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A Large Central Bank Balance Sheet? The Role of Interbank Market Frictions

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  • Thaler, Dominik

Abstract

Recent quantitative easing (QE) policies implemented over the course of the Great Recession by the major central banks have had a profound impact on the working of money markets, giving rise to large excess reserves and pushing down key interbank rates against their floor .the interest rate on reserves. With macroeconomic fundamentals improving, central banks now face the dilemma as to whether to maintain this large balance sheet/floor system, or else to reduce balance sheet size towards pre-crisis trends and operate traditional corridor systems. We address this issue using a relatively simple New Keynesian model with two distinct features: heterogeneous banks that trade funds in an interbank market, and matching frictions in the latter market. We show that a large balance sheet allows for ampler .policy space.by widening the average distance between the interest on reserves and its effective lower bound. Nonetheless, a lean-balance-sheet regime that resorts to temporary QE in response to recessions severe enough for the lower bound to bind achieves similar stabilization and welfare outcomes as a large-balance-sheet regime in which interest-rate policy is the primary adjustment margin thanks to the larger policy space. At the same time, the effectiveness of QE through the channel we model is limited. In line with the empirical evidence, the marginal effect vanishes as the balance sheet becomes very big.

Suggested Citation

  • Thaler, Dominik, 2018. "A Large Central Bank Balance Sheet? The Role of Interbank Market Frictions," Annual Conference 2018 (Freiburg, Breisgau): Digital Economy 181632, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:vfsc18:181632
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    File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/181632/1/VfS-2018-pid-14045.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gara Afonso & Ricardo Lagos, 2015. "Trade Dynamics in the Market for Federal Funds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 263-313, January.
    2. Roc Armenter & Benjamin Lester, 2017. "Excess Reserves and Monetary Policy Implementation," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 23, pages 212-235, January.
    3. Andrew G. Atkeson & Andrea L. Eisfeldt & Pierre‐Olivier Weill, 2015. "Entry and Exit in OTC Derivatives Markets," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 83, pages 2231-2292, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Lukas Altermatt, 2019. "Bank lending, financial frictions, and inside money creation," ECON - Working Papers 325, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    central bank balance sheet; interbank market; search and matching frictions; reserves; zero lower bound;

    JEL classification:

    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G10 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • G20 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - General

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