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Why do interest rates predict macro outcomes?: A unified theory of inflation, output, interest and policy

  • Arturo Estrella

Several articles published in the 1990s have identified empirical relationships between the term structure of real and nominal interest rates, on one hand, and future real output and inflation, on the other. Among these are Mishkin (1990a), Estrella and Hardouvelis (1991), Bernanke and Blinder (1992) and Fuhrer and Moore (1995). These articles demonstrate the existence of empirical predictive relationships, but the underlying economic reasons for the empirical regularities remain at least partly as puzzles. This paper presents a theoretical rational expectations model that shows how monetary policy is likely to be a key determinant of these empirical regularities.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of New York in its series Research Paper with number 9717.

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Date of creation: 1997
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fednrp:9717
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  1. Mishkin, Frederic S., 1990. "What does the term structure tell us about future inflation?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 77-95, January.
  2. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer & George R. Moore, 1989. "Monetary policy rules and the indicator properties of asset prices," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 89, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Bernanke, Ben S & Blinder, Alan S, 1992. "The Federal Funds Rate and the Channels of Monetary Transmission," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(4), pages 901-21, September.
  4. Lars E. O. Svensson, 1996. "Inflation Forecast Targeting: Implementing and Monitoring Inflation Targets," NBER Working Papers 5797, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Frederic S. Mishkin, 1990. "The Information in the Longer Maturity Term Structure about Future Inflation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 105(3), pages 815-828.
  6. Arturo Estrella & Frederic S. Mishkin, 1995. "The term structure of interest rates and its role in monetary policy for the European Central Bank," Research Paper 9526, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  7. Michael Dotsey & Christopher Otrok, 1995. "The rational expectations hypothesis of the term structure, monetary policy, and time-varying term premia," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Win, pages 65-81.
  8. Arturo Estrella & Gikas A. Hardouvelis, 1989. "The term structure as a predictor of real economic activity," Research Paper 8907, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  9. Fuhrer, Jeffrey C & Moore, George R, 1995. "Monetary Policy Trade-offs and the Correlation between Nominal Interest Rates and Real Output," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 219-39, March.
  10. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
  11. Plosser, Charles I. & Geert Rouwenhorst, K., 1994. "International term structures and real economic growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(1), pages 133-155, February.
  12. Ben S. Bernanke, 1993. "Credit in the macroeconomy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Spr, pages 50-70.
  13. William Kerr & Robert G. King, 1996. "Limits on interest rate rules in the IS model," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 47-75.
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