Central bank balance sheet concerns and credible optimal escape from the Liquidity trap
MetadataShow full item record
I show that when a central bank is financially independent from the treasury and has balance sheet concerns, an increase in the size or a change in the composition of the central bank's balance sheet (quantitative easing) can serve as a commitment device in a liquidity trap scenario. In particular, when the short-term interest rate is up against the zero lower bound, an open market operation by the central bank that involves purchases of long-term bonds can help mitigate the deation and a large negative output gap under a discretionary equilibrium. This is because such an open market operation provides an incentive to the central bank to keep interest rates low in future in order to avoid losses in its balance sheet.