Forward Guidance Contracts
47 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2015
Date Written: May 31, 2015
We examine “Forward Guidance Contracts”, which make central bankers’ utility contingent on the precision of interest-rate forecasts for some time. Such Forward Guidance Contracts are a flexible commitment device and can improve economic performance when the economy is stuck in a liquidity trap. Utilizing the New Keynesian Framework, we establish the properties of simple renewable Forward Guidance Contracts and characterize the contracts that the government wants to offer repeatedly. These contracts create favorable tradeoffs between the efficacy of forward guidance at the zero bound and the reduced flexibility in reacting to future events, when the zero bound on nominal interest rates constrains the central banks’ choice. We discuss how Forward Guidance Contracts can be used when there is uncertainty about natural real interest-rate shocks, a situation which typically calls for moderate incentive intensity. Finally we explore alternative contractual environments.
Keywords: forward guidance, zero lower bound, central banks, incentive contracts, transparency
JEL Classification: E310, E490, E520, E580
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation