Central Bank Digital Currency and Quantitative Easing
40 Pages Posted: 17 Mar 2021 Last revised: 5 Jan 2022
Date Written: July 15, 2021
We study how the introduction of a central bank digital currency (CBDC) interacts with ongoing monetary policies. We distinguish two policies: standard policy, where the central bank holds treasuries, and quantitative easing, where the central bank holds risky securities. We introduce an interest-bearing CBDC in each scenario and study the equilibrium allocations. We reach three main conclusions. First, the equilibrium impact of a CBDC depends on the ongoing monetary policy. Second, when the central bank conducts quantitative easing, the introduction of a CBDC is neutral under two conditions: the cost of issuing a CBDC is equal to the interest on reserves, and the demand for CBDC deposits is smaller than the amount of excess reserves in the system. Third, the introduction of a CBDC might render quantitative easing a quasi-permanent policy, as commercial banks optimally use their excess reserves to accommodate retailers' demand for switching from bank to CBDC deposits.
Keywords: CBDC, central banking, monetary policy, QE
JEL Classification: E4, E5, G2
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation