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Should Macroeconomic Policy Makers Consider Parameter Covariances?

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  • Hans M. Amman

    ()
    (Eco, U. of Amsterdam)

  • David A. Kendrick

    ()
    (Eco, U. of Texas)

Abstract

Many macroeconomic policy exercises consider the mean values of parameter estimates but do not use the variances and covariances. One can argue that the uncertainty of these parameter estimates is sufficiently small that it can safely be ignored. Or one can take the position that this kind of uncertainty cannot be avoided no matter what one does. Thus it is just as well to ignore it while making policy decisions. In this paper we address both of these positions in the presence of learning and find that they are unconvincing. To the contrary, we find evidence that the potential damage from ignoring the variances and covariances of the parameter estimates is substantial and that taking them into account can improve matters. Citation Copyright 1999 by Kluwer Academic Publishers.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Texas at Austin, Center for Applied Research in Economics in its series CARE Working Papers with number 9701.

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Length: 11 pages
Date of creation: Feb 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:tex:carewp:9701

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Keywords: Macroeconomics; learning; stochastic optimization; numerical experiments;

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References

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  1. Ray C. Fair & E. Philip Howrey, 1995. "Evaluating Alternative Monetary Policy Rules," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1091, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  2. Amman, Hans M. & Kendrick, David A., 1994. "Active learning Monte Carlo results," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 119-124, January.
  3. Roger Craine & Arthur Havenner & Peter Tinsley, 1976. "Optimal Macroeconomic Control Policies," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 2, pages 191-203 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Caplin, Andrew & Leahy, John, 1996. "Monetary Policy as a Process of Search," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(4), pages 689-702, September.
  5. Kendrick, David, 1982. "Caution and probing in a macroeconomic model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 149-170, November.
  6. Amman, Hans M & Kendrick, David A, 1995. "Nonconvexities in Stochastic Control Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 455-75, May.
  7. Pohjola, Matti T., 1981. "Uncertainty and the vigour of policy Some implications of quadratic preferences," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 299-305, November.
  8. Shupp, Franklin R., 1976. "Uncertainty and optimal stabilization policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(3), pages 243-253, October.
  9. Craine, Roger, 1979. "Optimal monetary policy with uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 59-83, February.
  10. Chow, Gregory C, 1973. "Effect of Uncertainty on Optimal Control Policies," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 14(3), pages 632-45, October.
  11. Turnovsky, Stephen J, 1975. "Optimal Choice of Monetary Instrument in a Linear Economic Model with Stochastic Coefficients," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 7(1), pages 51-80, February.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. P. Ruben Mercado & David Kendrick, 1999. "Caution in Macroeconomic Policy: Uncertainty and the Relative Intensity of Policy," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1343, Society for Computational Economics.
  2. Viktoria Blüschke-Nikolaeva & Dmitri Blüschke & Reinhard Neck, 2010. "Optimal Control of Nonlinear Dynamic Econometric Models: An Algorithm and an Application," Working Papers 032, COMISEF.
  3. D.A. Kendrick & H.M. Amman & M.P. Tucci, 2008. "Learning About Learning in Dynamic Economic Models," Working Papers 08-20, Utrecht School of Economics.
  4. Dag Kolsrud, 2008. "Stochastic Ceteris Paribus Simulations," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 21-43, February.
  5. David Kendrick & Hans Amman, 2006. "A Classification System for Economic Stochastic Control Models," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 453-481, June.
  6. Pedro Francisco Páez, 2005. "Are the Washington Consensus Policies Sustainable? Game Theoretical Assessment for the Case of Ecuador," Working Paper Series, Department of Economics, University of Utah 2005_07, University of Utah, Department of Economics.
  7. P. Ruben Mercado, 2001. "The Timing of Uncertainty and The Intensity of Policy," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 55, Society for Computational Economics.
  8. D.A. Kendrick & H.M. Amman, 2011. "A Taylor Rule for Fiscal Policy," Working Papers 11-17, Utrecht School of Economics.
  9. P. Mercado & David Kendrick, 2006. "Parameter Uncertainty and Policy Intensity: Some Extensions and Suggestions for Further Work," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 27(4), pages 483-496, June.
  10. Reinhard Neck & Gottfried Haber & Klaus Weyerstrass, 2010. "Optimal Deterministic and Stochastic Macroeconomic Policies for Slovenia: An Application of the OPTCON Algorithm," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 36(1), pages 37-45, June.
  11. Fidel Gonzalez, 2008. "Optimal Policy Response with Control Parameter and Intercept Covariance," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 31(1), pages 1-20, February.
  12. Kendrick, David A., 2005. "Stochastic control for economic models: past, present and the paths ahead," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 3-30, January.

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