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Three Lessons for Monetary Policy In a Low Inflation Era


David Reifschneider


Federal Reserve Board - Division of Research and Statistics

John C. Williams


Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

August 26, 1999

FEDS Working Paper No. 99-44

Abstract:     
The zero lower bound on nominal interest rates constrains the central bank's ability to stimulate the economy during downturns. We use the FRB/US model to quantify the effects of the bound on macroeconomic stabilization and to explore how policy can be designed to minimize these effects. During particularly severe contractions, open-market operations alone may be insufficient to restore equilibrium; some other stimulus is needed. Abstracting from such rare events, if policy follows the Taylor rule and targets a zero inflation rate, there is a significant increase in the variability of output but not inflation. However, a simple modification to the Taylor rule yields a dramatic reduction in the detrimental effects of the zero bound.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 48

JEL Classification: E52, F41

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Date posted: November 16, 1999  

Suggested Citation

Reifschneider, David and Williams, John C., Three Lessons for Monetary Policy In a Low Inflation Era (August 26, 1999). FEDS Working Paper No. 99-44. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=186013 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.186013

Contact Information

David Reifschneider (Contact Author)
Federal Reserve Board - Division of Research and Statistics ( email )
20th and C Streets, NW
Washington, DC 20551
United States
202-452-2941 (Phone)
John C. Williams
Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )
101 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
415-974-2000 (Phone)
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