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Learning to Believe in Secular Stagnation

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  • Christopher G. Gibbs

    (School of Economics, UNSW Business School, UNSW)

Abstract

This paper shows that a secular stagnation equilibrium as proposed by Eggertsson and Mehrotra (2014) is E-stable. This is in contrast to the often studied liquidity trap equilibrium that exists in representative agent New Keynesian models at the zero lower bound when there is active monetary policy following a Taylor rule. This result reconciles the observed stable low growth and low inflation outcomes since the end of the Global Financial Crisis with the instability predicted by the New Keynesian model using a standard modeling framework. The stability of the secular stagnation equilibrium is due to the assumption of downwardly rigid nominal wages and overlapping generations. At the zero lower bound, the wage friction determines the price level and makes inflation a predetermined variable, while overlapping generations weakens the negative relationship between expected output and the real interest rate.

Suggested Citation

  • Christopher G. Gibbs, 2017. "Learning to Believe in Secular Stagnation," Discussion Papers 2017-11, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2017-11
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    File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2017-11.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    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. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2005. "Policy Interaction, Expectations and the Liquidity Trap," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 303-323, April.
    3. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra, 2014. "A Model of Secular Stagnation," NBER Working Papers 20574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Benhabib, Jess & Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2014. "Liquidity traps and expectation dynamics: Fiscal stimulus or fiscal austerity?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 220-238.
    5. Evans, George W. & Guse, Eran & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2008. "Liquidity traps, learning and stagnation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1438-1463, November.
    6. Leeper, E.M. & Leith, C., 2016. "Understanding Inflation as a Joint Monetary–Fiscal Phenomenon," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & Harald Uhlig (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 0, pages 2305-2415, Elsevier.
    7. James B. Bullard, 2013. "Seven Faces of \\"The Peril\\"," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 613-628.
    8. Bruce Preston, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
    9. Eusepi, Stefano, 2007. "Learnability and monetary policy: A global perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1115-1131, May.
    10. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2016. "Expectations, Stagnation and Fiscal Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11428, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Campbell Leith & Eric Leeper, 2016. "Understanding Inflation as a Joint Monetary-Fiscal Phenomenon," Working Papers 2016_01, Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Jacob A. Robbins, 2019. "A Model of Secular Stagnation: Theory and Quantitative Evaluation," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 1-48, January.
    2. Gibbs, Christopher G. & McClung, Nigel, 2019. "Does my model predict a forward guidance puzzle?," Research Discussion Papers 19, Bank of Finland.
    3. Gibbs, Christopher G. & McClung, Nigel, 2019. "Does my model predict a forward guidance puzzle?," Research Discussion Papers 19/2019, Bank of Finland.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Secular stagnation; Expectations; Adaptive learning; Zero lower bound;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • 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
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations

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