We empirically test whether there is a causal link between the real interest rate and the natural rate of interest, which could be a harbinger of secular stagnation if the real rate declines. Outcomes of VAR models for seven OECD countries show that a fall in the real rate indeed affects the natural rate. This causality is significant for Japan in all model specifications, for Canada, France, UK and Germany in some specifications and it is not significant for the US and Italy. The policy implication is that to avoid secular stagnation, expansionary monetary policy to reduce the real rate is less effective than policies aimed at raising the natural rate.
- Financial markets and the macroeconomy
- Interest rates
- Monetary policy