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Searching for the Natural Rate of Interest: a Euro-Area Perspective

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Abstract

A time-varying natural rate of interest is estimated for the euro area using a multivariate unobserved components model. The problem of aggregating interest rate data for the pre-EMU period is directly addressed, and a simple method in order to adjust the risk premia in the interest rate data prior to 1999 is proposed. We show that, for the pre-EMU period, using risk-unadjusted policy rates leads to periods of high risk premia being erroneously taken as monetary policy replies to the output gap; by contrast, using risk-adjusted policy rates yields an estimate of the reaction of monetary policy to the output gap corresponding approximately to an increase of 40 basis points for a 1% positive deviation of output from potential output. A positive deviation of inflation from its trend of 1% is estimated to have triggered approximately a 1.2% increase in short-term interest rates.

Suggested Citation

  • Jesus Crespo Cuaresma & Ernest Gnan & Doris Ritzberger-Grünwald, 2003. "Searching for the Natural Rate of Interest: a Euro-Area Perspective," Working Papers 84, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
  • Handle: RePEc:onb:oenbwp:84
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hans Christiansen & Charles Pigott, 1997. "Long-Term Interest Rates in Globalised Markets," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 175, OECD Publishing.
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    8. Neiss, Katharine S. & Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The Real-Interest-Rate Gap As An Inflation Indicator," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 239-262, April.
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    10. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1063-1070, November.
    11. Cogley, Timothy & Nason, James M., 1995. "Effects of the Hodrick-Prescott filter on trend and difference stationary time series Implications for business cycle research," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 253-278.
    12. Gerdesmeier, Dieter & Roffia, Barbara, 2003. "Empirical estimates of reaction functions for the euro area," Working Paper Series 206, European Central Bank.
    13. Michał Brzoza-Brzezina, 2006. "The information content of the neutral rate of interest," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 14(2), pages 391-412, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Brzoza-Brzezina, 2004. "The Information Content of the Natural Rate of Interest: The Case of Poland," Macroeconomics 0402007, EconWPA.
    2. Lucian Croitoru, 2016. "Are We Systematically Wrong when Estimating Potential Output and the Natural Rate of Interest?," Journal for Economic Forecasting, Institute for Economic Forecasting, vol. 0(2), pages 128-151, June.
    3. Crespo-Cuaresma, Jesus & Gnan, Ernest & Ritzberger-Grunwald, Doris, 2004. "Using pre-EMU money market rates to assess monetary policy in the euro area," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1003-1014, December.
    4. Mésonnier, J-S. & Renne, J-P., 2004. "A Time-Varying Natural Rate for the Euro Area," Working papers 115, Banque de France.
    5. Eliana González & Luis F. Melo & Luis E. Rojas & Brayan Rojas, 2011. "Estimations of the Natural Rate of Interest in Colombia," Money Affairs, Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, vol. 0(1), pages 33-75, January-J.
    6. Michal Brzoza-Brzezina, 2005. "Lending Booms in Europe’s Periphery: South-Western Lessons for Central-Eastern Members," Macroeconomics 0502002, EconWPA.
    7. Paul Castillo & Carlos Montoro & Vicente Tuesta, 2006. "Measuring the Natural Interest Rate for the Peruvian Economy," Working Papers 2006-003, Banco Central de Reserva del Perú.
    8. Ladislav Wintr & Paolo Guarda & Abdelaziz Rouabah, 2005. "Estimating the natural interest rate for the euro area and Luxembourg," BCL working papers 15, Central Bank of Luxembourg.
    9. Hans Genberg, 2006. "Exchange-Rate Arrangements an Financial Integration in East Asia: On a Collision Course?," Working Papers 122, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    10. Sven Arndt, 2006. "Regional Currency Arrangements in North America," Working Papers 121, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank).
    11. Horváth, Roman, 2009. "The time-varying policy neutral rate in real-time: A predictor for future inflation?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 71-81, January.
    12. Brzoza-Brzezina, Michał, 2005. "Lending booms in the new EU Member States: will euro adoption matter?," Working Paper Series 543, European Central Bank.
    13. Zbigniew Polański, 2004. "Poland and the euro zone enlargement: Monetary policy, ERM II, and other issues," Atlantic Economic Journal, Springer;International Atlantic Economic Society, vol. 32(4), pages 280-292, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Natural rate of interest; unobserved components models; monetary policy; Taylor rule;

    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models

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