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Initial Expectations in New Keynesian Models with Learning

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  • James Murray

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    (Indiana University Bloomington)

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    Abstract

    This paper examines how the estimation results for a standard New Keynesian model with constant gain least squares learning is sensitive to the stance taken on agents beliefs at the beginning of the sample. The New Keynesian model is estimated under rational expectations and under learning with three different frameworks for how expectations are set at the beginning of the sample. The results show that initial beliefs can have an impact on the predictions of an estimated model; in fact previous literature has exposed this sensitivity to explain the changing volatilities of output and inflation in the post-war United States. The results indicate statistical evidence for adaptive learning, however the rational expectations framework performs at least as well as the learning frameworks, if not better, in in-sample and out-of-sample forecast error criteria. Moreover, learning is not found to better explain time varying macroeconomic volatility any better than rational expectations. Finally, impulse response functions from the estimated models show that the dynamics following a structural shock can depend crucially on how expectations are initialized and what information agents are assumed to have.

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    File URL: http://www.iub.edu/~caepr/RePEc/PDF/2008/CAEPR2008-017.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington in its series Caepr Working Papers with number 2008-017.

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    Length: 37 pages
    Date of creation: Jun 2008
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:inu:caeprp:2008-017

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    Keywords: Learning; expectations; New Keynesian model; maximum likelihood;

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    1. 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.
    2. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2003-41, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    3. James M. Nason & Gregor W. Smith, 2005. "Identifying the New Keynesian Phillips curve," Working Paper 2005-01, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    4. McCallum, Bennett T., 1999. "Issues in the design of monetary policy rules," Handbook of Macroeconomics, in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 23, pages 1483-1530 Elsevier.
    5. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," NBER Working Papers 10309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Argia M. Sbordone & Timothy Cogley, 2004. "A Search for a Structural Phillips Curve," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 291, Society for Computational Economics.
    7. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
    8. Raf Wouters & Sergey Slobodyan, 2007. "Learning dynamics in an estimated medium-sized DSGE model," 2007 Meeting Papers 689, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Bruce Preston, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
    10. Marc Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2004. "Optimal Inflation-Targeting Rules," NBER Chapters, in: The Inflation-Targeting Debate, pages 93-172 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
    12. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Convergence of Least-Squares Learning in Environments with Hidden State Variables and Private Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1306-22, December.
    13. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
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