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Bayesian counterfactual analysis of the sources of the great moderation

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  • Chang-Jin Kim

    (Deparment of Economics, Korea University, Seoul, Korea; Department of Economics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA)

  • James Morley

    (Department of Economics, Washington University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)

  • Jeremy Piger

    (Department of Economics, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, USA)

Abstract

We use counterfactual experiments to investigate the sources of the large volatility reduction in US real GDP growth in the 1980s. Contrary to an existing literature that conducts counterfactual experiments based on classical estimation and point estimates, we consider Bayesian analysis that provides a straightforward measure of estimation uncertainty for the counterfactual quantity of interest. Using Blanchard and Quah's (1989) structural VAR model of output growth and the unemployment rate, we find strong statistical support for the idea that a counterfactual change in the size of structural shocks alone, with no corresponding change in the propagation of these shocks, would have produced the same overall volatility reduction as what actually occurred. Looking deeper, we find evidence that a counterfactual change in the size of aggregate supply shocks alone would have generated a larger volatility reduction than a counterfactual change in the size of aggregate demand shocks alone. We show that these results are consistent with a standard monetary VAR, for which counterfactual analysis also suggests the importance of shocks in generating the volatility reduction, but with the counterfactual change in monetary shocks alone generating a small reduction in volatility. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 23 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 173-191

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:23:y:2008:i:2:p:173-191

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  1. Herrera, Ana Maria & Pesavento, Elena, 2005. "The Decline in U.S. Output Volatility: Structural Changes and Inventory Investment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 462-472, October.
  2. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
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  4. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2003. "Modest policy interventions," Working Paper 2003-24, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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  9. Marianne Sensier & Dick van Dijk, 2004. "Testing for Volatility Changes in U.S. Macroeconomic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 833-839, August.
  10. Kim, Chang-Jin & Nelson, Charles R & Piger, Jeremy, 2004. "The Less-Volatile U.S. Economy: A Bayesian Investigation of Timing, Breadth, and Potential Explanations," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22(1), pages 80-93, January.
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  12. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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Cited by:
  1. Eo, Yunjong & Morley, James, 2011. "Likelihood-Ratio-Based Confidence Sets for the Timing of Structural Breaks," Working Papers 2011-07, University of Sydney, School of Economics, revised Feb 2014.
  2. William D. Craighead & Pao-Lin Tien, 2013. "Nominal Shocks and Real Exchange Rates: Evidence from Two Centuries," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2013-002, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  3. Charles, Amélie & Darné, Olivier & Kim, Jae H., 2012. "Exchange-rate return predictability and the adaptive markets hypothesis: Evidence from major foreign exchange rates," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 1607-1626.
  4. Yunjong Eo & James Morley, 2013. "Likelihood-Based Confidence Sets for the Timing of Structural Breaks," Discussion Papers 2013-12, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  5. Marcel Förster, 2013. "The Great Moderation: Inventories, Shocks or Monetary Policy?," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201348, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
  6. Enders, Walter & Ma, Jun, 2011. "Sources of the great moderation: A time-series analysis of GDP subsectors," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 67-79, January.
  7. James Morley & Aarti Singh, 2012. "Inventory Mistakes and the Great Moderation," Discussion Papers 2012-42, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.

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