Discussion Paper Series 2011-E-8

Monetary Policy Transmission under Zero Interest Rates: An Extended Time-Varying Parameter Vector Autoregression Approach

Jouchi Nakajima

This paper attempts to explore monetary policy transmission under zero interest rates by explicitly incorporating the zero lower bound (ZLB) of nominal interest rates into the time-varying parameter structural vector autoregression model with stochastic volatility (TVP-VAR-ZLB). Nominal interest rates are modeled as a censored variable with Tobit-type non-linearity and incorporated into the TVP-VAR framework. For estimation, an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method is constructed in the context of Bayesian inference. The model is applied to the Japanese macroeconomic data including the periods of the zero interest rates policy and the quantitative easing policy. The empirical results show that a dynamic relationship between monetary policy and macroeconomic variables is well detected through changes in medium-term interest rates, and not policy interest rates under the ZLB, although other macroeconomic dynamics are reasonably traced without considering the ZLB in an explicit manner.

Keywords: Monetary policy; Zero lower bound of nominal interest rates; Markov chain Monte Carlo; Time-varying parameter vector autoregression with stochastic volatility

Views expressed in the paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the Bank of Japan or Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies.

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