DP12837 Real interest rates, exchange rates and the ZLB: on Secular Stagnation

Author(s): Sweder van Wijnbergen
Publication Date: April 2018
Date Revised: October 2018
Keyword(s): aging, equilibrium real interest rates, import tariffs, productivity change, real exchange rates, the ZLB
JEL(s): E62, F13, F40, F41, H30
Programme Areas: International Macroeconomics and Finance
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=12837

What are the drivers of low real rates? What are the implications of the Zero Lower Bound for economic policy? To discuss these questions, we introduce a full general equilibrium model of the world economy within a simple (2 period) intertemporal structure. The model is simple enough to allow for full analytical solution yet sufficiently complex to allow us to address the impact of anticipated future productivity slow down, aging, structural reform and fiscal policy on real interest rates if markets clear and on aggregate economic activity if they do not (because of the ZLB). We extend both the equilibrium model and the ZLB variant to a more-goods-per-period structure to address (real) exchange rate policy and the macroeconomic impact of trade tariffs, like Trump's current trade war, on global economic activity.