Norges Bank

Staff Memo

The power of forward guidance in NEMO

Drago Bergholt, Sara S. Meyer, Yasin Mimir and Øistein Røisland
Staff Memo


This staff memo revisits the power of forward guidance with particular emphasis on the effectiveness of anticipated policy in Norges Bank’s main policy model NEMO. First we explain, within the context of a simple toy model, why and how forward guidance has implausible effects in standard monetary policy frameworks. Second, we discuss some of the main solutions to the so-called forward guidance puzzle. We argue that existing proposals, including effective discounting as in Gabaix (2018), come with serious limitations once guidance about nominal policy rates is considered. With these lessons in mind, we proceed with a quantitative assessment of forward guidance in NEMO. It is shown that the presence of several real and nominal frictions reduces the net effects of forward guidance compared with the simple model. A powerful expectations channel is still at play: agents in NEMO believe that expansionary interest rate paths will be counteracted at some point in the future, resulting in limited net effects of forward guidance policies. We briefly discuss the realism of this feature.

Staff Memos present reports and documentation written by staff members and affiliates of Norges Bank, the central bank of Norway. Views and conclusions expressed in Staff Memos should not be taken to represent the views of Norges Bank.

ISSN 1504-2596 (online)

Published 16 May 2019 10:30
Published 16 May 2019 10:30