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Natural Rate Doubts

  • 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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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2426.

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Date of creation: Apr 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2426
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  1. Robert G. King & Mark W. Watson, 1992. "Testing long run neutrality," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 92-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  2. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2003. "The quest for prosperity without inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 633-663, April.
  4. Cooley, T.F. & Hansen, G.D., 1988. "The Inflation Tax In A Real Business Cycle Model," Papers 88-05, Rochester, Business - General.
  5. Rudebusch, Glenn D, 1998. "Do Measures of Monetary Policy in a VAR Make Sense?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 907-31, November.
  6. 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.
  7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  8. Benhabib, J. & Farmer, R.E.A., 1996. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism," Working Papers 96-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  9. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. 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.
  11. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1972. "Expectations and the neutrality of money," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-124, April.
  12. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bai, Jushan & Lumsdaine, Robin L & Stock, James H, 1998. "Testing for and Dating Common Breaks in Multivariate Time Series," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 395-432, July.
  15. 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.
  16. repec:fth:starer:9613 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. 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.
  18. Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 35, Society for Computational Economics.
  19. Wouter J. den Haan & Garey Ramey & Joel Watson, 1999. "Contract-theoretic approaches to wages and displacement," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 55-68.
  20. Ireland, Peter N., 1999. "Does the time-consistency problem explain the behavior of inflation in the United States?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 279-291, October.
  21. 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.
  22. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  23. Laurence M. Ball, 1997. "Disinflation and the NAIRU," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 167-194 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 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.
  29. Johansen, Soren, 1988. "Statistical analysis of cointegration vectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 12(2-3), pages 231-254.
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