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Policy Evaluation and Uncertainty About the Effects of Oil Prices on Economic Activity

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  • Francesca Rondina
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    Abstract

    This paper addresses the issue of policy evaluation in a context in which policymakers are uncertain about the eects of oil prices on economic performance. I consider models of the economy inspired by Solow (1980), Blanchard and Gali (2007), Kim and Loungani (1992) and Hamilton (1983, 2005), which incorporate dierent assumptions on the channels through which oil prices have an impact on economic activity. I first study the characteristics of the model space and I analyze the likelihood of the dierent specifcations. I show that the existence of plausible alternative representations of the economy forces the policy maker to face the problem of model uncertainty. Then, I use the Bayesian approach proposed by Brock, Durlauf and West (2003, 2007) and the minimax approach developed by Hansen and Sargent (2008) to integrate this form of uncertainty into policy evaluation. I find that, in the environment under analysis, the standard Taylor rule is out performed under a number of criteria by alternative simple rules in which policymakers introduce persistence in the policy instrument and respond to changes in the real price of oil.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 522.

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    Date of creation: Nov 2010
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    Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:522

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    Related research

    Keywords: Model uncertainty; robust policy; Bayesian model averaging; minimax; oil prices;

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    References

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    1. Leduc, Sylvain & Sill, Keith, 2004. "A quantitative analysis of oil-price shocks, systematic monetary policy, and economic downturns," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 781-808, May.
    2. Hamilton, James D, 1983. "Oil and the Macroeconomy since World War II," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(2), pages 228-48, April.
    3. William Brock & Steven Durlauf & Kenneth West, 2005. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation: some theory and empirics," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    4. Hamilton, James D & Herrera, Ana Maria, 2004. "Oil Shocks and Aggregate Macroeconomic Behavior: The Role of Monetary Policy: Comment," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(2), pages 265-86, April.
    5. Marc P. Giannoni, 2007. "Robust optimal monetary policy in a forward-looking model with parameter and shock uncertainty," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 179-213.
    6. Francesca Rondina, 2010. "The role of model uncertainty and learning in the U.S. postwar policy response to oil prices," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 834.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
    7. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Athanasios Orphanides, 2001. "Monetary Policy Rules Based on Real-Time Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 964-985, September.
    9. Cogley, Timothy & De Paoli, Bianca & Matthes, Christian & Nikolov, Kalin & Yates, Tony, 2011. "A Bayesian approach to optimal monetary policy with parameter and model uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2186-2212.
    10. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
    11. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Nason, James M. & Rondina, Giacomo, 2007. "Simple versus optimal rules as guides to policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1372-1396, July.
    12. Herrera, Ana María & Pesavento, Elena, 2009. "Oil Price Shocks, Systematic Monetary Policy, And The “Great Moderation”," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 13(01), pages 107-137, February.
    13. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "What is an oil shock?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 363-398, April.
    14. Robert H. Rasche & John A. Tatom, 1977. "Energy resources and potential GNP," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jun, pages 10-24.
    15. Michael J. Dueker & Robert H. Rasche, 2004. "Discrete policy changes and empirical models of the federal funds rate," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Nov, pages 61-72.
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    Cited by:
    1. Francesca Rondina, 2010. "The role of model uncertainty and learning in the U.S. postwar policy response to oil prices," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 834.10, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).

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