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U.S. and U.K. Interest Rates 1890 - 1934: New Evidence on Structural Breaks

  • P. Newbold
  • S. J. Leybourne
  • R. Sollis
  • M. E. Wohar

This paper presents econometric evidence on whether the founding of the Federal Reserve in 1914 caused a structural change from level-stationarity to difference-stationarity in U.S. and U.K. short-term nominal interest rates. We develop new econometric tests that allow for parameter transitions to test for a break of this kind and undertake a grid search analysis of dates and speeds for the change. We find that U.S. nominal interest rates most likely evolved rapidly to difference-stationarity in June 1917. For the U.K. we fail to reject the null that U.K. interest rate series follow a difference stationary process over the entire period 1890-1934. Our analysis differs from previous research on this topic in that we take care to explore statistical uncertainty around parameter estimates, and incorporate higher order dynamics into our econometric analysis.

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Paper provided by Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics in its series Trinity Economics Papers with number 20011.

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Date of creation: 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tcd:tcduee:20011
Contact details of provider: Postal: Trinity College, Dublin 2
Phone: (+ 353 1) 6081325
Fax: 6772503
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  1. Goodfriend, Marvin, 1988. "Central banking under the gold standard," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 85-124, January.
  2. Mankiw, N Gregory & Miron, Jeffrey A & Weil, David N, 1987. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: A Study of the Founding of the Federal Reserve," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 358-74, June.
  3. Barro, Robert J., 1989. "Interest-rate targeting," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 3-30, January.
  4. Clark, Truman A, 1986. "Interest Rate Seasonals and the Federal Reserve," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(1), pages 76-125, February.
  5. Lin, Chien-Fu Jeff & Terasvirta, Timo, 1994. "Testing the constancy of regression parameters against continuous structural change," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 211-228, June.
  6. Fishe, Raymond P H & Wohar, Mark, 1990. "The Adjustment of Expectations to a Change in Regime: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 968-76, September.
  7. Angelini, Paolo, 1994. "More on the behavior of interest rates and the founding of the Fed," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 537-553, December.
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