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VAR Analysis and the Great Moderation

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  • Luca Benati
  • Paolo Surico

Abstract

Most analyses of the US Great Moderation are based on structural VARs, and point toward good luck as the main explanation for the recent macroeconomic stability. Based on an estimated New-Keynesian model where the only source of change is the move from passive to active monetary policy, we show that (i) the theoretical VAR innovation variances for all series decrease across regimes; (ii) VAR-based counterfactuals assign a minor role to improved policy; and (iii) VAR impulse-response functions to a monetary shock exhibit little variation across regimes. Our analysis suggests that existing VAR evidence is also compatible with the "good policy" hypothesis. (JEL C32, C52, E13, E52, N12)

Suggested Citation

  • Luca Benati & Paolo Surico, 2009. "VAR Analysis and the Great Moderation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1636-1652, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:99:y:2009:i:4:p:1636-52
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.99.4.1636
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180.
    2. Benati, Luca, 2008. "Investigating inflation persistence across monetary regimes," Working Paper Series 851, European Central Bank.
    3. Luca Benati, 2008. "Investigating Inflation Persistence Across Monetary Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1005-1060.
    4. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
    5. Lucas, Robert Jr, 1976. "Econometric policy evaluation: A critique," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 19-46, January.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E13 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - Neoclassical
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • N12 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - U.S.; Canada: 1913-

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