Achieving Price Stability by Manipulating the Central Bank’s Payment on Reserves
Today, all major central banks pay or collect interest on reserves, and stand ready to use the interest rate as an instrument of monetary policy. We show that by paying an appropriate rate on reserves, the central bank can pin the price level uniquely to a target. The essential idea is to index payments on reserves to the price level and the target price level in a way that creates a contractionary financial force if the price level is above the target and an expansionary force if below. Our payment-on-reserves policy process does not require terminal conditions like Taylor rules, exogenous fiscal surpluses like the fiscal theory of the price level, liquidity preference as in quantity theories, or local approximations as in new Keynesian models. The process accommodates liquidity services from reserves, segmented financial markets where only some institutions can hold reserves, and nominal rigidities. We believe it would be easy to implement.
A previous version of this paper circulated in 2014 under the name “Controlling Inflation under New Style Central Banking.” Hall’s research was supported by the Hoover Institution, while Reis’s work was initially supported by a grant from INET and later by a grant from the ERC. This research is part of the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Economic Fluctuations and Growth, and Monetary Economics Programs. We are grateful to Andy Atkeson, Marco Del Negro, Isabel Horta Correia, Narayana Kocherlakota, Monika Piazzesi, and Michael Woodford for helpful comments, and to Andrea Alati and Laura Castillo-Martinez for research assistance. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Robert E. Hall
Hall attends conferences and meetings at the Federal Reserve Board and regional Federal Reserve Banks, at the European Central Bank, and at the central banks of other countries, including the United Kingdom, Portugal, Chile, and Canada. In some cases, he receives honorariums for his participation. His wife, Susan Woodward, has similar relations with the Federal Reserve System. Hall's research is supported by Stanford's Hoover Institution.