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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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    File URL: http://research.barcelonagse.eu/tmp/working_papers/522.pdf
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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. 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.
    2. Hamilton, James D., 2003. "What is an oil shock?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 363-398, April.
    3. 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.
    4. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Kenneth D. West, 2004. "Model Uncertainty and Policy Evaluation: Some Theory and Empirics," NBER Working Papers 10916, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    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. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & James M. Nason & Giacomo Rondina, 2007. "Simple versus optimal rules as guides to policy," Working Paper 2007-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    8. 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.
    9. Sylvain Leduc & Keith Sill, 2001. "A quantitative analysis of oil-price shocks, systematic monetary policy, and economic downturns," Working Papers 01-9, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    10. 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.
    11. 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.
    12. Robert H. Rasche & John A. Tatom, 1977. "Energy resources and potential GNP," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jun, pages 10-24.
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    Cited by:
    1. Rondina, Francesca, 2012. "The role of model uncertainty and learning in the US postwar policy response to oil prices," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1009-1041.

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