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Policy Regimes, Policy Shifts, and U.S. Business Cycles

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  • Woong Yong Park

    (University of Hong Kong)

  • Jae Won Lee

    (Rutgers University)

  • Saroj Bhattarai

    (Penn State University)

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 that gave rise to self-fulfilling beliefs and 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 Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 287.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:287

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  1. Timothy Cogley & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Thomas J. Sargent, 2010. "Inflation-Gap Persistence in the US," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 43-69, January.
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  3. 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.
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  6. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 12022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Traum, Nora & Yang, Shu-Chun S., 2011. "Monetary and fiscal policy interactions in the post-war U.S," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 140-164, January.
  8. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. 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.
  10. Hanson, Michael S., 2004. "The "price puzzle" reconsidered," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1385-1413, October.
  11. Vasco Curdia & Ricardo Reis, 2010. "Correlated Disturbances and U.S. Business Cycles," Discussion Papers 0910-12, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  12. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
  13. 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.
  14. Francesco Bianchi, 2011. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agents' Beliefs," 2011 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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Cited by:
  1. Perendia, George & Tsoukis, Chris, 2012. "The Keynesian multiplier, news and fiscal policy rules in a DSGE model," Dynare Working Papers 25, CEPREMAP.
  2. Woong Yong Park & Jae Won Lee & Saroj Bhattarai, 2013. "Inflation Dynamics: The Role of Public Debt and Policy Regimes," 2013 Meeting Papers 359, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. De Graeve, Ferre & Queijo von Heideken, Virginia, 2013. "Identifying Fiscal Inflation," Working Paper Series 273, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  4. 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.

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