We examine the conditions under which steady states with low real interest rates—real rates substantially below the output growth rate—exist in an overlapping generations model with production, capital accumulation, a labor-leisure trade-off, technological progress, and agents who live for many periods. The number of periods in an agent's life (n) is left open for much of the analysis and determines the temporal interpretation of a time period. The qualitative properties of the model are largely invariant to different values of n. We find that two low real interest rate steady states exist for empirically plausible values of the parameters of the model. Outside liabilities such as fiat currency or unbacked government debt are valued in one of these steady states.
- Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Research Department.
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