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Why Are Inflation and Real Interest Rates So Low? A Mechanism of Low and Floating Real Interest and Inflation Rates

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  • Harashima, Taiji

Abstract

Real interest and inflation rates have been very low in many industrialized countries since the Great Recession. In this paper, a mechanism of low and floating real interest and inflation rates is examined based on the concept a “Nash equilibrium of a Pareto inefficient path” and the law of motion for trend inflation. I show that, because the link between the marginal product of capital and the real interest rate is severed on this path, the real interest rate loses its anchor and therefore floats. In addition, the inflation rate floats together with the real interest rate. There are, however, upper and lower bounds of the floating rates. It is also likely that the real interest rate floats below the marginal product of capital on this path and the inflation rate floats below the target rate of inflation.

Suggested Citation

  • Harashima, Taiji, 2018. "Why Are Inflation and Real Interest Rates So Low? A Mechanism of Low and Floating Real Interest and Inflation Rates," MPRA Paper 84311, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:84311
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    9. Arias, Jonas E. & Erceg, Christopher & Trabandt, Mathias, 2016. "The macroeconomic risks of undesirably low inflation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 88-107.
    10. Mr. Dennis P Botman & Mr. Derek Anderson & Mr. Benjamin L Hunt, 2014. "Is Japan’s Population Aging Deflationary?," IMF Working Papers 2014/139, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Michael T. Kiley, 2015. "Low Inflation in the United States : A Summary of Recent Research," FEDS Notes 2015-11-23, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Real interest rate; Inflation; Deflation; Marginal product of capital; Pareto inefficiency; Monetary policy; Fiscal policy; Bank behavior;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E22 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Investment; Capital; Intangible Capital; Capacity
    • 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
    • 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
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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