IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

(Un)naturally low? Sequential Monte Carlo tracking of the US natural interest rate

  • Lombardi, Marco J.
  • Sgherri, Silvia

Following the 2000 stockmarket crash, have US interest rates been held "too low" in relation to their natural level? Most likely, yes. Using a structural neo-Keynesian model, this paper attempts a real-time evaluation of the US monetary policy stance while ensuring consistency between the specification of price adjustments and the evolution of the econ- omy under flexible prices. To do this, the model's likelihood function is evaluated using a Sequential Monte Carlo algorithm providing inference about the time-varying distribution of structural parameters and unobservable, nonstationary state variables. Tracking down the evolution of underlying stochastic processes in real time is found crucial (i) to explain postwar Fed's policy and (ii) to replicate salient features of the data. JEL Classification: E43, C11, C15

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0794.

in new window

Date of creation: Aug 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070794
Contact details of provider: Postal:
60640 Frankfurt am Main, Germany

Phone: +49 69 1344 0
Fax: +49 69 1344 6000
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Javier Andres & J. David López-Salido & Edward Nelson, 2005. "Sticky-price models and the natural rate hypothesis," Working Papers 2005-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-11, July.
  3. Chang, Yongsung & Doh, Taeyoung & Schorfheide, Frank, 2005. "Non-stationary Hours in a DSGE Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 5232, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2006. "Inflation targeting under imperfect knowledge," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-20, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Amisano, Giovanni & Tristani, Oreste, 2007. "Euro Area Inflation Persistence in an Estimated Nonlinear DSGE Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 6373, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Jesús Cuaresma & Ernest Gnan & Doris Ritzberger-Gruenwald, 2004. "Searching for the natural rate of interest: a euro area perspective," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 185-204, June.
  7. Del Negro, Marco & Schorfheide, Frank & Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2005. "On the Fit and Forecasting Performance of New Keynesian Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 4848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  9. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  10. Thomas A. Lubik & Paolo Surico, 2010. "The Lucas critique and the stability of empirical models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(1), pages 177-194.
  11. Fabio Canova & Luca Sala, 2006. "Back to square one: identification issues in DSGE models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 196, Society for Computational Economics.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  13. Marc Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 93-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2006. "Bayesian analysis of DSGE models," Working Papers 06-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  15. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Research 61, National Bank of Belgium.
  16. Ascari, Guido, 2003. "Staggered prices and trend inflation : Some nuisances," Research Discussion Papers 27/2003, Bank of Finland.
  17. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Neiss, Katharine & Nelson, Edward, 2001. "The Real Interest rate Gap as an Inflation Indicator," CEPR Discussion Papers 2848, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2004. "Forecasting with a Bayesian DSGE Model: An Application to the Euro Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 4749, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. 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.
  21. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Julio J. Rotemberg & Michael Woodford, 1999. "Interest Rate Rules in an Estimated Sticky Price Model," NBER Chapters, in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 57-126 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Christiano, Lawrence J, 2002. "Solving Dynamic Equilibrium Models by a Method of Undetermined Coefficients," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 21-55, October.
  24. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Smith, A A, Jr, 1993. "Estimating Nonlinear Time-Series Models Using Simulated Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(S), pages S63-84, Suppl. De.
  26. Sangjoon Kim & Neil Shephard & Siddhartha Chib, 1998. "Stochastic Volatility: Likelihood Inference and Comparison with ARCH Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 361-393.
  27. 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.
  28. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
  29. Bayoumi, Tamim & Sgherri, Silvia, 2004. "Monetary Magic? How the Fed Improved the Flexibility of the Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 4696, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  30. Gomme, Paul & Klein, Paul, 2011. "Second-order approximation of dynamic models without the use of tensors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 604-615, April.
  31. Thomas Laubach, 1997. "Measuring the NAIRU : evidence from seven economies," Research Working Paper 97-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  32. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, 1998. "Performance of Operational Policy Rules in an Estimated Semi-Classical Structural Model," NBER Working Papers 6599, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Jesús Cuaresma & Ernest Gnan & Doris Ritzberger-Gruenwald, 2004. "Searching for the natural rate of interest: a euro area perspective," Empirica, Springer, vol. 31(2), pages 185-204, June.
  34. Roger E. A. Farmer & Andreas Beyer, 2004. "On the Indeterminacy of New Keynesian Economics," 2004 Meeting Papers 187, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  35. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Macroeconomics 0506013, EconWPA.
  36. Garnier, Julien & Wilhelmsen, Bjørn-Roger, 2005. "The natural real interest rate and the output gap in the euro area: a joint estimation," Working Paper Series 0546, European Central Bank.
  37. Peter N. Ireland, 2005. "Changes in the Federal Reserve's inflation target: causes and consequences," Working Papers 05-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  38. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
  39. Marco J. Lombardi & Simon J. Godsill, 2004. "On-line Bayesian estimation of AR signals in symmetric alpha-stable noise," Econometrics Working Papers Archive wp2004_05, Universita' degli Studi di Firenze, Dipartimento di Statistica, Informatica, Applicazioni "G. Parenti".
  40. Marta Manrique & José Manuel Marqués, 2004. "An empirical approximation of the natural rate of interest and potential growth," Working Papers 0416, Banco de España;Working Papers Homepage.
  41. McCallum, Bennett T., 1998. "Stickiness: A comment," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 357-363, December.
  42. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  43. Giammarioli, Nicola & Valla, Natacha, 2003. "The natural real rate of interest in the euro area," Working Paper Series 0233, European Central Bank.
  44. Andrés, Javier & López-Salido, J David & Nelson, Edward, 2004. "Money and the Natural Rate of Interest: Structural Estimates for the UK, the US and the euro area," CEPR Discussion Papers 4337, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  45. Luca Benati, 2004. "Monetary Rules, Indeterminacy, and the Business-Cycle Stylised Facts," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 83, Society for Computational Economics.
  46. Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Francisco Rubio-Ramirez, Juan, 2004. "Comparing dynamic equilibrium models to data: a Bayesian approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 153-187, November.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070794. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Official Publications)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.