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The natural real interest rate and the output gap in the euro area: A joint estimation

  • Julien Garnier

    (European University Institute and University of Paris X-Nanterre)

  • Bjørn-Roger Wilhelmsen

    (Norges Bank (Central Bank of Norway))

The notion of a natural real rate of interest, due to Wicksell (1936), is widely used in current central bank research. The idea is that there exists a level at which the real interest rate would be compatible with output at its potential level and stationary inflation. Such a consept is of primary concern for monetary policy because it provides a benchmark for the monetary policy stance. This paper applies the method recently suggested by T. Laubach and J. C. Williams to jointly estimate the natural real interest rate and the output gap in the euro area using data from 1960. Our results suggest that the natural real rate of interest has declined gradually over the past 40 years. They also indicate that monetary policy in the euro area was on average stimulative during the 1960s and the 1970s, while it contributed to dampen the output gap and inflation in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Paper provided by Norges Bank in its series Working Paper with number 2005/14.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 06 Dec 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bno:worpap:2005_14
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  2. Neiss, Katharine S. & Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The Real-Interest-Rate Gap As An Inflation Indicator," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 239-262, April.
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  6. Jens D J Larsen & Jack McKeown, 2003. "The informational content of empirical measures of real interst rate and output gaps for the United Kingdom," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 414-442 Bank for International Settlements.
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  14. Edward Nelson & Kalin Nikolov, 2001. "UK inflation in the 1970s and 1980s: the role of output gap mismeasurement," Bank of England working papers 148, Bank of England.
  15. Cour-Thimann, Philippine & Pilegaard, Rasmus & Stracca, Livio, 2006. "The output gap and the real interest rate gap in the euro area, 1960-2003," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 28(7), pages 775-790, October.
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