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Consistent Expectations, Rational Expectations, Multiple-Solution Indeterminacies, and Least-Squares Learnability

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

After some historical discussion of the rational expectations (RE) solution procedures of John Muth, Alan Walters, and Robert Lucas, this paper considers the relevance for actual economies of issues stemming from the existence of multiple RE equilibria. In all linear models, the minimum state variable (MSV) solution as defined by the author (JME, 1983) is unique by construction. While it might be argued that the MSV solution warrants special status as the bubble-free solution, the focus in this paper is on its adaptive, least-squares learnability by individual agents, as discussed extensively in important recent publications by George Evans and Seppo Honkapohja. Although the MSV solution is learnable and the main alternatives are not, in most standard models, Evans and Honkapohja have stressed an example in which the opposite is true. The present paper shows, however, that parameter values yielding that result are such that the model is not well formulated, in a specified sense (one that avoids implausible discontinuities). More generally, analysis of a pair of prominent univariate specifications, featured by Evans and Honkapohja, shows that the MSV solution is invariably learnable in these structures, if they are well formulated.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 9218.

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Date of creation: Sep 2002
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Publication status: published as Minford, Patrick (ed.) Money Matters: Essays in Honour of Alan Walters. Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9218

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  1. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 841, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
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  17. Brayton, Flint & Levin, Andrew & Lyon, Ralph & Williams, John C., 1997. "The evolution of macro models at the Federal Reserve Board," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 43-81, December.
  18. Sargent, Thomas J, 1971. "A Note on the 'Accelerationist' Controversy," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 3(3), pages 721-25, August.
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  24. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1992. "On the Robustness of Bubbles in Linear RE Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-14, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Martin ZUMPE (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2010. "Monetary Policy Rules, Learning and Stability: a Survey of the Recent Literature (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2010-01, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
  2. Bennett T. Mccallum, 2003. "Is The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level Learnable?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(5), pages 634-649, November.
  3. Guse, E., 2005. "Learning with Heterogeneous Expectations in an Evolutionary World," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 0547, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  4. Bennett T. McCallum, 2003. "The Unique Minimum State Variable RE Solution is E-Stable in All Well Formulated Linear Models," NBER Working Papers 9960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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