An Empirical Test of the Real Interest Rate in Germany, 1970-2000

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This thesis is a empirical test of the constancy of the real rate of interest in Germany over the period of 1970 to 2000. The methodology, based on Mishkin (1981), employs Ordinary Least Squares regressions to search for correlation in movements of real rates with lagged inflation, time trends, and ten other variables that commonly appear in the literature. Overall results reject the hypothesis of the constancy of the real rate. The Fisher Effect (Fisher, 1930), that movements in nominal interest rates reflect changes in expected inflation, is found to be only moderate for Germany. The monetary policy implication is that nominal interest rates contain little information about real interest rates and therefore on the tightness of monetary policy. Overall lack of significance in the test results may (as Mishkin found) be because there is so little variation in real rate movements.



central bank, monetary policy