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The Behavior of U.S. Short-Term Interest Rates since October 1979

  • Clarida, Richard H
  • Friedman, Benjamin M

Short-term interest rates in the United States have been "too high" since October 1979 in the sense that both unconditional and conditional forecasts, based on an estimated vector autoregression model summarizing the prior experience,under predict 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-October 1979 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 interestrates. This finding is consistent with the authors' earlier conclusion, based on analysis of a small structural macroeconometric 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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Article provided by American Finance Association in its journal Journal of Finance.

Volume (Year): 39 (1984)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages: 671-82

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Handle: RePEc:bla:jfinan:v:39:y:1984:i:3:p:671-82
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  5. Richard H. Clarida & Diane Coyle, 1984. "Conditional Projection by Means of Kalman Filtering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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.
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