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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. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "Can News about the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1097-1118, September.
  2. Todd B. Walker & Eric M. Leeper & Shu-Chun S. Yang, 2012. "Fiscal Foresight and Information Flows," IMF Working Papers 12/153, International Monetary Fund.
  3. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle Is the Trend," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 69-102.
  4. Danny Quah, 1991. "The Relative Importance of Permanent and Transitory Components: Identification and Some Theoretical Bounds," FMG Discussion Papers dp126, Financial Markets Group.
  5. Christopher A. Sims & Tao A. Zha, 1998. "Does monetary policy generate recessions?," Working Paper 98-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Robert B. Barsky & Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Information, Animal Spirits, and the Meaning of Innovations in Consumer Confidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(4), pages 1343-77, June.
  7. Galí, Jordi, 1996. "Technology, Employment, and the Business Cycle: Do Technology Shocks Explain Aggregate Fluctuations?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1499, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Richard Blundell & Ian Preston, 1998. "Consumption Inequality And Income Uncertainty," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(2), pages 603-640, May.
  9. Lippi, Francesco & Neri, Stefano, 2007. "Information variables for monetary policy in an estimated structural model of the euro area," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1256-1270, May.
  10. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2004. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Chapters, in: Enhancing Productivity (NBER-CEPR-TCER-Keio conference) National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Francesco Lippi & Stefano Neri, 2004. "Information variables for monetary policy in a small structural model of the euro area," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 511, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
  12. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  13. Emine Boz & Christian Daude & Ceyhun Bora Durdu, 2008. "Emerging market business cycles revisited: learning about the trend," International Finance Discussion Papers 927, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  14. Guido Lorenzoni, 2009. "A Theory of Demand Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2050-84, December.
  15. Anderson, Evan W. & McGrattan, Ellen R. & Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 1996. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Handbook of Computational Economics, in: H. M. Amman & D. A. Kendrick & J. Rust (ed.), Handbook of Computational Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 4, pages 171-252 Elsevier.
  16. 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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