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Finding the Equilibrium Real Interest Rate in a Fog of Policy Deviations

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  • John B. Taylor

    (Hoover Institution and Stanford University)

  • Volker Wieland

    (Institute for Monetary and Financial Stability and Goethe University of Frankfurt)

Abstract

A large number of recent papers have endeavored to estimate the current level and trend in the equilibrium real interest rate. A common finding in these studies is that the equilibrium real interest rate has declined in recent years. We show that what appear to be trends in the equilibrium interest rate may instead be trends in other policy variables that affect the economy, and that methods used to adjust monetary policy rules to take account of shifts in the equilibrium interest rate alone are incomplete and misleading because they do not incorporate shifts—such as changes in potential GDP—that are associated with the shifts. Finally, we show that alternative simulation techniques can radically alter the results. We conclude that the estimates of time-varying real equilibrium interest rates that have emerged from recent research are not yet useful for application to current monetary policy.

Suggested Citation

  • John B. Taylor & Volker Wieland, 2016. "Finding the Equilibrium Real Interest Rate in a Fog of Policy Deviations," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 51(3), pages 147-154, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:buseco:v:51:y:2016:i:3:d:10.1057_s11369-016-0001-5
    DOI: 10.1057/s11369-016-0001-5
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    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Think Again and Again About the Natural Rate of Interest
      by John Taylor in Economics One on 2016-09-12 20:45:56

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    Cited by:

    1. Victor Bystrov, 2018. "Measuring the Natural Rates of Interest in Germany and Italy," Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, Central European Journal of Economic Modelling and Econometrics, vol. 10(4), pages 333-353, December.
    2. Morelli, Pierluigi & Seghezza, Elena, 2021. "Why was the ECB’s reaction to Covid-19 crisis faster than after the 2008 financial crash?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-14.
    3. Gabriele Fiorentini & Alessandro Galesi & Gabriel Pérez-Quirós & Enrique Sentana, 2018. "The rise and fall of the natural interest rate," Working Papers 1822, Banco de España.
    4. Samuel Howorth & Domenico Lombardi & Pierre L. Siklos, 2019. "Together or Apart? Monetary Policy Divergences in the G4," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 30(2), pages 191-217, April.
    5. Taylor, John B., 2017. "Remarks on monetary rules for a post-crisis World," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PA), pages 7-11.
    6. Krustev, Georgi, 2019. "The natural rate of interest and the financial cycle," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 162(C), pages 193-210.
    7. Mikkel Barslund & Lars Ludolph, 2019. "Could the decrease in Belgian government debt-servicing costs offset increased age-related expenditure?," Public Sector Economics, Institute of Public Finance, vol. 43(3), pages 225-246.
    8. Beyer, Robert C.M. & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Instability, imprecision and inconsistent use of equilibrium real interest rate estimates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 1-14.
    9. Bystrov Victor, 2018. "Measuring the Natural Rates of Interest in Germany and Italy," Lodz Economics Working Papers 7/2018, University of Lodz, Faculty of Economics and Sociology.
    10. Shodipe Oladimeji T. & Shobande Olatunji Abdul, 2021. "Monetary Policy Dynamics in the United States," Open Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 14-30, January.
    11. Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy, Alex & Papell, David H. & Prodan, Ruxandra, 2021. "Policy Rules and Economic Performance," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).
    12. Andrey Sinyakov & Alexey Porshakov, 2019. "Estimates of the Natural Rate of Interest for Russia: Is ‘Navigating by the Stars’ Useful?," Russian Journal of Money and Finance, Bank of Russia, vol. 78(4), pages 3-47, December.
    13. Özer Depren & Mustafa Tevfik Kartal & Serpil Kılıç Depren, 2021. "Recent innovation in benchmark rates (BMR): evidence from influential factors on Turkish Lira Overnight Reference Interest Rate with machine learning algorithms," Financial Innovation, Springer;Southwestern University of Finance and Economics, vol. 7(1), pages 1-20, December.
    14. Dmitry Kreptsev & Alexey Porshakov & Sergey Seleznev & Andrey Sinyakov, 2016. "The equilibrium interest rate: a measurement for Russia," Bank of Russia Working Paper Series wps13, Bank of Russia.
    15. Cukierman, Alex, 2016. "Reflections on the natural rate of interest, its measurement, monetary policy and the zero lower bound," CEPR Discussion Papers 11467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    16. Bofinger, Peter & Schnabel, Isabel & Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Wieland, Volker, 2017. "Für eine zukunftsorientierte Wirtschaftspolitik. Jahresgutachten 2017/18," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201718.
    17. Julio A. Carrillo & Rocio Elizondo & Cid Alonso Rodríguez-Pérez & Jessica Roldán-Peña, 2018. "What Determines the Neutral Rate of Interest in an Emerging Economy?," Working Papers 2018-22, Banco de México.
    18. Hongjin Li & Naifang Su, 2020. "Financial Factors, Openness and the Natural Interest Rate in China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 28(4), pages 76-100, July.
    19. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    20. Fiedler, Salomon & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Jannsen, Nils & Wolters, Maik H., 2019. "Growth prospects, the natural interest rate, and monetary policy," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 13, pages 1-34.
    21. Feld, Lars P. & Schmidt, Christoph M. & Schnabel, Isabel & Truger, Achim & Wieland, Volker, 2019. "Den Strukturwandel meistern. Jahresgutachten 2019/20," Annual Economic Reports / Jahresgutachten, German Council of Economic Experts / Sachverständigenrat zur Begutachtung der gesamtwirtschaftlichen Entwicklung, volume 127, number 201920.
    22. Jason Scott & John B. Shoven & Sita Slavov & John G. Watson, 2019. "Retirement Implications of a Low Wage Growth, Low Real Interest Rate Economy," NBER Working Papers 25556, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    23. Claudio Borio, 2017. "Secular stagnation or financial cycle drag?," Business Economics, Palgrave Macmillan;National Association for Business Economics, vol. 52(2), pages 87-98, April.
    24. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat & Phurichai Rungcharoenkitkul, 2018. "What anchors for the natural rate of interest?," PIER Discussion Papers 98, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Nov 2018.
    25. Rasa Stasiukynaite, 2017. "Understanding Monetary Policy Stance," Bank of Lithuania Occasional Paper Series 14, Bank of Lithuania.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Taylor rule; equilibrium real rate; monetary policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • 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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