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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. Cúrdia, Vasco & Reis, Ricardo, 2010. "Correlated Disturbances and U.S. Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 7712, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. 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.
  3. Rao Aiyagari, S. & Gertler, Mark, 1985. "The backing of government bonds and monetarism," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1), pages 19-44, July.
  4. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Minimal State Variable Solutions to Markov-switching Rational Expectations Models," Emory Economics 1003, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  8. Giorgio Primiceri & Alejandro Justiniano, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," 2006 Meeting Papers 353, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. 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.
  10. Francesco Bianchi, 2011. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agents' Beliefs," 2011 Meeting Papers 156, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  11. 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.
  12. Hanson, Michael S., 2004. "The "price puzzle" reconsidered," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(7), pages 1385-1413, October.
  13. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. 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.
  15. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Francesco Bianchi & Cosmin Ilut, 2014. "Monetary/Fiscal Policy Mix and Agents' Beliefs," NBER Working Papers 20194, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Saroj Bhattarai & Jae Won Lee & Woong Yong Park, 2012. "Inflation dynamics: the role of public debt and policy regimes," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 124, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  3. Perendia, George & Tsoukis, Chris, 2012. "The Keynesian multiplier, news and fiscal policy rules in a DSGE model," Dynare Working Papers 25, CEPREMAP.
  4. De Graeve, Ferre & Queijo von Heideken, Virginia, 2013. "Identifying Fiscal Inflation," Working Paper Series 273, Sveriges Riksbank (Central Bank of Sweden).
  5. Saroj Bhattarai & Jae Won Lee & Woong Yong Park, 2013. "Price indexation, habit formation, and the Generalized Taylor Principle," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 152, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  6. 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.

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