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

  • Mario Forni and 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: Sep 2015
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Handle: RePEc:bge:wpaper:440
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  1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Boivin, Jean, 2003. "Monetary policy in a data-rich environment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 525-546, April.
  2. Mario Forni & Domenico Giannone & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2007. "Opening the Black Box: Structural Factor Models with Large Cross-Sections," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 008, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  3. Ben Bernanke & Jean Boivin & Piotr S. Eliasz, 2005. "Measuring the Effects of Monetary Policy: A Factor-augmented Vector Autoregressive (FAVAR) Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(1), pages 387-422, January.
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  7. Forni, Mario & Gambetti, Luca, 2008. "The Dynamic Effects of Monetary Policy: A Structural Factor Model Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 7098, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. 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.
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  13. Peter Ireland, 1999. "A Method for Taking Models to the Data," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 1233, Society for Computational Economics.
  14. Mario Forni & Filippo Altissimo & Riccardo Cristadoro & Marco Lippi & Giovanni Veronese., 2008. "New Eurocoin: Tracking Economic Growth in Real Time," Center for Economic Research (RECent) 020, University of Modena and Reggio E., Dept. of Economics "Marco Biagi".
  15. 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.
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  17. Mario Forni & Marc Hallin & Marco Lippi & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2005. "The generalised dynamic factor model: one sided estimation and forecasting," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/10129, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  20. 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.
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  25. Eric M. Leeper & Todd B. Walker & Shu-Chun Susan Yang, 2008. "Fiscal Foresight: Analytics and Econometrics," NBER Working Papers 14028, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
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