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VAR Analysis and the Great Moderation

Listed author(s):
  • Luca Benati
  • Paolo Surico

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)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.99.4.1636
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/sept09/20061138_data.zip
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 99 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (September)
Pages: 1636-1652

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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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  1. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 1908, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Luca Benati, 2008. "Investigating Inflation Persistence Across Monetary Regimes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(3), pages 1005-1060.
  3. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2005. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," Working Papers 92, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies..
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  5. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2006. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," Caepr Working Papers 2006-001, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  6. Goffe, William L. & Ferrier, Gary D. & Rogers, John, 1994. "Global optimization of statistical functions with simulated annealing," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 65-99.
  7. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2003. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," NBER Working Papers 9459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Luca Gambetti & Evi Pappa & Fabio Canova, 2008. "The Structural Dynamics of U.S. Output and Inflation: What Explains the Changes?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 369-388, 03.
  9. An, Sungbae & Schorfheide, Frank, 2005. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 5207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-01-08, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  11. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2010. "Do Expectations Matter? The Great Moderation Revisited," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 183-205, July.
  13. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
  14. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  15. Lubik, Thomas A. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Computing sunspot equilibria in linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 273-285, November.
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