A Post-Pandemic New Normal for Interest Rates in Emerging Bond Markets? Evidence from Chile


Luis Ceballos, Jens H. E. Christensen, Damian Romero

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2024-04 | February 21, 2024

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, researchers intensely debated the extent of the decline in the so-called equilibrium or natural rate of interest. Given the recent sharp increase in interest rates, we revisit this question in an emerging bond market context and offer a Chilean perspective using a dynamic term structure finance model estimated directly on the prices of individual Chilean inflation-indexed bonds with adjustments for bond-specific liquidity risk and real term premia. We estimate that the equilibrium real rate in Chile fell about 2-1/2 percentage points in the 2003-2022 period and has remained low since then.