Rates have been falling for eight centuries – BoE research

Study casts doubt on major theories, including secular stagnation

Bank of England archive
Former records office at the Bank of England
Bank of England/Flickr

A major study investigating eight centuries of data on long-run interest rates concludes that declining rates are not a new phenomenon – in fact, they have been falling, almost without interruption, since the late middle ages.

Paul Schmelzing argues that the findings, published in a working paper by the Bank of England on January 3, cast serious doubt on two of the most prominent theories of recent years – the “secular stagnation” hypothesis advanced by Larry Summers, and the tendency to

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