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Fortune or Virtue: Time-Variant Volatilities Versus Parameter Drifting in U.S. Data

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  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús
  • Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A.
  • Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco

Abstract

This paper compares the role of stochastic volatility versus changes in monetary policy rules in accounting for the time-varying volatility of U.S. aggregate data. Of special interest to us is understanding the sources of the great moderation of business cycle fluctuations that the U.S. economy experienced between 1984 and 2007. To explore this issue, we build a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with both stochastic volatility and parameter drifting in the Taylor rule and we estimate it non-linearly using U.S. data and Bayesian methods. Methodologically, we show how to confront such a rich model with the data by exploiting the structure of the high-order approximation to the decision rules that characterize the equilibrium of the economy. Our main empirical findings are: 1) even after controlling for stochastic volatility (and there is a fair amount of it), there is overwhelming evidence of changes in monetary policy during the analyzed period; 2) however, these changes in monetary policy mattered little for the great moderation; 3) most of the great performance of the U.S. economy during the 1990s was a result of good shocks; and 4) the response of monetary policy to inflation under Burns, Miller, and Greenspan was similar, while it was much higher under Volcker.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7813.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7813

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Keywords: Bayesian methods; DSGE models; Parameter drifting; Stochastic volatility;

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References

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  1. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2007. "How Structural Are Structural Parameters?," NBER Working Papers 13166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 12022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2530-61, October.
  4. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Indeterminacy in a Forward Looking Regime Switching Model," NBER Working Papers 12540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. S. B. Aruoba & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2005. "Comparing Solution Methods for Dynamic Equilibrium Economies," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000855, UCLA Department of Economics.
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  9. Roger E.A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2008. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," Working Paper 2008-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Rubio-Ramirez, Juan F., 2006. "Solving DSGE models with perturbation methods and a change of variables," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2509-2531, December.
  11. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2003. "Structural changes in the US economy: is there a role for monetary policy?," Economics Working Papers 918, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2008.
  12. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
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  14. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Reading the Recent Monetary History of the U.S., 1959-2007," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-016, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Jordi Gali & Luca Gambetti, 2008. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," NBER Working Papers 14171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Regime Switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Working Papers 12-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  17. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  21. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  22. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2006. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," NBER Technical Working Papers 0321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Rochelle M. Edge & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2007. "Documentation of the Research and Statistics Division’s estimated DSGE model of the U.S. economy: 2006 version," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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