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Measuring equilibrium real interest rates: what can we learn from yields on indexed bonds?

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  • Antulio N. Bomfim
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    Abstract

    What does the level of the real interest rates tell us about where the economy, or one's portfolio, is headed? The answer to this question depends on one's estimate of the ``equilibrium'' value of real interest rates, a measure that is unfortunately not directly observed in the market place. In this paper, I provide a brief overview of some of the existing approaches to defining and measuring equilibrium real rates and introduce a novel method based on yields on the U.S. Treasury's inflation-indexed securities (TIIS). I discuss a simple framework for analyzing TIIS yields and illustrate how to use them to gauge the stance of monetary policy and overall economic prospects.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series Finance and Economics Discussion Series with number 2001-53.

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    Date of creation: 2001
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    Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2001-53

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    Keywords: Government securities ; Inflation (Finance);

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    References

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    1. Ben Bernanke, 1990. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transnission," NBER Working Papers 3487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Robert J. Shiller & John Y. Campbell & Kermit L. Schoenholtz, 1983. "Forward Rates and Future Policy: Interpreting the Term Structure of Interest Rates," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 667, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    3. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1994. "Estimating and Interpreting Forward Interest Rates," IMF Working Papers 94/114, International Monetary Fund.
    4. Lars E.O. Svensson, 1994. "Estimating and Interpreting Forward Interest Rates: Sweden 1992 - 1994," NBER Working Papers 4871, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Shiller, Robert J, 1979. "The Volatility of Long-Term Interest Rates and Expectations Models of the Term Structure," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(6), pages 1190-1219, December.
    6. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the natural rate of interest," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-56, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    7. Bomfim, Antulio N, 1997. "The Equilibrium Fed Funds Rate and the Indicator Properties of Term-Structure Spreads," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 830-46, October.
    8. Robert A. Jarrow, 2009. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 69-96, November.
    9. F. Brayton & P. Tinsley, 1996. "A guide to FRB/US: a macroeconomic model of the United States," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 96-42, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    Cited by:
    1. Giammarioli, Nicola & Valla, Natacha, 2004. "The natural real interest rate and monetary policy: a review," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 641-660, July.
    2. Jean-Paul Lam, 2004. "Estimating Policy-Neutral Interest Rates for Canada Using a Dynamic Stochastic General-Equilibrium Framework," Working Papers 04-9, Bank of Canada.
    3. 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.
    4. Horváth, Roman, 2009. "The time-varying policy neutral rate in real-time: A predictor for future inflation?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 71-81, January.
    5. Rochelle M. Edge & Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2004. "Learning and shifts in long-run productivity growth," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-21, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    6. Rodrigo Fuentes S & Fabián Gredig U., 2008. "The Neutral Interest Rate: Estimates for Chile," Journal Economía Chilena (The Chilean Economy), Central Bank of Chile, vol. 11(2), pages 47-58, August.
    7. Rochelle Edge & Thomas Laubach, 2004. "Learning and Shifts in Long-Run Growth," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 123, Society for Computational Economics.
    8. Clark, Todd E. & Kozicki, Sharon, 2005. "Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real time," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 395-413, December.
    9. Paul Castillo & Carlos Montoro & Vicente Tuesta, 2006. "Measuring the Natural Interest Rate for the Peruvian Economy," Working Papers 2006-003, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    10. Belke, Ansgar & Klose, Jens, 2013. "Modifying Taylor reaction functions in the presence of the zero‐lower‐bound — Evidence for the ECB and the Fed," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 35(C), pages 515-527.

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