IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

The Natural Rate Hypothesis: an idea past its sell-by date

  • Farmer, Roger


    (Bank of England)

Central banks throughout the world predict inflation with New Keynesian models where, after a shock, the unemployment rate returns to its so-called ‘natural rate’. That assumption is called the Natural Rate Hypothesis (NRH). In this paper Roger Farmer reviews a body of work, published over the past decade, in which the author argues that the NRH does not hold in the data and provides an alternative paradigm that explains why it does not hold. Professor Farmer replaces the NRH with the assumption that the animal spirits of investors are a fundamental of the economy that can be modelled by a ‘belief function’. He shows how to operationalise that idea by constructing an empirical model that outperforms the New Keynesian Phillips Curve.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Full text
Download Restriction: no

Article provided by Bank of England in its journal Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin.

Volume (Year): 53 (2013)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 244-256

in new window

Handle: RePEc:boe:qbullt:0114
Contact details of provider: Postal: Publications Group Bank of England Threadneedle Street London EC2R 8AH
Phone: +44 (0)171 601 4030
Fax: +44 (0)171 601 5196
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Farmer, Roger E A & Nourry, Carine & Venditti, Alain, 2013. "The Inefficient Markets Hypothesis: Why Financial Markets Do Not Work Well in the Real World," CEPR Discussion Papers 9283, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier J. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1987. "Hysteresis in unemployment," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(1-2), pages 288-295.
  3. Long, John B, Jr & Plosser, Charles I, 1983. "Real Business Cycles," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 39-69, February.
  4. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles : a Bayesian DSGE Approach," Working Paper Research 109, National Bank of Belgium.
  5. Mark Gertler & Antonella Trigari, 2006. "Unemployment Fluctuations with Staggered Nash Wage Bargaining," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 525, Society for Computational Economics.
  6. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Employment Fluctuations with Equilibrium Wage Stickiness," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 50-65, March.
  7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  8. Beyer, Andreas & Farmer, Roger E. A., 2002. "Natural rate doubts," Working Paper Series 0121, European Central Bank.
  9. Robert E. Hall & Paul R. Milgrom, 2008. "The Limited Influence of Unemployment on the Wage Bargain," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1653-74, September.
  10. Kerry A. Pearce & Kevin D. Hoover, 1995. "After the Revolution: Paul Samuelson and the Textbook Keynesian Model," History of Political Economy, Duke University Press, vol. 27(5), pages 183-216, Supplemen.
  11. Merz, Monika, 1995. "Search in the labor market and the real business cycle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 269-300, November.
  12. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1978. "Unemployment Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 353-57, May.
  13. Modigliani, Franco, 1977. "The Monetarist Controversy or, Should We Forsake Stabilization Policies?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(2), pages 1-19, March.
  14. Milton Friedman, 1971. "A Theoretical Framework for Monetary Analysis," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number frie71-1, December.
  15. Andolfatto, David, 1996. "Business Cycles and Labor-Market Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 112-32, March.
  16. Howitt, Peter & McAfee, R Preston, 1987. "Costly Search and Recruiting," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 89-107, February.
  17. Luca Sala & Antonella Trigari & Mark Gertler, 2007. "An Estimated Monetary DSGE Model with Unemployment and Staggered Nominal Wage Bargaining," 2007 Meeting Papers 353, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  18. P. Diamond, 1980. "Aggregate Demand Management in Search Equilibrium," Working papers 268, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  19. Mortensen, Dale T, 1970. "Job Search, the Duration of Unemployment, and the Phillips Curve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(5), pages 847-62, December.
  20. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1982. "Time to Build and Aggregate Fluctuations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(6), pages 1345-70, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:boe:qbullt:0114. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Publications Group)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.