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The Natural Rate of Interest and Its Usefulness for Monetary Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Robert Barsky
  • Alejandro Justiniano
  • Leonardo Melosi

Abstract

We estimate a state-of-the-art DSGE model to study the natural rate of interest in the United States over the last 20 years. The natural rate is highly procyclical, and fell substantially below zero in each of the last three recessions. Although the drop was of comparable magnitude across the three recessions, the decline was considerably more persistent in the Great Recession. We discuss the usefulness and limitations, particularly due to the zero lower bound, of the natural rate for the conduct of monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Barsky & Alejandro Justiniano & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "The Natural Rate of Interest and Its Usefulness for Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 37-43, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:5:p:37-43
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.5.37
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2013. "Is There a Trade-Off between Inflation and Output Stabilization?," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-31, April.
    2. Marc P. Giannoni & Jean Boivin, 2005. "DSGE Models in a Data-Rich Environment," Computing in Economics and Finance 2005 431, Society for Computational Economics.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E12 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Keynes; Keynesian; Post-Keynesian; Modern Monetary Theory
    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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