetary policy and the zero lower bound on nominal interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(3), pages 728-752, April.
    4. Jung, Taehun & Teranishi, Yuki & Watanabe, Tsutomu, 2005. "Optimal Monetary Policy at the Zero-Interest-Rate Bound," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 37(5), pages 813-835, October.
    5. 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.
    6. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    2. Mertens, Thomas M. & Williams, John C., 2018. "What to expect from the lower bound on interest rates: evidence from derivatives prices," Staff Reports 865, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    3. Seneca, Martin, 2016. "Risk shocks close to the zero lower bound," Bank of England working papers 606, Bank of England.
    4. Nakata, Taisuke, 2016. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy with occasionally binding zero bound constraints," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 73(C), pages 220-240.
    5. Nakata, Taisuke & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2014. "Conservatism and Liquidity Traps," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-105, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. repec:wly:econjl:v:128:y:2018:i:611:p:1730-1757 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Holden, Thomas, 2016. "Existence and uniqueness of solutions to dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," EconStor Preprints 130142, ZBW - German National Library of Economics.
    8. Johannsen, Benjamin K., 2014. "When are the Effects of Fiscal Policy Uncertainty Large?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2014-40, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    9. Taisuke Nakata, 2017. "Uncertainty at the Zero Lower Bound," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 186-221, July.
    10. 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.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary Policy; Zero Lower Bound; New Keynesian Models;

    JEL classification:

    • E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
    • E4 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates
    • 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
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies

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