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Why are real interest rates so low? Secular stagnation and the relative price of investment goods

Thwaites, Gregory (2014) Why are real interest rates so low? Secular stagnation and the relative price of investment goods. CFM discussion paper series (CFM-DP2014-28). Centre For Macroeconomics, London, UK.

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Abstract

Across the industrialised world, real interest rates and nominal investment rates have fallen, while house prices and household debt ratios have risen. I present an OLG model which explains these four trends with a fifth - the widespread fall in the relative price of investment goods. When capital goods are cheaper, a given quantity of saving buys more of them, but the resulting capital deepening lowers the marginal product of each one. Interest rates fall, reducing the user cost of housing, raise house prices and household debt. Preventing the accumulation of debt leads to a bigger fall in interest rates.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL: http://www.centreformacroeconomics.ac.uk/Home.aspx
Additional Information: © 2014 The Authors
Divisions: Centre for Macroeconomics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E1 - General Aggregative Models > E13 - Neoclassical
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E22 - Capital; Investment (including Inventories); Capacity
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E4 - Money and Interest Rates > E43 - Determination of Interest Rates; Term Structure of Interest Rates
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E6 - Macroeconomic Policy Formation, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, Macroeconomic Policy, and General Outlook > E60 - General
Sets: Research centres and groups > Centre for Macroeconomics
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2017 13:50
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2019 23:25
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/86328

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