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A Model of Secular Stagnation: Theory and Quantitative Evaluation

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  • Gauti B. Eggertsson
  • Neil R. Mehrotra
  • Jacob A. Robbins

Abstract

This paper formalizes and quantifies the secular stagnation hypothesis, defined as a persistently low or negative natural rate of interest leading to a chronically binding zero lower bound (ZLB). Output-inflation dynamics and policy prescriptions are fundamentally different from those in the standard New Keynesian framework. Using a 56-period quantitative life cycle model, a standard calibration to US data delivers a natural rate ranging from –1:5% to –2%, implying an elevated risk of ZLB episodes for the foreseeable future. We decompose the contribution of demographic and technological factors to the decline in interest rates since 1970 and quantify changes required to restore higher rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Gauti B. Eggertsson & Neil R. Mehrotra & Jacob A. Robbins, 2017. "A Model of Secular Stagnation: Theory and Quantitative Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 23093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23093
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    2. Luca Fornaro & Gianluca Benigno, 2015. "Stagnation Traps," 2015 Meeting Papers 810, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Gibbs, Christopher G., 2018. "Learning to believe in secular stagnation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 163(C), pages 50-54.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juselius, Mikael & Takáts, Előd, 2018. "The enduring link between demography and inflation," Research Discussion Papers 8/2018, Bank of Finland.
    2. Yosuke Okazaki & Nao Sudo, 2018. "Natural Rate of Interest in Japan -- Measuring its size and identifying drivers based on a DSGE model --," Bank of Japan Working Paper Series 18-E-6, Bank of Japan.
    3. Stefano Neri & Andrea Gerali, 2017. "Natural rates across the Atlantic," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1140, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    4. Michael T. Kiley, 2018. "Quantitative Easing and the “New Normal” in Monetary Policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2018-004, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    5. repec:aea:jecper:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:29-46 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. José Dorich & Nicholas Labelle St-Pierre & Vadym Lepetyuk & Rhys Mendes, 2018. "Could a higher inflation target enhance macroeconomic stability?," BIS Working Papers 720, Bank for International Settlements.
    7. Benjamin K. Johannsen & Elmar Mertens, 2016. "A Time Series Model of Interest Rates With the Effective Lower Bound," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2016-033, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Alexius, Annika, 2017. "Why are real interest rates so low? Evidence from a structural VAR with sign restrictions," Research Papers in Economics 2017:6, Stockholm University, Department of Economics.
    9. Michael T. Kiley & John M. Roberts, 2017. "Monetary Policy in a Low Interest Rate World," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 48(1 (Spring), pages 317-396.
    10. Borio, Claudia & Disyatat, Piti & Juselius, Mikael & Rungcharoenkitkul, Phurichai, 2017. "Why so low for so long? A long-term view of real interest rates," Research Discussion Papers 36/2017, Bank of Finland.
    11. Lansing, Kevin J., 2017. "Endogenous Regime Switching Near the Zero Lower Bound," Working Paper Series 2017-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    12. Stefano Neri & Giuseppe Ferrero, 2017. "Monetary policy in a low interest rate environment," Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 392, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    13. Andrea Boitani & Salvatore Perdichizzi, 2018. "Public Expenditure Multipliers in recessions. Evidence from the Eurozone," DISCE - Working Papers del Dipartimento di Economia e Finanza def068, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
    14. Eli P. Fenichel & Matthew J. Kotchen & Ethan T. Addicott, 2017. "Even the Representative Agent Must Die: Using Demographics to Inform Long-Term Social Discount Rates," NBER Working Papers 23591, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Pietro Cova & Patrizio Pagano & Alessandro Notarpietro & Massimiliano Pisani, 2017. "Secular stagnation, R&D, public investment and monetary policy: a global-model perspective," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1156, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E5 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy

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