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

Listed author(s):
  • 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

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

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20070794
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