Instability, imprecision and inconsistent use of equilibrium real interest rate estimates

Forschungsbereich: Monetary Policy
Forscher: Robert C. M. Beyer,
Volker Wieland
Datum: 1.3.2017

The currrent debate on monetary and fiscal policy is heavily influenced by estimates of the equilibrium real interest rate. Beyer and Wieland re-estimate the U.S. equilibrium rate with the methodology of Laubach and Williams and further modifications. They provide new estimates for the United States, the euro area and Germany and subject them to sensitivity tests. Beyer and Wieland conclude that due to the great uncertainty and sensitivity, the observed decline in the estimates is not a reliable indicator of a need for expansionary monetary and fiscal policy. Yet, if those estimates are employed to determine the appropriate monetary policy stance, such estimates are better used together with the consistent estimate of the level of potential output.

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