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What Else Can Central Banks Do?

By Laurence Ball, Joseph Gagnon, Patrick Honohan, and Signe Krogstrup
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Central banks can do more to stimulate economies and restore full employment, even when nominal interest rates are near zero. Quantitative easing has had beneficial effects already and can be expanded; policymakers can push interest rates substantially below zero. Central banks can also increase their scope for countercyclical policy by raising their inflation targets modestly. Eventually, the trend toward cashless economies may eliminate completely the problems arising from the lower bound on interest rates.

The 18th Geneva Report on the World Economy seeks to provide policymakers with a developed selection of stimulus methods in order to tackle secular stagnation in advanced economies. With most options having already been explored, this report contributes to current stimulus policies and how they can be expanded and implemented to greater effect.

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