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Parameter Instability, Model Uncertainty and the Choice of Monetary Policy

  • Favero Carlo A.


    (IGIER, Bocconi University and CEPR)

  • Milani Fabio


    (Princeton University)

This paper starts from the observation that parameter instability and model uncertainty are relevant problems for the analysis of monetary policy in small macroeconomic models. We propose to deal with these two problems by implementing a novel "thick recursive modelling" approach. At each point in time we estimate all models generated by the combinations of a base-set of k observable regressors for aggregate demand and supply. We compute optimal monetary policies for all possible models and then consider alternative ways of summarizing their distribution. Our main results show that thick recursive modelling delivers optimal policy rates that track the observed policy rates better than the optimal policy rates obtained under a constant parameter specification with no role for model uncertainty.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2005)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-33

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:topics.5:y:2005:i:1:n:4
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  1. Robert J. Tetlow & Peter von zur Muehlen, 2000. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-28, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  3. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 2000. "A Recursive Modelling Approach to Predicting UK Stock Returns," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(460), pages 159-91, January.
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  5. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
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  7. Hans M. Amman & David A. Kendrick, . "Computational Economics," Online economics textbooks, SUNY-Oswego, Department of Economics, number comp1, December.
  8. 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.
  9. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  10. Sack, Brian & Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Interest-rate smoothing and optimal monetary policy: a review of recent empirical evidence," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 52(1-2), pages 205-228.
  11. Lars Peter Hansen & Ellen R. McGrattan & Thomas J. Sargent, 1994. "Mechanics of forming and estimating dynamic linear economies," Staff Report 182, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  12. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 2002. "Term structure evidence on interest rate smoothing and monetary policy inertia," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1161-1187, September.
  13. Pesaran, M Hashem & Timmermann, Allan, 1995. " Predictability of Stock Returns: Robustness and Economic Significance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 50(4), pages 1201-28, September.
  14. Gernot Doppelhofer & Ronald I. Miller & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2000. "Determinants of Long-Term Growth: A Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) Approach," NBER Working Papers 7750, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Granger, Clive W. J. & Jeon, Yongil, 2004. "Thick modeling," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 323-343, March.
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