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Optimal Allotment Policy in Central Bank Open Market Operations

  • Christian Ewerhart
  • Nuno Cassola
  • Steen Ejerskov
  • Natacha Valla

This paper derives a central bank’s optimal liquidity supply towards a money market with an unrestricted lending facility. We show that when the effect of liquidity on market rates is not too small, and the monetary authority cares for both interest rates and liquidity conditions, then the optimal allotment policy may entail a discontinuous reaction to initial conditions. In particular, the model predicts a threshold level of liquidity below which the central bank will not bail out the banking system. An estimation of the liquidity effect for the euro area suggests that the discontinuity might have contributed to the Eurosystem’s tight response to occurrences of underbidding during the period June 2000 through March 2004.

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Paper provided by Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 201.

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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:201
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  1. Ho, Thomas S Y & Saunders, Anthony, 1985. " A Micro Model of the Federal Funds Market," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 40(3), pages 977-88, July.
  2. Ayuso, J. & Repullo, R., 2000. "A Model of the Open Market Operations of the European Central Bank," Papers 0011, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Y Financieros-.
  3. Giuseppe Bertola & Leonardo Bartolini & Alessandro Prati, 2000. "Banks' Reserve Management, Transaction Costs, and the Timing of Federal Reserve Intervention," IMF Working Papers 00/163, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Bartolini, Leonardo & Bertola, Giuseppe & Prati, Alessandro, 2002. "Day-to-Day Monetary Policy and the Volatility of the Federal Funds Interest Rate," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 34(1), pages 137-59, February.
  5. Hamilton, James D, 1997. "Measuring the Liquidity Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 80-97, March.
  6. Ewerhart, Christian & Cassola, Nuno & Ejerskov, Steen & Valla, Natacha, 2003. "Optimal allotment policy in the Eurosystem's main refinancing operations," Working Paper Series 0295, European Central Bank.
  7. Hamilton, James D, 1996. "The Daily Market for Federal Funds," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 104(1), pages 26-56, February.
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