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Evaluating Unconventional Monetary Policies ─Why Aren’t They More Effective?

We use a general equilibrium finance model that features explicit government purchases of private debts to shed light on some of the principal working mechanisms of the Federal Reserve’s large-scale asset purchases (LSAP) and their macroeconomic effects. Our model predicts that unless private asset purchases are highly persistent and extremely large (on the order of more than 50% of annual GDP), money injections through LSAP cannot effectively boost aggregate output and employment even if inflation is fully anchored and the real interest rate significantly reduced. Our framework also sheds light on some long- standing financial puzzles and monetary policy questions facing central banks around the world, such as (i) the flight to liquidity under a credit crunch and debt crisis, (ii) the liquidity trap, and (iii) the low inflation puzzle under quantitative easing.

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