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What anchors for the natural rate of interest?

Author

Listed:
  • Claudio Borio

    (Bank for International Settlements)

  • Piti Disyatat

    (Bank of Thailand)

  • Phurichai Rungcharoenkitkul

    (Bank for International Settlements)

Abstract

The paper takes a critical look at the conceptual and empirical underpinnings of prevailing explanations of low real (inflation-adjusted) interest rates over long horizons and finds them incomplete. The role of monetary policy, and its interaction with the financial cycle in particular, deserve greater attention. By linking booms and busts, the financial cycle generates important path dependencies that give rise to intertemporal policy trade-offs. Policy today constrains policy tomorrow. The policy regime is not neutral and can exert a persistent influence on the economy's evolution, including on the real interest rate. This raises serious conceptual and practical questions about the use of the natural interest rate as a monetary policy guidepost. In developing the analysis, the paper also provides a specific critique of the safe asset shortage hypothesis - a hypothesis that has gained considerable popularity in recent years.

Suggested Citation

  • Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat & Phurichai Rungcharoenkitkul, 2018. "What anchors for the natural rate of interest?," PIER Discussion Papers 98, Puey Ungphakorn Institute for Economic Research, revised Nov 2018.
  • Handle: RePEc:pui:dpaper:98
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    Cited by:

    1. Jean-Luc Gaffard, 2018. "Monetary theory and policy: the debate revisited," LEM Papers Series 2018/37, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
    2. Jean-Luc Gaffard & Mauro Napoletano, 2018. "Hétérogénéité des agents, interconnexions financières et politique monétaire : une approche non conventionnelle," Revue française d'économie, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(3), pages 201-231.
    3. Jan Willem van den End, 2019. "Effects of QE on sovereign bond spreads through the safe asset channel," DNB Working Papers 647, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
    4. Robert N McCauley, 2019. "Safe assets: made, not just born," BIS Working Papers 769, Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mutual funds returns; Investment horizon; Asset pricing; Institutional ownership;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E40 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - General
    • E44 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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