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Modelling Inflation Volatility

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  • Eric Eisenstat
  • Rodney W. Strachan

Abstract

This paper discusses estimation of US inflation volatility using time varying parameter models, in particular whether it should be modelled as a stationary or random walk stochastic process. Specifying inflation volatility as an unbounded process, as implied by the random walk, conflicts with priors beliefs, yet a stationary process cannot capture the low frequency behaviour commonly observed in estimates of volatility. We therefore propose an alternative model with a change-point process in the volatility that allows for switches between stationary models to capture changes in the level and dynamics over the past forty years. To accommodate the stationarity restriction, we develop a new representation that is equivalent to our model but is computationally more efficient. All models produce effectively identical estimates of volatility, but the change-point model provides more information on the level and persistence of volatility and the probabilities of changes. For example, we find a few well defined switches in the volatility process and, interestingly, these switches line up well with economic slowdowns or changes of the Federal Reserve Chair.

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File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2014-02/21_2014_eisenstat_strachan.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2014-21.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2014-21

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Related research

Keywords: Inflation volatility; monetary policy; time varying parameter model; Bayesian estimation; Change-point model;

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  1. Antonello D'Agostino & Luca Gambetti & Domenico Giannone, 2009. "Macroeconomic Forecasting and Structural Change," Working Papers ECARES 2009_020, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. Chan, Joshua & Strachan, Rodney, 2012. "Estimation in Non-Linear Non-Gaussian State Space Models with Precision-Based Methods," MPRA Paper 39360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Joshua C. C. Chan & Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2013. "A New Model of Trend Inflation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 94-106, January.
  4. Chan, Joshua C.C., 2013. "Moving average stochastic volatility models with application to inflation forecast," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 176(2), pages 162-172.
  5. McCausland, William J. & Miller, Shirley & Pelletier, Denis, 2011. "Simulation smoothing for state-space models: A computational efficiency analysis," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 199-212, January.
  6. Stern, Steven, 1992. "A Method for Smoothing Simulated Moments of Discrete Probabilities in Multinomial Probit Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 943-52, July.
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