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Counterfactual Analysis in Macroeconometrics: An Empirical Investigation into the Effects of Quantitative Easing

  • M. Hashem Pesaran
  • Ron P. Smith

This paper is concerned with ex ante and ex post counterfactual analyses in the case of macroeconometric applications where a single unit is observed before and after a given policy intervention. It distinguishes between cases where the policy change affects the model’s parameters and where it does not. It is argued that for ex post policy evaluation it is important that outcomes are conditioned on ex post realized variables that are invariant to the policy change but nevertheless influence the outcomes. The effects of the control variables that are determined endogenously with the policy outcomes can be solved out for the policy evaluation exercise. An ex post policy ineffectiveness test statistic is proposed. The analysis is applied to the evaluation of the effects of the quantitative easing (QE) in the UK after March 2009. It is estimated that a 100 basis points reduction in the spread due to QE has an impact effect on output growth of about one percentage point, but the policy impact is very quickly reversed with no statistically significant effects remaining within 9-12 months of the policy intervention.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 3879.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_3879
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  1. Michael Joyce & David Miles & Andrew Scott & Dimitri Vayanos, 2012. "Quantitative Easing and Unconventional Monetary Policy – an Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F271-F288, November.
  2. Guido W. Imbens, 2010. "Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 399-423, June.
  3. Christiane Baumeister & Luca Benati, 2013. "Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Great Recession: Estimating the Macroeconomic Effects of a Spread Compression at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(2), pages 165-212, June.
  4. James J. Heckman, 2008. "Econometric Causality," International Statistical Review, International Statistical Institute, vol. 76(1), pages 1-27, 04.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C, 2010. "Monetary Policy Mistakes and the Evolution of Inflation Expectations," CEPR Discussion Papers 7892, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Guido M. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," NBER Working Papers 14251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Joyce, Michael & Lasaosa, Ana & Stevens , Ibrahim & Tong, Matthew, 2010. "The financial market impact of quantitative easing," Bank of England working papers 393, Bank of England.
  8. Joshua D. Angrist & Òscar Jordà & Guido Kuersteiner, 2013. "Semiparametric Estimates of Monetary Policy Effects: String Theory Revisited," NBER Working Papers 19355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Filippo di Mauro & L. Vanessa Smith & Stephane Dees & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "Exploring the international linkages of the euro area: a global VAR analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 1-38.
  10. M. Hashem Pesaran & L. Vanessa Smith & Ron P. Smith, 2007. "What if the UK or Sweden had joined the euro in 1999? An empirical evaluation using a Global VAR," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 55-87.
  11. Charles A. E. Goodhart & Jonathan P. Ashworth, 2012. "QE: a successful start may be running into diminishing returns," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 28(4), pages 640-670, WINTER.
  12. George Kapetanios & Haroon Mumtaz & Ibrahim Stevens & Konstantinos Theodoridis, 2012. "Assessing the Economy‐wide Effects of Quantitative Easing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F316-F347, November.
  13. M Hashem Pesaran & Andreas Pick & Mikhail Pranovich, 2011. "Optimal Forecasts in the Presence of Structural Breaks," DNB Working Papers 327, Netherlands Central Bank, Research Department.
  14. Jack Meaning & Feng Zhu, 2011. "The impact of recent central bank asset purchase programmes," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  15. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  16. Joyce, Michael, 2012. "Quantitative easing and other unconventional monetary policies: Bank of England conference summary," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 52(1), pages 48-56.
  17. James J. Heckman, 2010. "Building Bridges Between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy," NBER Working Papers 16110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Domenico Giannone & Michèle Lenza & Huw Pill & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2010. "Non‐Standard Monetary Policy Measures," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2010-040, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  19. Domenico Giannone & Michèle Lenza & Huw Pill & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2010. "Non standard Monetary Policy measures and monetary developments," Working Papers ECARES 2010-040, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  20. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat, 2010. "Unconventional Monetary Policies: An Appraisal," Manchester School, University of Manchester, vol. 78(s1), pages 53-89, 09.
  21. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido M. Kuersteiner, 2011. "Causal Effects of Monetary Shocks: Semiparametric Conditional Independence Tests with a Multinomial Propensity Score," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(3), pages 725-747, August.
  22. Gabriel Fagan & James R. Lothian & Paul D. Mcnelis, 2013. "Was The Gold Standard Really Destabilizing?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 231-249, 03.
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