Date of Original Version

6-2006

Type

Conference Proceeding

Abstract or Description

The paper reviews issues related to the zero lower bound (ZLB) on interest rates and argues that all of the following propositions are invalid: (1) in a ZLB situation, "shaping interest rate expectations is essentially the only tool that central bankers have" (Bernanke, Reinhart, and Sack [2004]); (2) fiscal policy actions such as "helicopter drops" are in theory more effective than monetary policy actions; (3) the prominent "foolproof way" policy rule of Svensson (2001, 2003) is applicable more generally-that is, even when exact uncovered interest parity holds-than the alternative exchange rate rule of McCallum (2000); (4) both of the exchange rate strategies described in (3) are open to the objection that they constitute "beggar-thy-neighbor" approaches; and (5) there is a significant danger of ZLB difficulties stemming from a "deflationary trap" type of equilibrium, as distinct from a "liquidity trap."

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Published In

Bank of Japan, Monetary and Economic Studies , 24, 13-26.