IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Effects of Monetary Policy on Unemployment Dynamics under Model Uncertainty - Evidence from the US and the Euro Area

  • Carlo Altavilla
  • Matteo Ciccarelli

This paper explores the role that the imperfect knowledge of the structure of the economy plays in the uncertainty surrounding the effects of rule-based monetary policy on unemployment dynamics in the euro area and the US. We employ a Bayesian model averaging procedure on a wide range of models which differ in several dimensions to account for the uncertainty that the policymaker faces when setting the monetary policy and evaluating its effect on real economy. We find evidence of a high degree of dispersion across models in both policy rule parameters and impulse response functions. Moreover, monetary policy shocks have very similar recessionary effects on the two economies with a different role played by the participation rate in the transmission mechanism. Finally, we show that a policy maker who does not take model uncertainty into account and selects the results on the basis of a single model may come to misleading conclusions not only about the transmission mechanism, but also about the differences between the euro area and the US, which are on average essentially small.

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:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2575.

in new window

Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2575
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich

Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. Gerlach, Stefan & Schnabel, Gert, 1999. "The Taylor Rule and Interest Rates in the EMU Area," CEPR Discussion Papers 2271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Olivier Jean Blanchard & Lawrence F. Katz, 1992. "Regional Evolutions," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 23(1), pages 1-76.
  3. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  4. Thomas Laubach, 2001. "Measuring The NAIRU: Evidence From Seven Economies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 218-231, May.
  5. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Rafael, 2004. "Comparing Shocks and Frictions in US and Euro Area Business Cycles: A Bayesian DSGE Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 4750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Lars E. O. Svensson, 2000. "Open-Economy Inflation Targeting," NBER Working Papers 6545, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Melvin Stephens Jr., 2001. "Worker Displacement and the Added Worker Effect," NBER Working Papers 8260, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2003. "Drifts and volatilities: monetary policies and outcomes in the post WWII U.S," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-25, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Carlo Altavilla & Matteo Ciccarelli, 2006. "Inflation Forecasts, Monetary Policy and Unemployment Dynamics: Evidence from the US and the Euro Area," Discussion Papers 7_2006, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
  11. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1406-1435, July.
  12. Carlo Altavilla, 2003. "Assessing monetary rules performance across EMU countries," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(2), pages 131-151.
  13. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 1999. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty in a small model of the U.S. economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  14. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & West, Kenneth D., 2007. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation: Some theory and empirics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 136(2), pages 629-664, February.
  15. Marianne Baxter & Robert G. King, 1999. "Measuring Business Cycles: Approximate Band-Pass Filters For Economic Time Series," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 575-593, November.
  16. Sack, Brian, 2000. "Does the fed act gradually? A VAR analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 229-256, August.
  17. Silvia Fabiani & Ricardo Mestre, 2004. "A system approach for measuring the euro area NAIRU," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 29(2), pages 311-341, 05.
  18. Fagan, Gabriel & Henry, Jérôme & Mestre, Ricardo, 2001. "An area-wide model (AWM) for the euro area," Working Paper Series 0042, European Central Bank.
  19. Peersman, Gert & Smets, Frank, 2001. "The monetary transmission mechanism in the euro area: more evidence from VAR analysis," Working Paper Series 0091, European Central Bank.
  20. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2003. "The Reliability of Inflation Forecasts Based on Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2003s-01, CIRANO.
  21. Clarida, Richard & Galí, Jordi & Gertler, Mark, 1997. "Monetary Policy Rules in Practice: Some International Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 1750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2007. "Why Has U.S. Inflation Become Harder to Forecast?," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(s1), pages 3-33, 02.
  23. Mojon, Benoît & Kashyap, Anil K. & Angeloni, Ignazio & Terlizzese, Daniele, 2002. "Monetary Transmission in the Euro Area : Where Do We Stand?," Working Paper Series 0114, European Central Bank.
  24. Jean-Guillaume Sahuc & Frank Smets, 2008. "Differences in Interest Rate Policy at the ECB and the Fed: An Investigation with a Medium-Scale DSGE Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(2-3), pages 505-521, 03.
  25. Thomas Doan & Robert B. Litterman & Christopher A. Sims, 1986. "Forecasting and conditional projection using realistic prior distribution," Staff Report 93, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  26. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1997. "The NAIRU, Unemployment and Monetary Policy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 33-49, Winter.
  27. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2001. "Vector Autoregressions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 101-115, Fall.
  28. John C. Williams & Andrew T. Levin, 2003. "Robust Monetary Policy with Competing Reference Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 291, Society for Computational Economics.
  29. John F. Henry & L. Randall Wray, 1998. "Economic Time," Economics Working Paper Archive wp_255, Levy Economics Institute.
  30. Benati, Luca, 2008. "Investigating inflation persistence across monetary regimes," Working Paper Series 0851, European Central Bank.
  31. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  32. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
  33. 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.
  34. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2575. 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: (Klaus Wohlrabe)

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.