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Recent U.S. Macroeconomic Stability: Good Policies, Good Practices, or Good Luck?

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  • Shaghil Ahmed

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Andrew Levin

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

  • Beth Anne Wilson

    (Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System)

Abstract

The volatility of U.S. real GDP growth since 1984 has been markedlylowerthanoverthepreviousquartercentury.Weutilizefrequency-domain and VAR methods to distinguish among competing explanations for this reduction: improvements in monetary policy, better business practices, and a fortuitous reduction in exogenous disturbances. We find that reduced innovation variances account for much of the decline in aggregate output volatility, suggesting that good luck is the most likely explanation. Good practices and good policy appear to have played a more important role in explaining the post-1984 decline in the volatility of consumer price inflation. © 2004 President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 86 (2004)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 824-832

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:86:y:2004:i:3:p:824-832

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  1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  2. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1995. "Measuring Business Cycles Approximate Band-Pass Filters for Economic Time Series," NBER Working Papers 5022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Evans, Charles L., 1999. "Monetary policy shocks: What have we learned and to what end?," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 65-148 Elsevier.
  4. Margaret M. McConnell & Patricia C. Mosser & Gabriel Perez Quiros, 1999. "A decomposition of the increased stability of GDP growth," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 5(Aug).
  5. John Ryding, 1990. "Housing finance and the transmission of monetary policy," Quarterly Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue Sum, pages 42-55.
  6. Sims, Christopher A, 1980. "Macroeconomics and Reality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(1), pages 1-48, January.
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  1. 'A Century of U.S. Central Banking: Goals, Frameworks, Accountability'
    by Mark Thoma in Economist's View on 2013-07-10 13:48:26
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