International Society for Quantitative History

QH Webinar Series

Eight Centuries of Global Real Interest Rates, R-G, and the ‘Suprasecular’ Decline, 1311–2018

09:00 | Thursday, December 3, 2020

Zoom Webinar

English

Paul Schmelzing

Paul Schmelzing

Visiting scholar, The Bank of England (Paul is also a postdoctoral research associate at Yale SOM)

Presenter's work

With recourse to archival, printed primary, and secondary sources, Dr. Paul Schmelzing reconstructs global real interest rates on an annual basis going back to the 14th century, covering 78% of advanced economy GDP over time. His new research shows that across successive monetary and fiscal regimes, and a variety of asset classes, real interest rates have not been ‘stable’, and that since the major monetary upheavals of the late middle ages, a trend decline between 0.6–1.6 basis points per annum has prevailed. A gradual increase in real negative‑yielding rates in advanced economies over the same horizon is identified, despite important temporary reversals such as the 17th Century Crisis. Against their long‑term context, currently depressed sovereign real rates are in fact converging ‘back to historical trend’ — a trend that makes narratives about a ‘secular stagnation’ environment entirely misleading, and suggests that — irrespective of particular monetary and fiscal responses — real rates could soon enter permanently negative territory. In this Quantitative History Webinar, Paul will explore the return data that reflects a substantial share of ‘non‑human wealth’ over time: the resulting R-G series derived from this data show a downward trend over the same timeframe. Paul will also discuss the implications of this paper’s findings for secular stagnation theory, Thomas Piketty’s inegalitarian wealth spiral, and for macroeconomic policy.

Live on Zoom on December 3, 2020
09:00 Hong Kong/Beijing/Singapore | 10:00 Tokyo | 12:00 Sydney
20:00 Previous Day New York Time

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Zoom Webinar

Paul Schmelzing

English

The Quantitative History Webinar Series aims to provide researchers, teachers, and students with an online intellectual platform to keep up to date with the latest research in the field, promoting the dissemination of research findings and interdisciplinary use of quantitative methods in historical research. The Series, now in its third year, is co-organized by the International Society for Quantitative History, HKU Business School, and Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. 量化歷史網上講座系列由香港大學陳志武和馬馳騁教授聯合發起,旨在介紹前沿量化歷史研究成果、促進同仁交流,推廣量化方法在歷史研究中的應用。本系列講座由國際量化歷史學會、香港大學經管學院和香港人文社會研究所全力支持和承辦。

Conveners: Professor Zhiwu Chen & Dr. Chicheng Ma (HKU Business School)

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