The Effectiveness of Unconventional Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound: A Cross-Country Analysis

BIS Working Papers No 384
August 2012

This paper assesses the macroeconomic effects of unconventional monetary policies by estimating a panel VAR with monthly data from eight advanced economies over a sample spanning the period since the onset of the global financial crisis. It finds that an exogenous increase in central bank balance sheets at the zero lower bound leads to a temporary rise in economic activity and consumer prices. The estimated output effects turn out to be qualitatively similar to the ones found in the literature on the effects of conventional monetary policy, while the impact on the price level is weaker and less persistent. Individual country results suggest that there are no major differences in the macroeconomic effects of unconventional monetary policies across countries, despite the heterogeneity of the measures that were taken.

JEL classification: C32, E30, E44, E51, E52

Keywords: unconventional monetary policy, zero lower bound, panel VARs