Zero Lower Bound and negative interest rates: Choices for monetary policy in the UK

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

There have been relatively few analyses of the policy context and consequences of a Zero Lower Bound (ZLB) for nominal interest rates. This paper sets out monetary policy alternatives, including negative interest rates, a revision of the inflation target, and rendering unconventional policy instruments such as QE conventional (permanent). Following extensive discussion of policy options, we set out a model that explores the impacts of the real policy rate on economic growth, employment and inflation, with particular attention to the British economy. We use a Time-Varying Structural Vector Auto-regressive (TVSVAR) Model where the sources of time variation are both the coefficients and variance–covariance matrix of the innovations. It was found that real rates have significant implications for real growth, the labour market and price stability even when monetary policy was constrained at the ZLB in nominal terms. The study additionally applies a discrete break in the data to focus on the Post-Global Financial Crisis and ZLB period. This indicates that the effectiveness of real rates did not diminish and this has important implications in terms of a policy approach which seeks to exploit real negative rates.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Policy Modeling
Early online date26 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 May 2020
Externally publishedYes

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