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Policy regimes, policy shifts, and U.S. business cycles

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  • Saroj Bhattarai
  • Jae Won Lee
  • Woong Yong Park

Abstract

Using an estimated DSGE model that features monetary and fiscal policy interactions and allows for equilibrium indeterminacy, we find that a passive monetary and passive fiscal policy regime prevailed in the pre-Volcker period while an active monetary and passive fiscal policy regime prevailed post-Volcker. Since both monetary and fiscal policies were passive pre-Volcker, there was equilibrium indeterminacy which resulted in substantially different transmission mechanisms of policy as compared to conventional models: unanticipated increases in interest rates increased inflation and output while unanticipated increases in lump-sum taxes decreased inflation and output. Unanticipated shifts in monetary and fiscal policies however, played no substantial role in explaining the variation of inflation and output at any horizon in either of the time periods. Pre-Volcker, in sharp contrast to post- Volcker, we find that a time-varying inflation target does not explain low-frequency movements in inflation. A combination of shocks account for the dynamics of output, inflation, and government debt, with the relative importance of a particular shock quite different in the two time-periods due to changes in the systematic responses of policy. Finally, in a counterfactual exercise, we show that had the monetary policy regime of the post-Volcker era been in place pre-Volcker, inflation volatility would have been lower by 34% and the rise of inflation in the 1970s would not have occurred.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas in its series Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper with number 109.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:109

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  1. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2011. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2150-2166.
  2. Ricardo Reis & Vasco Curdia, 2009. "Correlated Disturbances and U.S. Business Cycles," 2009 Meeting Papers 129, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  4. Hanson, Michael S., 2004. "The "price puzzle" reconsidered," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1385-1413, October.
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  6. Shu-Chun S. Yang & Nora Traum, 2010. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Interactions in the Post-war U.S," IMF Working Papers 10/243, International Monetary Fund.
  7. John Geweke, 1998. "Using simulation methods for Bayesian econometric models: inference, development, and communication," Staff Report 249, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  8. Timothy Cogley & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Inflation-Gap Persistence in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 13749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  10. Francesco Bianchi, 2011. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agents' Beliefs," 2011 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
  12. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  13. Saroj Bhattarai & Jae Won Lee & Woong Yong Park, 2012. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions and Indeterminacy in Postwar US Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 173-78, May.
  14. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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Cited by:
  1. De Graeve, Ferre & Queijo von Heideken, Virginia, 2013. "Identifying Fiscal Inflation," Working Paper Series 273, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  2. Saroj Bhattarai & Jae Won Lee & Woong Yong Park, 2013. "Price Indexation, Habit Formation, and the Generalized Taylor Principle," CAMA Working Papers 2013-52, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  3. Saroj Bhattarai & Jae Won Lee & Woong Yong Park, 2012. "Inflation dynamics: the role of public debt and policy regimes," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 124, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  4. Saroj Bhattarai & Jae Won Lee & Woong Yong Park, 2012. "Monetary-Fiscal Policy Interactions and Indeterminacy in Postwar US Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(3), pages 173-78, May.
  5. Perendia, George & Tsoukis, Chris, 2012. "The Keynesian multiplier, news and fiscal policy rules in a DSGE model," Dynare Working Papers 25, CEPREMAP.

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