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News, Noise, and Fluctuations: An Empirical Exploration

  • Olivier J. Blanchard
  • Jean-Paul L'Huillier
  • Guido Lorenzoni

We explore empirically models of aggregate fluctuations in which consumers form anticipations about the future based on noisy sources of information and these anticipations affect output in the short run. Our objective is to separate fluctuations due to changes in fundamentals (news) from those due to temporary errors in agents' estimates (noise). We show that structural VARs cannot be used to identify news and noise shocks, but identification is possible via a method of moments or maximum likelihood. Next, we estimate our model on US data. Our results suggest that noise shocks explain a sizable fraction of short-run consumption fluctuations.

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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 7 (December)
Pages: 3045-70

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:7:p:3045-70
Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.7.3045
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  1. Jordi Gali, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 5721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Danny Quah, 1991. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," FMG Discussion Papers dp126, Financial Markets Group.
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  12. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2004. "Emerging market business cycles: the cycle is the trend," Working Papers 04-4, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
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  17. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2011. "Foresight and Information Flows," NBER Working Papers 16951, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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