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VAR Analysis and the Great Moderation

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  • Luca Benati
  • Paolo Surico

Abstract

Most analyses of the US Great Moderation are based on structural VARs, and point toward good luck as the main explanation for the recent macroeconomic stability. Based on an estimated New-Keynesian model where the only source of change is the move from passive to active monetary policy, we show that (i) the theoretical VAR innovation variances for all series decrease across regimes; (ii) VAR-based counterfactuals assign a minor role to improved policy; and (iii) VAR impulse-response functions to a monetary shock exhibit little variation across regimes. Our analysis suggests that existing VAR evidence is also compatible with the "good policy" hypothesis. (JEL C32, C52, E13, E52, N12)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1636-52

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1636-52

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1636
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  1. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
  2. Luca Gambetti & Evi Pappa & Fabio Canova, 2008. "The Structural Dynamics of U.S. Output and Inflation: What Explains the Changes?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 369-388, 03.
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  9. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  10. Lubik, Thomas A. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Computing sunspot equilibria in linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 273-285, November.
  11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
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  14. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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