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Great Moderation(s) and US Interest Rates: Unconditional Evidence

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Listed:
  • Nason James M.

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta)

  • Smith Gregor W

    () (Queen’s University)

Abstract

The Great Moderation refers to the fall in US output growth volatility in the mid-1980s. At the same time, the US experienced a moderation in inflation and lower average inflation. Asset pricing theory predicts that moderations -- real or nominal -- influence interest rates. Using annual data since 1890, we find that an earlier 1946 moderation in output and consumption growth was comparable to that of 1984. To assess the impact of these moderations, we also isolate the 1969-1983 Great Inflation using quarterly data since 1947. We examine the quantitative predictions of a consumption-based asset pricing model for shifts in the unconditional average of US interest rates across these time periods. A central finding is that such shifts probably were related to changes in average inflation rather than to moderations in inflation and consumption growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Nason James M. & Smith Gregor W, 2008. "Great Moderation(s) and US Interest Rates: Unconditional Evidence," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-33, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:30
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    Cited by:

    1. Nason, James M. & Tallman, Ellis W., 2015. "Business Cycles And Financial Crises: The Roles Of Credit Supply And Demand Shocks," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(4), pages 836-882, June.
    2. Keating, John W. & Valcarcel, Victor J., 2015. "The Time-Varying Effects Of Permanent And Transitory Shocks To Real Output," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(3), pages 477-507, April.
    3. Semih Emre Çekin & Victor J. Valcarcel, 0. "Inflation volatility and inflation in the wake of the great recession," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-19.
    4. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Guerrón-Quintana, Pablo & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan F., 2015. "Estimating dynamic equilibrium models with stochastic volatility," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 185(1), pages 216-229.
    5. Alexopoulos, Michelle & Tombe, Trevor, 2012. "Management matters," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(3), pages 269-285.
    6. Kurt G. Lunsford & Kenneth D. West, 2019. "Some Evidence on Secular Drivers of US Safe Real Rates," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 113-139, October.
    7. Thorsten V. Koeppl, 2009. "How Flexible Can Inflation Targeting Be? Suggestions for the Future of Canada's Targeting Regime," C.D. Howe Institute Commentary, C.D. Howe Institute, issue 293, August.
    8. Semih Emre Çekin & Victor J. Valcarcel, 2020. "Inflation volatility and inflation in the wake of the great recession," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 59(4), pages 1997-2015, October.
    9. Keating, John W. & Valcarcel, Victor J., 2017. "What's so great about the Great Moderation?," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 115-142.
    10. John W. Keating & Victor J. Valcarcel, 2012. "What's so Great about the Great Moderation? A Multi-Country Investigation of Time-Varying Volatilities of Output Growth and Inflation," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201204, University of Kansas, Department of Economics.
    11. Moen, Jon R. & Tallman, Ellis W., 2000. "Clearinghouse Membership and Deposit Contraction during the Panic of 1907," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(1), pages 145-163, March.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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