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Understanding Real Interest Rates

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  • Frederic S. Mishkin

Abstract

This paper outlines an approach to measuring real interest rates and testing hypotheses on their behavior. It then describes what we know about real interest rates in the aggregate economy and provides estimates of real interest rates for the agricultural sector. The evidence presented in this paper indicates that real interest rates for the agricultural economy have been extremely high in the l98Ds and that their behavior seems to be linked to that found for real rates in the aggregate economy. What has been the source of these high real rates? The answer seems to be that it was a result of a concerted effort by the monetary authorities to disinflate the economy. However, the brunt of the Fed's disinflationary policy has fallen more heavily on the farm sector which has had to face far higher reel rates than the rest of the economy. Although breaking the back of inflation was certainly a worthy goal for the Fed, farmers have had to pay a heavy price. They have had to suffer for the sins of an economy that was excessively inflationary, which then had to be brought back into line with disinflationary policy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2691.

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Date of creation: Aug 1988
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Publication status: published as American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 70, No. 5, pp. 1064-1075,(December 1988).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2691

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  1. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  2. Nelson, Charles R & Schwert, G William, 1977. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation: On Testing the Hypothesis That the Real Rate of Interest is Constant," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 478-86, June.
  3. Cumby, Robert E. & Mishkin, Frederic S., 1986. "The international linkage of real interest rates: The European-US connection," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 5-23, March.
  4. Evans, Paul, 1985. "Do Large Deficits Produce High Interest Rates?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 68-87, March.
  5. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1982. "The Real Interest Rate: A Multi-Country Empirical Study," NBER Working Papers 1047, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. John Huizinga & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1984. "Inflation and Real Interest Rates on Assets with Different Risk Characteristics," NBER Working Papers 1333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrence H. Summers, 1982. "The Nonadjustment of Nominal Interest Rates: A Study of the Fisher Effect," NBER Working Papers 0836, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  9. Fama, Eugene F, 1975. "Short-Term Interest Rates as Predictors of Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 65(3), pages 269-82, June.
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Cited by:
  1. John B. Shoven & Scott B. Smart & Joel Waldfogel, 1992. "Real Interest Rates and the Savings and Loan Crisis: The Moral Hazard Premium," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 155-167, Winter.
  2. Noor Ghazali & Shamshubariah Ramlee, 2003. "A long memory test of the long-run Fisher effect in the G7 countries," Applied Financial Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 13(10), pages 763-769.
  3. Chu, Quentin C. & Pittman, Deborah N. & Yu, Linda Q., 2003. "Real rates, nominal rates, and the Fisherian link," International Review of Financial Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 189-205.
  4. G√ľnther Schulze & Karl-Josef Koch, 1994. "Tax competition in a Bertrand model," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 59(2), pages 193-215, June.
  5. Frederic S. Mishkin & John Simon, 1994. "An Empirical Examination of the Fisher Effect in Australia," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp9410, Reserve Bank of Australia.
  6. Fletcher, Donna J. & Gulley, O. David, 1996. "Forecasting the real interest rate," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 55-76.
  7. Tsay, Wen-Jen, 2000. "Long memory story of the real interest rate," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 67(3), pages 325-330, June.

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