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Josef Platzer, Mr. Francesco Grigoli, and Robin Tietz
We provide a long-run perspective on neutral interest rates with new estimates for 16 advanced economies since the 1870s using the Laubach and Williams approach. Our estimates differ substantially from commonly used proxies. We find that, while cross-country heterogeneity was significant in the past, since the 1980s the decline has been common to many countries. Traditional determinants such as population aging and productivity growth are strongly correlated with the changes in neutral rates, while others like the relative price of capital and inequality exhibit weak relationships with r*. We also find that neutral rates co-vary negatively with public debt-to-GDP ratios.
IMF Research Perspective (formerly published as IMF Research Bulletin) is a new, redesigned online newsletter covering updates on IMF research. In the inaugural issue of the newsletter, Hites Ahir interviews Valeria Cerra; and they discuss the economic environment 10 years after the global financial crisis. Research Summaries cover the rise of populism; economic reform; labor and technology; big data; and the relationship between happiness and productivity. Sweta C. Saxena was the guest editor for this inaugural issue.