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Macroeconomic Shocks and the Business Cycle: Evidence from a Structural Factor Model

  • Mario Forni
  • Luca Gambetti

We use a dynamic factor model to provide a semi-structural representation for 101 quarterly US macroeconomic series. We find that (i) the US economy is well described by a number of structural shocks between two and six. Focusing on the four-shock specification, we identify, using sign restrictions, two non-policy shocks, demand and supply, and two policy shocks, monetary and fiscal. We obtain the following results. (ii) Both supply and demand shocks are important sources of fluctuations; supply prevails for GDP, while demand prevails for employment and inflation. (ii) Policy matters: Both monetary and fiscal policy shocks have sizeable effects on output and prices, with little evidence of crowding out; both monetary and fiscal authorities implement important systematic countercyclical policies reacting to demand shocks. (iii) Negative demand shocks have a large long-run positive effect on productivity, consistently with the Schumpeterian "cleansing" view of recessions.

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Paper provided by Barcelona Graduate School of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 440.

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Date of creation: Mar 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:440
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  1. Mario Forni & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1998. "Let's Get Real: A Factor Analytical Approach to Disaggregated Business Cycle Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 453-473.
  2. Amengual, Dante & Watson, Mark W., 2007. "Consistent Estimation of the Number of Dynamic Factors in a Large N and T Panel," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 91-96, January.
  3. Forni, Mario & Lippi, Marco, 2000. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Representation Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 2509, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2003. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model. One-Sided Estimation and Forecasting," LEM Papers Series 2003/13, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  5. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Bean, C., 1989. "Endogenous Growth And The Procyclical Behaviour Of Productivity," Papers 369, London School of Economics - Centre for Labour Economics.
  7. Forni, Mario & Hallin, Marc & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 1999. "The Generalized Dynamic Factor Model: Identification and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 2338, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Steve J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1991. "Gross job creation, gross job destruction and employment reallocation," Working Paper Series, Macroeconomic Issues 91-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  9. Saint-Paul, Gilles, 1993. "Productivity growth and the structure of the business cycle," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 861-883, May.
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  11. Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 1994. "VAR analysis, non-fundamental representations, Blashke matrices," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10151, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Alexei Onatski, 2009. "Testing Hypotheses About the Number of Factors in Large Factor Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1447-1479, 09.
  13. Christopher A. Sims, 1992. "Interpreting the Macroeconomic Time Series Facts: The Effects of Monetary Policy," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1011, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  14. Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin & Luca Sala, 2005. "Monetary Policy in Real Time," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2004, Volume 19, pages 161-224 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Gary Chamberlain & Michael Rothschild, 1982. "Arbitrage, Factor Structure, and Mean-Variance Analysis on Large Asset Markets," NBER Working Papers 0996, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Connor, Gregory & Korajczyk, Robert A., 1988. "Risk and return in an equilibrium APT : Application of a new test methodology," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 255-289, September.
  17. Robert E. Hall, 1991. "Labor Demand, Labor Supply, and Employment Volatility," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1991, Volume 6, pages 17-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Mario Forni & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese, 2010. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(4), pages 1024-1034, November.
  19. Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia & Sala, Luca, 2006. "VARs, common factors and the empirical validation of equilibrium business cycle models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 132(1), pages 257-279, May.
  20. Peter N. Ireland, 1999. "A Method for Taking Models to the Data," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 421, Boston College Department of Economics.
  21. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Robert Vigfusson, 2003. "What Happens After a Technology Shock?," NBER Working Papers 9819, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Mario Forni & Luca Gambetti, 2008. "The dynamic e ects of monetary policy: A structural factor model approach," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 026, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  23. Forni, Mario & Giannone, Domenico & Lippi, Marco & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2007. "Opening the black box: structural factor models with large cross-sections," Working Paper Series 0712, European Central Bank.
  24. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin, 2001. "Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," NBER Working Papers 8379, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Hallin, Marc & Liska, Roman, 2007. "Determining the Number of Factors in the General Dynamic Factor Model," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 603-617, June.
  26. Sumru Altug, 1986. "Time to build and aggregate fluctuations: some new evidence," Working Papers 277, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  27. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  28. Ben S. Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-Augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422.
  29. Sargent, Thomas J, 1989. "Two Models of Measurements and the Investment Accelerator," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 251-87, April.
  30. Bai, Jushan & Ng, Serena, 2007. "Determining the Number of Primitive Shocks in Factor Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 52-60, January.
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