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Measuring the NAIRU with Reduced Uncertainty: A Multiple Indicator-Common Component Approach

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  • Arabinda Basistha
  • Richard Startz

Abstract

Standard estimates of the NAIRU or natural rate of unemployment are subject to considerable uncertainty. We show in this paper that using multiple indicators to extract an estimated NAIRU cuts in half uncertainty as measured by variance. The inclusion of an Okun’s Law relation is particularly valuable. We estimate the NAIRU as an unobserved component in a state-space model and show that using multiple indicators reduces both parametric uncertainty and filtering uncertainty. Additionally, our multivariate approach overcomes the “pile-up” problem observed by other investigators.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2004-22.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2004-22

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  1. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  2. Thomas Laubach, 1997. "Measuring the NAIRU : evidence from seven economies," Research Working Paper 97-13, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  3. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  4. Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2000. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP so Different?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0692, Econometric Society.
  5. Laurence Ball & N. Gregory Mankiw, 2002. "The NAIRU in Theory and Practice," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1963, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  6. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Why is the Unemployment Rate So Very High near Full Employment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 339-396.
  7. Gordon, Robert J, 1990. "What Is New-Keynesian Economics?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 28(3), pages 1115-71, September.
  8. Apel, Mikael & Jansson, Per, 1999. "A theory-consistent system approach for estimating potential output and the NAIRU," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 271-275, September.
  9. Laurence Ball, 1999. "Aggregate demand and Long-Run Unemployment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 30(2), pages 189-252.
  10. Avery, Robert B., 1979. "Modeling monetary policy as an unobserved variable," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 291-311, August.
  11. Robert J. Gordon, 1998. "Foundations of the Goldilocks Economy: Supply Shocks and the Time-Varying NAIRU," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 29(2), pages 297-346.
  12. Chinhui Juhn & Kevin M. Murphy & Robert H. Topel, 1991. "Why Has the Natural Rate of Unemployment Increased over Time?," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 22(2), pages 75-142.
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  17. Douglas O. Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "How Precise Are Estimates of the Natural Rate of Unemployment?," NBER Chapters, in: Reducing Inflation: Motivation and Strategy, pages 195-246 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Arturo Estrella & Frederic Mishkin, 1998. "Rethinking the role of NAIRU in monetary policy: implications of model formulation and uncertainty," Research Paper 9806, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  19. Thomas Laubach and John C. Williams, 2001. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," Computing in Economics and Finance 2001 35, Society for Computational Economics.
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  21. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:85-110 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
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  25. Salemi, Michael K, 1999. "Estimating the Natural Rate of Unemployment and Testing the Natural Rate Hypothesis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, Jan.-Feb..
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  31. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:111-44 is not listed on IDEAS
  32. James C. Morley & Charles R. Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2003. "Why Are the Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Components Decompositions of GDP So Different?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(2), pages 235-243, May.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Lawrence J. Christiano & Mathias Trabandt & Karl Walentin, 2010. "DSGE models for monetary policy analysis," CQER Working Paper 2010-02, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  2. Mark W. Watson, 2007. "How accurate are real-time estimates of output trends and gaps?," Economic Quarterly, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, issue Spr, pages 143-161.
  3. Berger, Tino & Kempa, Bernd, 2012. "Taylor rules and the Canadian–US equilibrium exchange rate," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1060-1075.
  4. Lawrence J. Christiano & Mathias Trabandt & Karl Walentin, 2010. "Involuntary Unemployment and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 15801, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Tommaso Proietti & Alberto Musso, 2012. "Growth accounting for the euro area," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 43(1), pages 219-244, August.
  6. Berger, Tino & Kempa, Bernd, 2011. "Bayesian estimation of the output gap for a small open economy: The case of Canada," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 107-112, July.
  7. Charles A. Fleischman & John M. Roberts, 2011. "From many series, one cycle: improved estimates of the business cycle from a multivariate unobserved components model," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2011-46, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).

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