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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Morris, Stephen D., 2020. "Is the Taylor principle still valid when rates are low?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    2. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2017. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 937-958, May.
    3. Thomas M. Mertens & John C. Williams, 2021. "What to Expect from the Lower Bound on Interest Rates: Evidence from Derivatives Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 111(8), pages 2473-2505, August.
    4. S. Bogan Aruoba & Pablo Cuba-Borda & Kenji Higa-Flores & Frank Schorfheide & Sergio Villalvazo, 2021. "Piecewise-Linear Approximations and Filtering for DSGE Models with Occasionally Binding Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 41, pages 96-120, July.
    5. Holden, Thomas, 2016. "Existence and uniqueness of solutions to dynamic models with occasionally binding constraints," EconStor Preprints 130142, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Nakata, Taisuke & Schmidt, Sebastian, 2019. "Conservatism and liquidity traps," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 37-47.
    9. Seneca, Martin, 2016. "Risk shocks close to the zero lower bound," Bank of England working papers 606, Bank of England.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Brandyn Bok & Thomas M. Mertens & John C. Williams, 2022. "Macroeconomic Drivers and the Pricing of Uncertainty, Inflation, and Bonds," Staff Reports 1011, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    13. Thomas M. Mertens & John C. Williams, 2019. "Tying Down the Anchor: Monetary Policy Rules and the Lower Bound on Interest Rates," Working Paper Series 2019-14, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    14. Benjamin K. Johannsen, 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.).
    15. Guido Ascari & Sophocles Mavroeidis, 2020. "The unbearable lightness of equilibria in a low interest rate environment," Papers 2006.12966, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2021.
    16. Taisuke Nakata, 2017. "Uncertainty at the Zero Lower Bound," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 186-221, July.
    17. Roulleau-Pasdeloup, Jordan, 2020. "Optimal monetary policy and determinacy under active/passive regimes," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    18. S. Bogan Aruoba & Pablo Cuba-Borda & Kenji Higa-Flores & Frank Schorfheide & Sergio Villalvazo, 2021. "Piecewise-Linear Approximations and Filtering for DSGE Models with Occasionally Binding Constraints," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 41, pages 96-120, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Monetary Policy; Zero Lower Bound; New Keynesian Models;
    All these keywords.

    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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