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Can a time-varying equilibrium real interest rate explain the excess sensitivity puzzle?

  • Alexius, Annika

    (Department of Economics)

  • Welz, Peter

    ()

    (Sveriges Riksbank)

The strong response of long-term interest rates to macroeconomic shocks has typically been explained in terms of informational asymmetries between the central bank and private agents. The standard models assume that the equilibrium real interest rate is constant over time and independent of structural shocks. We incorporate time-variation in the equilibrium real interest rate as function of structural shocks to e.g. productivity and demand. This extended model implies that forward interest rates at long horizons move about 40 basis points as the short-term interest rate increases one percentage point. In terms of regressions of changes in long-term interest rates on changes in the short-term interest rate, including a time-varying equilibrium real interest rate explains about half of the puzzle.

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Paper provided by Uppsala University, Department of Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 2006:20.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 11 Sep 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:uunewp:2006_020
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, P. O. Box 513, SE-751 20 Uppsala, Sweden
Phone: + 46 18 471 25 00
Fax: + 46 18 471 14 78
Web page: http://www.nek.uu.se/
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  1. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust monetary policy rules with unknown natural rates," Working Paper Series 2003-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
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  6. 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.
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  8. Refet S. Gürkaynak & Brian Sack & Eric Swanson, 2003. "The excess sensitivity of long-term interest rates: evidence and implications for macroeconomic models," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  10. Athanasios Orphanides & John Williams, 2004. "Imperfect Knowledge, Inflation Expectations, and Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 201-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
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