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Bond Market Inflation Expectations in Industrial Countries: Historical Comparisons

  • Michael D. Bordo
  • William G. Dewald

We define the Fisherian Golden Rule measure of bond market inflation expectations as the difference between bond rates and trend real GDP growth rates. The concept is based on the Fisherian theory that an increase in longer-term inflation expectations would be reflected in longer-term interest rates and the Golden Rule theory that in longer-term equilibrium the real rates of interest would equal the growth rate of real output. We compare the bond market inflation experiences of 13 advanced countries for the 1881-1913 gold standard era with the experience of the recent 1962 1995 period. The difference between average longer-term bond rates and average real GDP growth rates reflected the widespread expectation of low inflation during 1881-1913 in all of the industrial countries. Although real GDP growth was somewhat higher on average during 1962-65 than 1881-1913, bond rate averages were considerably higher, roughly comparable with the higher observed inflation rates. Long-term bond rates fell across the spectrum of the industrial countries in the 1980s and 1990s and bond market expectations for low inflation were substantially, but not fully regained for the industrial countries as a group.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w8582.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8582.

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Date of creation: Nov 2001
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8582
Note: DAE ME
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  1. Michael Bordo, 1993. "The Gold Standard, Bretton Woods and other Monetary Regimes: An Historical Appraisal," NBER Working Papers 4310, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. U. Michael Bergman & Michael D. Bordo & Lars Jonung, 1998. "Historical evidence on business cycles: the international experience," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 42(Jun), pages 65-119.
  3. William G. Dewald, 1998. "Inflation, real interest tax wedges, and capital formation," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 29-35.
  4. William G. Dewald, 1998. "Inflation, real interest tax wedges, and capital formation," Working Papers 1998-005, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. 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.
  6. Bordo, Michael D. & Schwartz, Anna J., 1999. "Monetary policy regimes and economic performance: The historical record," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 149-234 Elsevier.
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