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Assessing simple policy rules: A view from a complete macroeconomic model

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  • Eric M. Leeper
  • Tao Zha

Abstract

Monetary policy analysts looking for a model on which to base decisions may consider two popular approaches-the New Keynesian (NK) and the identified vector autoregression (VAR) approaches. Choosing between the two can be difficult: NK models are stylized and have simple rules while structural VAR models have complex dynamics and loose behavioral interpretations. ; The simpler NK models often produce stark conclusions. For example, NK analyses consistently find that the Federal Reserve's monetary policy has improved markedly in the past two decades compared with the 1960s and 1970s. In contrast, VARs find little instability in the policy parameters or in the dynamic impacts of exogenous shifts in policy. ; Taking the view that NK models are simply restricted VARs, the authors estimate systems of structural equations implied by NK models. They find that these estimated equations vary considerably over different periods. The authors also investigate the role of money by incorporating money (M2) into the NK model; they find that including money substantially alters the model's conclusions about monetary policy. This result conflicts with the NK theoretical assumption that money is irrelevant. ; Both NK models and VARs have their place in policy advising, the authors believe. But they caution that it is treacherous to draw inferences about policy effects solely from policy rules estimated in isolation from a complete macro model.

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  • Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2001. "Assessing simple policy rules: A view from a complete macroeconomic model," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, issue Q4, pages 35-58.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedaer:y:2001:i:q4:p:35-58:n:v.86no.4
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    2. M. Hakan Berument & Nukhet Dogan & Aysit Tansel, 2009. "Macroeconomic Policy and Unemployment by Economic Activity: Evidence from Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(3), pages 21-34, May.
    3. Giordani, Paolo, 2004. "An alternative explanation of the price puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(6), pages 1271-1296, September.
    4. Gomez-Biscarri, Javier, 2008. "Changes in the informational content of term spreads: Is monetary policy becoming less effective?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 60(5), pages 415-435.
    5. Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2003. "Likelihood preserving normalization in multiple equation models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 114(2), pages 329-347, June.
    6. Javier Gómez, 2007. "Changes in the Informational Content of the Spread: Is Monetary Policy Becoming Less Effective?," Faculty Working Papers 05/07, School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Navarra.
    7. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2004. "Measuring the effects of monetary policy: a factor-augmented vector autoregressive (FAVAR) approach," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2004-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    8. Claus Brand & Hans-Eggert Reimers & Franz Seitz, 2003. "Narrow Money and the Business Cycle: Theoretical aspects and euro area evdence," Macroeconomics 0303012, EconWPA.
    9. Brand, Claus & Reimers, Hans-Eggert & Seitz, Franz, 2003. "Forecasting real GDP: what role for narrow money?," Working Paper Series 254, European Central Bank.
    10. Guangling (Dave) Liu, 2013. "Will the Sarb always Succeed in Fighting Inflation with Contractionary Policy?," South African Journal of Economics, Economic Society of South Africa, vol. 81(3), pages 330-345, September.
    11. Nelson, Edward, 2001. "What Does the UK's Monetary Policy and Inflation Experience Tell Us About the Transmission Mechanism?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3047, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    12. Voss, G.M. & Willard, L.B., 2009. "Monetary policy and the exchange rate: Evidence from a two-country model," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 708-720, December.
    13. Takeshi Kimura & Hiroshi Kobayashi & Jun Muranaga & Hiroshi Ugai, 2003. "The effect of the increase in the monetary base of Japan's economy at zero interest rates: an empirical analysis," BIS Papers chapters,in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Monetary policy in a changing environment, volume 19, pages 276-312 Bank for International Settlements.
    14. M. Hakan Berument & Nukhet Dogan & Aysit Tansel, 2009. "Macroeconomic Policy and Unemployment by Economic Activity: Evidence from Turkey," Emerging Markets Finance and Trade, M.E. Sharpe, Inc., vol. 45(3), pages 21-34, May.
    15. Chen, Shiu-Sheng & Chou, Yu-Hsi, 2012. "Rational expectations, changing monetary policy rules, and real exchange rate dynamics," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 2824-2836.
    16. F. Ballabriga & C. Martinez-Mongay, 2002. "Has EMU shifted policy?," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 166, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    17. Katerina Arnostova & Jaromir Hurnik, 2005. "The Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the Czech Republic (evidence from VAR analysis)," Working Papers 2005/04, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    18. Benoît Mojon, 2007. "Monetary policy, output composition and the Great Moderation," Working Paper Series WP-07-07, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
    19. Halabi, Claudia E. & Lastrapes, William D., 2003. "Estimating the liquidity effect in post-reform Chile: do inflationary expectations matter?," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 813-833, November.
    20. Daniel Kaufmann & Sarah M. Lein, 2012. "Is There a Swiss Price Puzzle?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 148(I), pages 57-75, March.
    21. Thornton, Daniel L., 2004. "The Fed and short-term rates: Is it open market operations, open mouth operations or interest rate smoothing?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 475-498, March.

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