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Granger-Causality and Stabilization Policy

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  • Willem H. Buiter

Abstract

This paper aims to provide a stochastic, rational expectations extension of Tobin's "Money and Income; Post Hoc Ergo Proper Hoc?". It is well-known that money may Granger-cause real variables even though the joint density function of the real variables is invariant under changes in the deterministic components of the monetary feedback rule. The paper shows that failure of money to Granger-cause real variables does not preclude a stabilization role of money. In a number of examples the conditional second moment of real output is a function of the deterministic components of the monetary feedback rule. Yet money fails to Granger-cause output ("in mean" and "in variance"). In all these models money is a pure stabilization instrument: superneutrality is assumed. If the analysis is extended to "structural" or "al1ocative" instruments such as fiscal instruments, the conclusion is even stronger. Failure of these policy instruments to Granger-cause real variables is consistent with changes in the deterministic parts of the policy feedback rules being associated with changes in the conditional means of the real variables. Granger-causality tests are tests of "incremental predictive content". They convey no information about the invariance of the joint density function of real variables under changes in the deterministic components of policy feedback rules.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0010.

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Date of creation: Mar 1981
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Publication status: published as Buiter, Willem H. "Granger-Causality and Stabilization Policy." Economica, Vol. 51, pp. 151-162, May 1984.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0010

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  1. Phelps, Edmund S & Taylor, John B, 1977. "Stabilizing Powers of Monetary Policy under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 163-90, February.
  2. Laurence Weiss, 1978. "The Role for Active Monetary Policy in a Rational Expectations Model," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 491, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  3. McCallum, B. T. & Whitaker, J. K., 1979. "The effectiveness of fiscal feedback rules and automatic stabilizers under rational expectations," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 171-186, April.
  4. Sargent, Thomas J & Wallace, Neil, 1975. ""Rational" Expectations, the Optimal Monetary Instrument, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(2), pages 241-54, April.
  5. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1980. "The Choice of Monetary Instrument under Alternative Forms of Price Expectations," The Manchester School of Economic & Social Studies, University of Manchester, vol. 48(1), pages 39-62, March.
  6. Tobin, James, 1970. "Money and Income: Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 301-17, May.
  7. Sargent, Thomas J, 1976. "A Classical Macroeconometric Model for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(2), pages 207-37, April.
  8. Hsiao, Cheng, 1979. "Causality tests in econometrics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 321-346, November.
  9. Granger, C. W. J., 1980. "Testing for causality : A personal viewpoint," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 329-352, May.
  10. Fischer, Stanley, 1977. "Long-Term Contracts, Rational Expectations, and the Optimal Money Supply Rule," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(1), pages 191-205, February.
  11. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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