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News, Noise, and Fluctuations: An Empirical Exploration

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  • Jean-Paul L'Huillier

    (Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance)

  • Guido Lorenzoni

    (MIT)

  • Olivier Blanchard

    (IMF)

Abstract

We explore empirically models of aggregate fluctuations with two basic ingredients: agents form anticipations about the future based on noisy sources of information; these anticipations affect spending and output in the short run. Our objective is to separate fluctuations due to actual changes in fundamentals (news) from those due to temporary errors in the private sector's estimates of these fundamentals (noise). Using a simple model where the consumption random walk hypothesis holds exactly, we address some basic methodological issues and take a first pass at the data. First, we show that if the econometrician has no informational advantage over the agents in the model, structural VARs cannot be used to identify news and noise shocks. Next, we develop a structural Maximum Likelihood approach which allows us to identify the model's parameters and to evaluate the role of news and noise shocks. Applied to postwar U.S. data, this approach suggests that noise shocks play an important role in short-run fluctuations.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2011 Meeting Papers with number 969.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed011:969

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  1. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1997. "Consumption, inequality and income uncertainty," IFS Working Papers W97/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2009. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 14630, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2004. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 10548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2011. "Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 16951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lars Peter Hansen & Ellen R. McGrattan & Thomas J. Sargent, 1994. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Staff Report 182, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  6. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Emerging market business cycles: the cycle is the trend," Working Papers 04-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  7. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," 2006 Meeting Papers 31, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Guido Lorenzoni, 2006. "A Theory of Demand Shocks," NBER Working Papers 12477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Danny Quah, 1991. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identi- fication and Some Theoretical Bounds," NBER Technical Working Papers 0106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Emine Boz & Christian Daude & Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2008. "Emerging market business cycles revisited: learning about the trend," International Finance Discussion Papers 927, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1343-77, June.
  13. Sims, Christopher A. & Zha, Tao, 2006. "Does Monetary Policy Generate Recessions?," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 231-272, April.
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