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Bayesian counterfactual analysis of the sources of the great moderation

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Author Info

  • 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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References

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  1. Jon Faust & Eric M. Leeper, 1994. "When do long-run identifying restrictions give reliable results?," Working Paper 94-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Chauvet, Marcelle & Potter, Simon, 2001. "Recent Changes in the US Business Cycle," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 69(5), pages 481-508, Special I.
  5. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  6. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2002. "Modest policy interventions," Working Paper 2002-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2002. "Assessing the Lucas critique in monetary policy models," Working Paper Series 2002-02, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  8. Boivin, Jean & Giannoni, Marc, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5463, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Danny Quah, 1988. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbance," Working papers 497, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  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.
  11. Robert J. Gordon, 2005. "What Caused the Decline in U.S. Business Cycle Volatility?," NBER Working Papers 11777, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
  14. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
  15. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Amélie Charles & Olivier Darné & Jae H. Kim, 2010. "Exchange-Rate Return Predictability and the Adaptive Markets Hypothesis: Evidence from Major Foreign Exchange Rates," Working Papers hal-00547722, HAL.
  2. 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).
  3. 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.
  4. Eo, Yunjong & Morley, James C., 2008. "Likelihood-Based Confidence Sets for the Timing of Structural Breaks," MPRA Paper 10372, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. 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.
  6. James Morley & Aarti Singh, 2012. "Inventory Mistakes and the Great Moderation," Discussion Papers 2012-42, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  7. 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.

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