The Natural Rate of Unemployment in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela: some results and challenges
This paper summarises the research results obtained by the group of central banks (Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela) that joined the research program on the Natural Rate of Unemployment – under the coordination of the Central Bank of Brazil – within the Joint Investigation on Non Observable Variables Project, and whose final results were presented at the XII Meeting of the Network of America Central Bank Researchers (CEMLA) held at Madrid in November 2007. The evidence obtained shows that the natural rate of unemployment is estimated with great uncertainty: besides sizable parameter uncertainty, estimates are very sensitive to the particular method used. This marked imprecision reflects the difficulties and challenges involved in the natural rate’s estimation. Nonetheless, the research also shows that there seems to be much room available for improvement, especially those stemming from a more careful modelling process and better care with the data, particularly regarding supply shocks proxies, given their importance in inflation dynamics. Indeed, this “channel” seems to be the most promising one to both narrow down the uncertainty about the NAIRU and improve the reliability of inferences.
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