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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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Citations

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Cited by:
  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.
  2. Berument, Hakan & Togay, Selahattin & Sahin, Afsin, 2011. "Identifying the Liquidity Effects of Monetary Policy Shocks For a Small Open Economy: Turkey," MPRA Paper 46883, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Fabio Canova, 2009. "What Explains The Great Moderation in the U.S.? A Structural Analysis," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 7(4), pages 697-721, 06.
  4. Eric Leeper & Tao Zha, 2002. "Empirical analysis of policy interventions," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  5. 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.
  6. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2004. "On the Time Variations of US Monetary Policy: Who is right?," Money Macro and Finance (MMF) Research Group Conference 2004 96, Money Macro and Finance Research Group.
  7. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2001. "Assessing simple policy rules: a view from a complete macroeconomic model," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 83-112.
  8. Christopher Sims & Tao Zha, 2002. "Macroeconomic switching," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  9. Canova, Fabio & Gambetti, Luca, 2006. "Structural Changes in the US Economy: Bad Luck or Bad Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5457, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Luca Benati & Paolo Surico, 2006. "The Great Moderation and the ‘Bernanke Conjecture’," Computing in Economics and Finance 2006 158, Society for Computational Economics.
  11. Canova, Fabio, 2006. "Monetary Policy and the Evolution of the US Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 5467, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. 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.
  13. Mendicino, Caterina, 2007. "Credit market and macroeconomic volatility," Working Paper Series 0743, European Central Bank.
  14. Efrem Castelnuovo, 2006. "Assessing Different Drivers of the GreatModeration in the U.S," "Marco Fanno" Working Papers 0025, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche "Marco Fanno".
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