Taisuke Nakata and Takeki Sunakawa | We analyze credible forward guidance policies in a sticky-price model with an effective lower bound (ELB) constraint on nominal interest rates by solving a series of optimal sustainable policy problems indexed by the duration of reputational loss. Lower-for-longer policies—while effective in stimulating the economy at the ELB—are potentially time-inconsistent, as the associated overheating of the economy in the aftermath of a crisis is undesirable ex post. However, if reneging on a lower-for-longer promise leads to a loss of reputation and prevents the central bank from effectively using lower-for-longer policies in future crises, these policies can be time-consistent. We find that, even without an explicit commitment technology, the central bank can still credibly keep the policy rate at the ELB for an extended period—though not as extended under the optimal commitment policy—and meaningfully mitigate the adverse effects of the ELB constraint on economy activity.

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