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Output gaps

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  • Kiley, Michael T.

Abstract

What is the output gap? I discuss three alternative definitions: the deviation of output from its long-run stochastic trend (i.e., the “Beveridge–Nelson cycle”); the deviation of output from the level consistent with current technologies and normal utilization of capital and labor input (i.e., the “production-function approach”); and the deviation of output from “flexible-price” output (i.e., its “natural rate”). Estimates of each concept are presented from a dynamic–stochastic–general-equilibrium (DSGE) model of the U.S. economy used at the Federal Reserve Board. Four points are emphasized: The DSGE model’s estimate of the gap (for each definition) is very similar to gaps from policy institutions, but the model’s estimate of potential growth has a higher variance and substantially different covariance with GDP growth; the change in the Beveridge–Nelson trend covaries negatively with the change in the gap in the DSGE model, providing a structural model estimate of a controversial parameter; in this model, estimates of the natural-rate concept are similar to those based on the Beveridge–Nelson and production function approaches; and the estimate of the output gap, irrespective of definition, is closely related to unemployment fluctuations.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 37 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 1-18

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jmacro:v:37:y:2013:i:c:p:1-18

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622617

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Keywords: Business cycles; Potential output;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Ellen E. Meade & Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "The Phillips curve and US monetary policy: what the FOMC transcripts tell us," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 197-216, April.
  2. Michael Dotsey, 2013. "DSGE models and their use in monetary policy," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 10-16.
  3. Sala, Luca & Söderström, Ulf & Trigari, Antonella, 2010. "The Output Gap, the Labor Wedge, and the Dynamic Behavior of Hours," Working Paper Series 246, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  4. Hess T. Chung & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2010. "Documentation of the Estimated, Dynamic, Optimization-based (EDO) model of the U.S. economy: 2010 version," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Hess Chung & Jean-Philippe Laforte & David Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 2011. "Have we underestimated the likelihood and severity of zero lower bound events?," Working Paper Series 2011-01, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. F. Gerard Adams & Byron Gangnes, 2010. "The Employment Effects of Fiscal Policy: How Costly Are ARRA Jobs?," Working Papers 201026, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  7. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Output gaps and monetary policy at low interest rates," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, issue Q I.
  8. Claudio Borio, 2012. "The financial cycle and macroeconomics: What have we learnt?," BIS Working Papers 395, Bank for International Settlements.
  9. Sandeep Mazumder, 2014. "The Impact of Educational Attainment and Gender on the Inflation-Unemployment Tradeoff," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 651-662.

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