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International Finance Discussion Papers
The International Finance Discussion Papers logo links to the International Finance Discussion Papers home page Interest on Excess Reserves as a Monetary Policy Instrument: The Experience of Foreign Central Banks
David Bowman, Etienne Gagnon, and Mike Leahy
2010-996  (March 2010)

Abstract:  This paper reviews the experience of eight major foreign central banks with policy interest rates comparable to the interest rate on excess reserves paid by the Federal Reserve. We pursue two main lines of inquiry: 1) To what extent have these policy interest rates been lower bounds for short-term market rates, and 2) to what extent has tightening that included increasing these policy rates been achieved without reliance on reductions in reserves or other deposits held at the central bank? The foreign experience suggests that policy rate floors can be effective lower bounds for market rates, although incomplete access to central bank accounts and interest on them weakens this result. In addition, the foreign experience suggests that tightening by increasing the interest rate paid on central bank balances can help reduce or eliminate the need to drain balances. These results are consistent with theoretical results that show that tightening without draining is possible, irrespective of whether excess reserves are large or small.

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Excess reserves, policy interest rate, deposit facility, settlement balances, interest rate corridor, open market operations, fine-tuning operations, floor system, liquidity, quantitative easing, central bank balance sheet

Related Material
Data (1014 KB XLS)   Supporting data for Exhibits 1a - 9b

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