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Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real-time

Listed author(s):
  • Clark, Todd E.
  • Kozicki, Sharon

We use a range of simple models and 22 years of real-time data vintages for the U.S. to assess the difficulties of estimating the equilibrium real interest rate in real time. Model specifications differ according to whether the time-varying equilibrium real rate is linked to trend growth, and whether potential output and growth are defined by the CBO?s estimates or treated as unobserved variables. Our results reveal a high degree of specification uncertainty, an important one-sided filtering problem, and considerable imprecision due to data uncertainty. Also, the link between trend growth and the equilibrium real rate is shown to be quite weak. Overall, we conclude that statistical estimates of the equilibrium real rate will be difficult to use reliably in practical policy applications.

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File URL: https://www.econstor.eu/bitstream/10419/19499/1/200432dkp.pdf
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Paper provided by Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre in its series Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies with number 2004,32.

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Date of creation: 2004
Handle: RePEc:zbw:bubdp1:2298
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  1. Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1994. "Estimating Potential Output as a Latent Variable," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 361-368, July.
  2. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2002. "The Unreliability of Output-Gap Estimates in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(4), pages 569-583, November.
  3. Christophe Planas & Alessandro Rossi, 2004. "Can inflation data improve the real-time reliability of output gap estimates?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 121-133.
  4. Kamada, Koichiro, 2005. "Real-time estimation of the output gap in Japan and its usefulness for inflation forecasting and policymaking," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 309-332, December.
  5. Gerlach, Stefan & Smets, Frank, 1999. "Output gaps and monetary policy in the EMU area1," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 43(4-6), pages 801-812, April.
  6. Stark, Tom & Croushore, Dean, 2002. "Forecasting with a real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 507-531, December.
  7. 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.
  8. Bomfim, Antulio N, 1997. "The Equilibrium Fed Funds Rate and the Indicator Properties of Term-Structure Spreads," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 35(4), pages 830-846, October.
  9. Glenn Rudebusch & Lars E.O. Svensson, 1999. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," NBER Chapters,in: Monetary Policy Rules, pages 203-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Croushore, Dean & Stark, Tom, 2001. "A real-time data set for macroeconomists," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 111-130, November.
  11. Antulio N. Bomfim, 2001. "Measuring equilibrium real interest rates: what can we learn from yields on indexed bonds?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Sharon Kozicki, 2004. "How do data revisions affect the evaluation and conduct of monetary policy?," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I, pages 5-38.
  13. William Poole, 2003. "Economic growth and the real rate of interest," Speech 27, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  14. Michał Brzoza-Brzezina, 2002. "Estimating the Natural Rate of Interest: A SVAR Approach," NBP Working Papers 27, Narodowy Bank Polski, Economic Research Department.
  15. Trehan, Bharat & Wu, Tao, 2007. "Time-varying equilibrium real rates and monetary policy analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1584-1609, May.
  16. Hodrick, Robert J & Prescott, Edward C, 1997. "Postwar U.S. Business Cycles: An Empirical Investigation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 29(1), pages 1-16, February.
  17. Watson, Mark W., 1986. "Univariate detrending methods with stochastic trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 49-75, July.
  18. Peter K. Clark, 1987. "The Cyclical Component of U. S. Economic Activity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 102(4), pages 797-814.
  19. Clark, Todd E. & Kozicki, Sharon, 2005. "Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real time," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 395-413, December.
  20. Cayen, Jean-Philippe & van Norden, Simon, 2005. "The reliability of Canadian output-gap estimates," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 373-393, December.
  21. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P.A., 2005. "Permanent and transitory policy shocks in an empirical macro model with asymmetric information," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1985-2015, November.
  22. Andrews, Donald W K, 1993. "Tests for Parameter Instability and Structural Change with Unknown Change Point," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 61(4), pages 821-856, July.
  23. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Rules with Unknown Natural Rates," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 63-146.
  24. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P A, 1998. "Moving Endpoints and the Internal Consistency of Agents' Ex Ante Forecasts," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 11(1-2), pages 21-40, April.
  25. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  26. Frank Smets, 2002. "Output gap uncertainty: Does it matter for the Taylor rule?," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 27(1), pages 113-129.
  27. 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.
  28. repec:cup:macdyn:v:7:y:2003:i:2:p:239-62 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Rünstler, Gerhard, 2002. "The information content of real-time output gap estimates, an application to the euro area," Working Paper Series 0182, European Central Bank.
  30. Kozicki, Sharon & Tinsley, P. A., 2001. "Shifting endpoints in the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 613-652, June.
  31. 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.
  32. Andrew Atkeson & Lee E. Ohanian, 2001. "Are Phillips curves useful for forecasting inflation?," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, issue Win, pages 2-11.
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