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Natural rate doubts

  • Beyer, Andreas
  • Farmer, Roger E.A.

This paper provides evidence for a low frequency relationship between unemployment, inflation and the nominal interest rate. I show that in the United States from 1959.1 to 1991.3, the unemployment rate, the inflation rate and the federal funds rate can be modelled as non stationary time series linked by two co-integrating equations. One of these equations is stable over the whole sample period, the other is different over the sub periods 1959.1-1979.4 and 1980.1-1999.3. I evaluate the ability of a class of models to explain these facts and conclude that models that incorporate the natural rate hypothesis are inadequate. An alternative class of models, characterized by the existence of an upward sloping long-run Phillips curve, can account for the data.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control.

Volume (Year): 31 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 (March)
Pages: 797-825

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Handle: RePEc:eee:dyncon:v:31:y:2007:i:3:p:797-825
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jedc

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  1. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  2. Jushan Bai & Robin L. Lumsdaine & James H. Stock, 1998. "Testing For and Dating Common Breaks in Multivariate Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 395-432.
  3. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Working Paper Series 2003-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  4. Jess Benhabib & Roger Farmer, 1998. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2055, David K. Levine.
  5. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  6. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," Papers 88-05, Rochester, Business - General.
  7. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
  8. Gordon, Robert J, 1996. "The Time-varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1492, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
  10. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
  11. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1997. "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," NBER Working Papers 5875, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
  13. 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.
  14. John B. Taylor, 1998. "An Historical Analysis of Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Working Papers 6768, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Søren Johansen & Katarina Juselius, 1992. "Identification of the Long-Run and the Short-Run Structure: An Application to the ISLM Model," Discussion Papers 92-04, University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics.
  16. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1991. "Stochastic trends and economic fluctuations," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  17. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  18. den Haan, Wouter J. & Ramey, Garey & Watson, Joel, 1999. "Contract-Theoretic Approaches to Wages and Displacement," University of California at San Diego, Economics Working Paper Series qt8h0480sk, Department of Economics, UC San Diego.
  19. Stock, James H & Watson, Mark W, 1993. "A Simple Estimator of Cointegrating Vectors in Higher Order Integrated Systems," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 783-820, July.
  20. Rudebusch, G.D., 1996. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," Papers 269, Banca Italia - Servizio di Studi.
  21. Peter N. Ireland, 1998. "Does the Time-Consistency Problem Explain the Behavior of Inflation in the United States?," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 415, Boston College Department of Economics.
  22. Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1992. "Testing long run neutrality," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  23. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  24. Henrik Hansen & Søren Johansen, 1999. "Some tests for parameter constancy in cointegrated VAR-models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 2(2), pages 306-333.
  25. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Introduction to "Monetary Policy Rules"," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  27. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
  28. Katarina Juselius, 2001. "European integration and monetary transmission mechanisms: the case of Italy," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(3), pages 341-358.
  29. Fisher, Mark E & Seater, John J, 1993. "Long-Run Neutrality and Superneutrality in an ARIMA Framework," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(3), pages 402-15, June.
  30. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense? A Reply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 943-48, November.
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  32. Grant, Alan P., 2002. "Time-varying estimates of the natural rate of unemployment: a revisitation of Okun's law," The Quarterly Review of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 95-113.
  33. repec:fth:starer:9613 is not listed on IDEAS
  34. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, September.
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