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Wicksell's Classical Dichotomy: Is the natural rate of interest independent of the money rate of interest?

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  • Beenstock, Michael
  • Ilek, Alex

Abstract

According to Wicksell's Classical Dichotomy the money rate of interest depends on the natural rate of interest, but the latter does not depend on the former. If this Classical Dichotomy is false monetary policy may induce hysteresis because the natural rate of interest would depend upon the money rate of interest. We use data for Israel to test Wicksell's Classical Dichotomy. We proxy the natural rate of interest by the forward yield to maturity on indexed-linked treasury bonds. If the null hypothesis is false it is difficult to suggest persuasive instruments that would identify the causal effect of the money rate on the natural rate of interest. Our identification strategy is therefore built around quasi-experimentation and event analysis. Large and seemingly orthogonal shocks to the natural rate of interest have no measurable effect on the natural rate of interest according to non-parametric and parametric tests. Therefore, Wicksell's Classical Dichotomy is empirically valid.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 366-377

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:32:y:2010:i:1:p:366-377

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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Keywords: Natural rate of interest Monetary policy Event analysis Indexed bonds Neutrality of monetary policy Identification;

References

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  1. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
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  6. Estrella, Arturo & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1997. "The predictive power of the term structure of interest rates in Europe and the United States: Implications for the European Central Bank," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(7), pages 1375-1401, July.
  7. Christina D. Romer & David H. Romer, 1989. "Does Monetary Policy Matter? A New Test in the Spirit of Friedman and Schwartz," NBER Working Papers 2966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Charles L. Evans & David A. Marshall, 1997. "Monetary policy and the term structure of nominal interest rates: evidence and theory," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues WP-97-10, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Vasicek, Oldrich Alfonso, 1977. "Abstract: An Equilibrium Characterization of the Term Structure," Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(04), pages 627-627, November.
  10. Cox, John C & Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1985. "A Theory of the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(2), pages 385-407, March.
  11. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1063-1070, November.
  12. Hendry, David F., 1995. "Dynamic Econometrics," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198283164, September.
  13. Milton Friedman & Anna J. Schwartz, 1963. "A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie63-1, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Ronny Mazzocchi, 2013. "Monetary Policy when the NAIRI is unknown: The Fed and the Great Deviation," DEM Discussion Papers 2013/16, Department of Economics and Management.

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