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The Behavior of U.S. Short-Term Interest Rates Since October 1979

  • Richard H. Clarida
  • Benjamin M. Friedman

Short-term interest rates in the United States have been "too high" since October 1979 in the sense that both unconditional and conditional forecasts, based on an estimated vector autoregression model summarizing the prior experience,under predict short-term interest rates during this period. Although a non-structural model cannot directly answer the question of why this has been so,comparisons of alternative conditional forecasts point to the post-October 1979 relationship between the growth of real income and the growth of real money balances as closely connected to the level and pattern of short-term interestrates. This finding is consistent with the authors' earlier conclusion, based on analysis of a small structural macroeconometric model, that the high average level of interest rates has been due to a combination of slow growth of (nominal)money supply and continuing price inflation, which together have kept real balances small in relation to prevailing levels of economic activity.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w1273.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 1273.

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Date of creation: Feb 1984
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Publication status: published as Clarida, Richard H. and Benjamin M. Friedman. "The Behavior of the U.S. Short-Term Interest Rates Since October 1979." Journal of Finance, Vol. 39, No. 3, (July 1984), pp. 671-682.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1273
Note: ME
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  1. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1983. "Forecasting and Conditional Projection Using Realistic Prior Distributions," NBER Working Papers 1202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1977. "The Inefficiency of Short-Run Monetary Targets for Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(2), pages 293-346.
  3. Christopher A. Sims, 1982. "Policy Analysis with Econometric Models," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 13(1), pages 107-164.
  4. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
  5. Richard H. Clarida & Benjamin M. Friedman, 1983. "Why Have Short-Term Interest Rates Been So High?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 14(2), pages 553-586.
  6. Richard H. Clarida & Diane Coyle, 1984. "Conditional Projection by Means of Kalman Filtering," NBER Technical Working Papers 0036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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