Munich Personal RePEc Archive

The Riddle of the Natural Rate of Interest

Razzak, Weshah (2020): The Riddle of the Natural Rate of Interest.

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Abstract

We rely on microeconomics theory to compute the natural rate of interest for the G7 countries from 2001 to 2017. The equilibrium natural rate of interest is determined by a parsimonious equation that is easily computed from readily observable data, hence no estimation errors. The model predicts that the natural rate of interest is equal to the consumption-leisure growth rate less the capital-labor growth rate, which is zero in the steady state, no growth. It is positive (negative) when the consumption-leisure growth gap is greater (smaller) than the capital-labor growth gap. The model predicts that fiscal expansion is an expensive policy to stimulate the economy when the Zero Lower Bound (ZLB) constraint is binding.

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