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Estimating the neutral real interest rate for Turkey by using an unobserved componenets model

Öğünç, Fethi
In this study, neutral real interest rate gap and output gap are estimated jointly under two different multivariate unobserved components models with the motivation to provide empirical measures that can be used to analyze the amount of stimulus that monetary policy is passing on to the economy, and to understand historical macroeconomic developments. In the analyses, Kalman filter technique is applied to a small-scale macroeconomic model of the Turkish economy to estimate the unobserved variables for the period 1989-2005. In addition, two alternative specifications for neutral real interest rate are used in the analyses. The first model uses a random walk model for the neutral real interest rate, whereas the second one employs more structural specification, which specifically links the neutral real rate with the trend growth rate and the long-term course of the risk premium. Comparison of the models developed by using various performance criteria clearly indicates the use of more structural specification against random walk specification. Results suggest that though there is relatively high uncertainty surrounding the neutral real interest rate estimates to use them directly in the policy-making process, estimates appear to be very useful for ex-post monetary policy evaluations.