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The Behavior of U.S. Short-Term Interest Rates Since 1979-10

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Author Info

  • Richard H. Clarida
  • Benjamin M. Friedman

    (Harvard University)

Abstract

Short-term interest rates in the United States have been "too high" since 1979-10 in the sense that both unconditional and conditional forecasts, based on an estimated vector autoregression model summarizing the prior experience, underpredict short-term interest rates during this period. Although a non-structural model cannot directly answer the question of why this has been so, comparisons of alternative conditional forecasts point to the post-1979-10 relationship between the growth of real income and the growth of real money balances as closely connected to the level and pattern of short-term interest rates. This finding is consistent with the authors' macroeconomic model, that the high average level of interest rates has been due to a combination of slow growth of (nominal) money supply and continuing price inflation, which together have kept real balances small in relation to prevailing levels of economic activity.

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File URL: http://cowles.econ.yale.edu/P/cd/d06b/d0695.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 695.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 1986
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Journal of Finance (July 1984), 39(3): 671-682
Handle: RePEc:cwl:cwldpp:695

Note: CFP 596.
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Postal: Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
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Related research

Keywords: Short term interest rates;

References

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  1. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Forecasting and conditional projection using realistic prior distribution," Staff Report 93, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  2. Richard H. Clarida & Diane Coyle, 1984. "Conditional Projection by Means of Kalman Filtering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Richard H. Clarida & Benjamin M. Friedman, 1983. "Why Have Short-Term Interest Rates Been So High?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 553-586.
  4. Christopher A. Sims, 1980. "Comparison of Interwar and Postwar Business Cycles: Monetarism Reconsidered," NBER Working Papers 0430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1977. "The Inefficiency of Short-Run Monetary Targets for Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(2), pages 293-346.
  6. Christopher A. Sims, 1982. "Policy Analysis with Econometric Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 107-164.
  7. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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