May 2019

Credible Forward Guidance

Taisuke Nakata and Takeki Sunakawa


We analyze credible forward guidance policies in a sticky-price model with an effective lower bound (ELB) constraint on nominal interest rates by solving a series of optimal sustainable policy problems indexed by the duration of reputational loss. Lower-for-longer policies---while effective in stimulating the economy at the ELB---are potentially time-inconsistent, as the associated overheating of the economy in the aftermath of a crisis is undesirable ex post. However, if reneging on a lower-for-longer promise leads to a loss of reputation and prevents the central bank from effectively using lower-for-longer policies in future crises, these policies can be time-consistent. We find that, even without an explicit commitment technology, the central bank can still credibly keep the policy rate at the ELB for an extended period---though not as extended under the optimal commitment policy---and meaningfully mitigate the adverse effects of the ELB constraint on economy activity.

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Keywords: Credibility, Effective Lower Bound, Forward Guidance, Sustainable Plan, Time-Consistency


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Last Update: January 09, 2020