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Can the Fed Control Real Interest Rates?

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  • Robert J. Shiller

Abstract

Three hypotheses concerning the controllability of rationally expected real interest rates are examined here. These hypotheses, which are suggested by recent literature, assert in different senses that the stochastic properties of expected real interest rates are independent of the Fed policy rule. We discuss the meaning and implications of the hypotheses, and how they might be tested. Evaluation of the hypotheses is attempted by examination of the Fed's "quasi-controlled experiments," historical changes in policy regimes, Granger-Sims causality tests, Barro unanticipated money regressions, and other methods. Questions as to the relevance of any such methods are discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert J. Shiller, 1979. "Can the Fed Control Real Interest Rates?," NBER Working Papers 0348, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:0348
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    Cited by:

    1. Behzad T. Diba & Seonghwan Oh, 1988. "Have money-stock fluctuations had a liquidity effect on expected real interest rates?," Working Papers 88-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    2. Litterman, Robert B & Weiss, Laurence M, 1985. "Money, Real Interest Rates, and Output: A Reinterpretation of Postwar U.S. Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 53(1), pages 129-156, January.
    3. Barsky, Robert B. & Mankiw, N. Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A. & Weill, David N., 1988. "The worldwide change in the behavior of interest rates and prices in 1914," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 1123-1147, June.
    4. Mankiw, N. Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A., 1991. "Should the fed smooth interest rates? the case of seasonal monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 41-69, January.
    5. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A & Weil, David N, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 358-374, June.
    6. Paschakis, John & Smithin, John, 1998. "Exchange Risk and the Supply-Side Effects of Real Interest Rate Changes," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 703-720, October.
    7. Martin Feldstein, 1982. "The Fiscal Framework of Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 0966, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Durré, Alain & Evjen, Snorre & Pilegaard, Rasmus, 2003. "Estimating risk premia in money market rates," Working Paper Series 221, European Central Bank.
    9. Garcia, Rene & Perron, Pierre, 1996. "An Analysis of the Real Interest Rate under Regime Shifts," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(1), pages 111-125, February.
    10. Karen K. Lewis & Martin D. Evans, 1992. "Do Expected Shifts in Inflation Policy Affect Real Rates?," NBER Working Papers 4134, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Paraskevopoulos, Christos C. & Paschakis, John & Smithin, John, 1996. "Is monetary sovereignty an option for the small open economy?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 5-18.
    12. Robert E. Cumby & Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "International Interest Rate and Price Level Linkages under Flexible Exchange Rates: A Review of Recent Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: Exchange Rate Theory and Practice, pages 121-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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