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Transformations of the state variable and learning dynamics

  • Shurojit Chatterji
  • Ignacio N. Lobato

This article studies dynamics in a model where agents forecast a one dimensional state variable via ordinary least squares regressions on the lagged values of the state variable. We study the stability properties of alternative transformations of the state variable that the agent can endogenously set forth. We study the consequences on the economy's stability of the typical transformations that an econometrician would attempt, such as differencing, detrending, or taking instantaneous concave transformations, such as logarithms. Surprisingly, for the considered class of economies, we found that these transformations are destabilizing, whereas alternative transformations, which an econometrician would never consider, such as convex transformations, are stabilizing. Therefore, we ironically find that in our set-up, an active agent, who is concerned about learning the economy's dynamics and, in an attempt to improve forecasting, transforms the state variable using the standard transformations, is more likely to deviate from the steady state than a passive agent.

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Article provided by The International Society for Economic Theory in its journal International Journal of Economic Theory.

Volume (Year): 6 (2010)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 385-403

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ijethy:v:6:y:2010:i:4:p:385-403
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  1. Chatterji Shurojit, 1995. "Temporary Equilibrium Dynamics with Bayesian Learning," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 590-598, December.
  2. Hellwig, Martin F., 1982. "Rational expectations and the Markov property of temporary equilibrium processes," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1-2), pages 135-144, January.
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  8. Lettau, Martin & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2001. "Robustness of Adaptive Expectations as an Equilibrium Selection Device," CEPR Discussion Papers 2882, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. Chatterji, Shurojit & Chattopadhyay, Subir, 2000. "Global stability in spite of "local instability" with learning," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 155-165, March.
  10. Evans, George W & Honkapohja, Seppo, 1998. "Economic Dynamics with Learning: New Stability Results," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(1), pages 23-44, January.
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  12. Van Zandt, Timothy & Lettau, Martin, 2003. "Robustness Of Adaptive Expectations As An Equilibrium Selection Device," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(01), pages 89-118, February.
  13. Coulson, N Edward & Robins, Russell P, 1987. "A Test of the First Difference Transformation in Time Series Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(4), pages 723-26, November.
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