IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Policy Risk and the Business Cycle

  • Benjamin Born
  • Johannes Pfeifer

The argument that policy risk, i.e. uncertainty about monetary and fiscal policy, has been holding back the economic recovery in the U.S. during the Great Recession has a large popular appeal. We analyze the role of policy risk in explaining business cycle fluctuations by using an estimated New Keynesian model featuring policy risk as well as uncertainty about technology. We directly measure uncertainty from aggregate time series using Sequential Monte Carlo Methods. While we find considerable evidence of policy risk in the data, we show that the "pure uncertainty"-effect of policy risk is unlikely to play a major role in business cycle fluctuations. With the estimated model, output effects are relatively small due to i) dampening general equilibrium effects that imply a low amplification and ii) counteracting partial effects of uncertainty. Finally, we show that policy risk has effects that are an order of magnitude larger than the ones of uncertainty about aggregate TFP.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://www.wiwi.uni-bonn.de/bgsepapers/bonedp/bgse06_2011.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Bonn, Germany in its series Bonn Econ Discussion Papers with number bgse06_2011.

as
in new window

Length: 56
Date of creation: Jun 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse06_2011
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bonn Graduate School of Economics, University of Bonn, Adenauerallee 24 - 26, 53113 Bonn, Germany
Fax: +49 228 73 6884
Web page: http://www.bgse.uni-bonn.de

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Beaudry, Paul & Portier, Franck, 2003. "Stock Prices, News and Economic Fluctuations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3844, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Keith Kuester & Juan Rubio-Ramirez, 2011. "Fiscal Volatility Shocks and Economic Activity," PIER Working Paper Archive 11-022, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Jones, John Bailey, 2002. "Has fiscal policy helped stabilize the postwar U.S. economy?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(4), pages 709-746, May.
  4. Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo, 2009. "When is the government spending multiplier large?," NBER Working Papers 15394, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Andrew B. Abel & Avinash Dixit & Janice C. Eberly & Robert S. Pindyck, 1996. "Options, the Value of Capital, and Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(3), pages 753-77, August.
  6. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2006. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," NBER Technical Working Papers 0321, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2530-61, October.
  8. Janice C. Eberly & Sergio Rebelo & Nicolas Vincent, 2011. "What Explains the Lagged Investment Effect?," NBER Working Papers 16889, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Altig, David E & Christiano, Lawrence J. & Eichenbaum, Martin & Lindé, Jesper, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4858, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Mathias Trabandt & Karl Walentin, 2010. "Introducing financial frictions and unemployment into a small open economy model," CQER Working Paper 2010-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  12. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2003. "Do Central Banks Respond to Exchange Rate Movements? A Structural Investigation," Economics Working Paper Archive 505, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
  13. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2008. "The Time-Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 604-41, June.
  14. Godsill, Simon J. & Doucet, Arnaud & West, Mike, 2004. "Monte Carlo Smoothing for Nonlinear Time Series," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 99, pages 156-168, January.
  15. Susanto Basu & Brent Bundick, 2012. "Uncertainty Shocks in a Model of Effective Demand," NBER Working Papers 18420, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. RUGE-MURCIA, Francisco J., 2010. "Estimating Nonlinear DSGE Models by the Simulated Method of Moments," Cahiers de recherche 19-2010, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  17. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," CEPR Discussion Papers 8984, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2009. "Investment Shocks and the Relative Price of Investment," CEPR Discussion Papers 7598, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Rudebusch, Glenn D., 1995. "Federal Reserve interest rate targeting, rational expectations, and the term structure," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(2), pages 245-274, April.
  20. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2002. "Solving Dynamic General Equilibrium Models Using a Second-Order Approximation to the Policy Function," NBER Technical Working Papers 0282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Alessandro Barattieri & Susanto Basu & Peter Gottschalk, 2010. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Wages," NBER Working Papers 16130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Susanto Basu & John Fernald & Miles Kimball, 2002. "Are Technology Improvements Contractionary?," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1986, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  23. Jinill Kim & Sunghyun Kim & Ernst Schaumburg & Christopher A. Sims, 2003. "Calculating and Using Second Order Accurate Solutions of Discrete Time," Levine's Bibliography 666156000000000284, UCLA Department of Economics.
  24. Jules H. van Binsbergen & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Ralph S.J. Koijen & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "The Term Structure of Interest Rates in a DSGE Model with Recursive Preferences," PIER Working Paper Archive 10-011, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  25. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  26. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  27. Yun, Tack, 1996. "Nominal price rigidity, money supply endogeneity, and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(2-3), pages 345-370, April.
  28. Michael Keane & Richard Rogerson, 2012. "Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities: A Reassessment of Conventional Wisdom," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 50(2), pages 464-76, June.
  29. Paul Beaudry & Bernd Lucke, 2010. "Letting Different Views about Business Cycles Compete," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2009, Volume 24, pages 413-455 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  30. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Huffman, Gregory W, 1988. "Investment, Capacity Utilization, and the Real Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(3), pages 402-17, June.
  31. Karel Mertens & Morten Ravn, 2010. "Empirical Evidence on the Aggregate Effects of Anticipated and Unanticipated U.S. Tax Policy Shocks," NBER Working Papers 16289, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  32. Michelle Alexopoulos & Jon Cohen, 2009. "Uncertain Times, uncertain measures," Working Papers tecipa-352, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  33. Geert Bekaert & Marie Hoerova & Marco Lo Duca, 2010. "Risk, Uncertainty and Monetary Policy," NBER Working Papers 16397, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Miles S. Kimball, 1989. "Precautionary Saving in the Small and in the Large," NBER Working Papers 2848, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Justiniano, Alejandro & Primiceri, Giorgio E & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2011. "Is there a trade-off between inflation and output stabilization?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8407, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Javier García-Cicco & Roberto Pancrazi & Martín Uribe, 2006. "Real Business Cycles in Emerging Countries?," NBER Working Papers 12629, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  37. Eric R. Sims, 2012. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," Working Papers 014, University of Notre Dame, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2012.
  38. Robert E. Hall, 2009. "Reconciling Cyclical Movements in the Marginal Value of Time and the Marginal Product of Labor," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(2), pages 281-323, 04.
  39. Breusch, T S & Pagan, A R, 1979. "A Simple Test for Heteroscedasticity and Random Coefficient Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1287-94, September.
  40. Kim, Sangjoon & Shephard, Neil & Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Stochastic Volatility: Likelihood Inference and Comparison with ARCH Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 361-93, July.
  41. Nicholas Bloom & Max Floetotto & Nir Jaimovich & Itay Saporta-Eksten & Stephen J. Terry, 2012. "Really Uncertain Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 18245, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : II. New directions," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 309-341.
  43. Monacelli, Tommaso & Perotti, Roberto, 2008. "Fiscal Policy, Wealth Effects and Markups," CEPR Discussion Papers 7099, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  44. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, 05.
  45. Ruge-Murcia, Francisco, 2012. "Estimating nonlinear DSGE models by the simulated method of moments: With an application to business cycles," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 914-938.
  46. Hayashi, Fumio, 1982. "Tobin's Marginal q and Average q: A Neoclassical Interpretation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 213-24, January.
  47. Bernanke, Ben S, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106, February.
  48. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri & Andrea Tambalotti, 2008. "Investment shocks and business cycles," Working Paper Series WP-08-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  49. Felix Reichling & Charles Whalen, 2012. "Review of Estimates of the Frisch Elasticity of Labor Supply: Working Paper 2012-13," Working Papers 43676, Congressional Budget Office.
  50. Martin M. Andreasen & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2013. "The Pruned State-Space System for Non-Linear DSGE Models: Theory and Empirical Applications," CREATES Research Papers 2013-12, School of Economics and Management, University of Aarhus.
  51. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 1990. "A Unified Approach to Robust, Regression-Based Specification Tests," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 17-43, March.
  52. Sanjay K. Chugh, 2013. "Firm Risk and Leverage Based Business Cycles," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 844, Boston College Department of Economics.
  53. Martin Andreasen, 2010. "How to Maximize the Likelihood Function for a DSGE Model," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 35(2), pages 127-154, February.
  54. Eric M. Leeper & Michael Plante & Nora Traum, 2009. "Dynamics of Fiscal Financing in the United States," NBER Working Papers 15160, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  55. Adina Popescu & Frank Rafael Smets, 2010. "Uncertainty, Risk-taking, and the Business Cycle in Germany," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(4), pages 596-626, December.
  56. Janice Eberly & Sergio Rebelo & Nicolas Vincent, 2008. "Investment and Value: A Neoclassical Benchmark," Cahiers de recherche 08-03, HEC Montréal, Institut d'économie appliquée.
  57. Nir Jaimovich & Sergio Rebelo, 2006. "Can News About the Future Drive the Business Cycle?," NBER Working Papers 12537, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  58. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
  59. Frank Smets & Rafael Wouters, 2007. "Shocks and Frictions in US Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 586-606, June.
  60. Raj Chetty & Adam Guren & Day Manoli & Andrea Weber, 2011. "Are Micro and Macro Labor Supply Elasticities Consistent? A Review of Evidence on the Intensive and Extensive Margins," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 471-75, May.
  61. Curdia, Vasco & Ferrero, Andrea & Ng, Ging Cee & Tambalotti, Andrea, 2014. "Has U.S. monetary policy tracked the efficient interest rate?," Working Paper Series 2014-12, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  62. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1999. "Forecasting inflation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 293-335, October.
  63. Abel, Andrew B, 1983. "Optimal Investment under Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(1), pages 228-33, March.
  64. Tommaso Monacelli & Roberto Perotti, 2008. "Openness and the Sectoral Effects of Fiscal Policy," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 395-403, 04-05.
  65. Roberto Chang & Andrés Fernández, 2010. "On the Sources of Aggregate Fluctuations in Emerging Economies," NBER Working Papers 15938, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  66. Susan Yang, Shu-Chun, 2005. "Quantifying tax effects under policy foresight," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(8), pages 1557-1568, November.
  67. Darrell Duffie & Kenneth J. Singleton, 1990. "Simulated Moments Estimation of Markov Models of Asset Prices," NBER Technical Working Papers 0087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  68. John Fernald, 2012. "A quarterly, utilization-adjusted series on total factor productivity," Working Paper Series 2012-19, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  69. Bachmann, Rüdiger & Bayer, Christian, 2013. "‘Wait-and-See’ business cycles?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(6), pages 704-719.
  70. Rüdiger Bachmann & Christian Bayer, 2011. "Uncertainty Business Cycles - Really?," NBER Working Papers 16862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  71. Ingersoll, Jonathan E, Jr & Ross, Stephen A, 1992. "Waiting to Invest: Investment and Uncertainty," The Journal of Business, University of Chicago Press, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, January.
  72. Carlos Garcia & Jorge Restrepo & Evan Tanner, 2007. "Designing fiscal rules for commodity exporters," ILADES-Georgetown University Working Papers inv199, Ilades-Georgetown University, Universidad Alberto Hurtado/School of Economics and Bussines.
  73. Koenker, Roger, 1981. "A note on studentizing a test for heteroscedasticity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 107-112, September.
  74. Stephanie Schmitt‐Grohé & Martín Uribe, 2012. "What's News in Business Cycles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2733-2764, November.
  75. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Online Appendix to "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle"," Technical Appendices 09-191, Review of Economic Dynamics.
  76. Hartman, Richard, 1972. "The effects of price and cost uncertainty on investment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 5(2), pages 258-266, October.
  77. Alan J. Auerbach, 1986. "Tax Reform and Adjustment Costs: The Impact on Investment and Market Value," NBER Working Papers 2103, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  78. Chib, Siddhartha & Ramamurthy, Srikanth, 2010. "Tailored randomized block MCMC methods with application to DSGE models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 155(1), pages 19-38, March.
  79. Emmanuel Saez & Joel B. Slemrod & Seth H. Giertz, 2009. "The Elasticity of Taxable Income with Respect to Marginal Tax Rates: A Critical Review," NBER Working Papers 15012, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  80. Ríos-Rull, José-Víctor & Schorfheide, Frank & Fuentes-Albero, Cristina & Kryshko, Maxym & Santaeulàlia-Llopis, Raül, 2012. "Methods versus substance: Measuring the effects of technology shocks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 826-846.
  81. Jesus Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Fortune or virtue: time-variant volatilities versus parameter drifting," Working Papers 10-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  82. King, Robert G. & Plosser, Charles I. & Rebelo, Sergio T., 1988. "Production, growth and business cycles : I. The basic neoclassical model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(2-3), pages 195-232.
  83. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1998. "The Role of Investment-Specific Technological Change in the Business Cycle," RCER Working Papers 449, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  84. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  85. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. Economic Logic blog

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bon:bonedp:bgse06_2011. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (BGSE Office)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.