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Varying Monetary Policy Regimes: A Vector Autoregressive Investigation

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  • Michael S. Hanson

    ()
    (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

Recently, two stylized facts about the behavior of the U.S. economy have emerged: first, macroeconomic aggregates appear to be less volatile post-1984 than in the preceding two decades; second, monetary policy appears more responsive to inflationary pressures—and thereby more “stabilizing” — during the Volcker/Greenspan chairmanships relative to earlier regimes. Does a causal relationship exist between these two observations? In particular, has “better” policy by the Federal Reserve Board contributed significantly to the lessened volatility of the U.S. economy? This paper uses a structural vector autoregressive (VAR) specification to address these questions, examining the advantages and limitations of such an approach. In contrast with much of the existing research on these topics, I find that most of the quantitatively significant changes in volatility are attributed to breaks in the non-policy portion of the structural VAR, and not to the identified policy equation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2006-003.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming in Journal of Economics and Business
Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2006-003

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Keywords: Monetary policy reaction function; structural VAR models; Taylor rule; Volcker disinflation; parameter instability;

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Cited by:
  1. Mendicino, Caterina, 2007. "Credit market and macroeconomic volatility," Working Paper Series 0743, European Central Bank.
  2. Luca Benati & Paolo Surico, 2006. "The Great Moderation and the ‘Bernanke Conjecture’," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 158, Society for Computational Economics.
  3. Timothy Cogley & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Inflation-Gap Persistence in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 13749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2003. "Structural changes in the US economy: is there a role for monetary policy?," Economics Working Papers 918, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2008.
  5. Michael T. Owyang, 2002. "Modeling Volcker as a non-absorbing state: agnostic identification of a Markov-switching VAR," Working Papers 2002-018, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  6. M. Berument & Selahattin Togay & Afsin Sahin, 2011. "Identifying the Liquidity Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks for a Small Open Economy: Turkey," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(4), pages 649-667, September.
  7. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2006. "Assessing Different Drivers of the GreatModeration in the U.S," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0025, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
  8. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2001. "Assessing simple policy rules: A view from a complete macroeconomic model," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q4, pages 35-58.
  9. Christopher Sims & Tao Zha, 2002. "Macroeconomic switching," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  10. Fabio Canova, 2004. "What explains the Great Moderation in the US? A structural analysis," Economics Working Papers 919, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 2007.
  11. Neville Francis & Michael T. Owyang, 2004. "Monetary policy in a Markov-switching VECM: implications for the cost of disinflation and the price puzzle," Working Papers 2003-001, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  12. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2000. "Assessing simple policy rules: a view from a complete macro model," Working Paper 2000-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  13. Canova, Fabio, 2006. "Monetary Policy and the Evolution of the US Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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