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Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real-time

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  • Clark, Todd E.
  • Kozicki, Sharon

Abstract

We use a range of simple models and 22 years of real-time data vintages for the U.S. to assess the difficulties of estimating the equilibrium real interest rate in real time. Model specifications differ according to whether the time-varying equilibrium real rate is linked to trend growth, and whether potential output and growth are defined by the CBO?s estimates or treated as unobserved variables. Our results reveal a high degree of specification uncertainty, an important one-sided filtering problem, and considerable imprecision due to data uncertainty. Also, the link between trend growth and the equilibrium real rate is shown to be quite weak. Overall, we conclude that statistical estimates of the equilibrium real rate will be difficult to use reliably in practical policy applications. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2004,32.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:2298

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Keywords: real-time-data; time-varying parameter; Kalman filter; trend growth;

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  1. Glenn D. Rudebusch & Lars E. O. Svensson, 1998. "Policy rules for inflation targeting," Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory 98-03, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. P.A. Tinsley & Sharon Kozicki, 2004. "Permanent and Transitory Policy Shocks in an Empirical Macro Model with Asymmetric Information," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 146, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon Van_Norden, 2000. "The Reliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0768, Econometric Society.
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  7. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  8. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1999. "Output gaps and monetary policy in the EMU area1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 801-812, April.
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  10. Kamada, Koichiro, 2004. "Real-Time Estimation of the Output Gap in Japan and its Usefulness for Inflation Forecasting and Policymaking," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,14, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  11. Sharon Kozicki & P.A. Tinsley, 1997. "Moving endpoints and the internal consistency of agents' ex ante forecasts," Research Working Paper 97-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  12. Sharon Kozicki, 2004. "How do data revisions affect the evaluation and conduct of monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-38.
  13. Neiss, Katharine S. & Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The Real-Interest-Rate Gap As An Inflation Indicator," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 239-262, April.
  14. Todd E. Clark & Sharon Kozicki, 2004. "Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real time," Research Working Paper RWP 04-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  15. 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.
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  17. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
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  29. repec:cup:macdyn:v:7:y:2003:i:2:p:239-62 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2004. "The reliability of Canadian output gap estimates," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2004,29, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
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