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Monetary Policy And Key Unobservables: Evidence From Large Industrial And Selected Inflation-Targeting Countries

  • Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
  • Carl E. Walsh

Among the variables that play critical roles in the design of monetary policy, several are unobservable. These include such key variables as the neutral real rate of interest, the output gap, and the natural rate of unemployment. While individual central banks have undertaken efforts to estimate these unobservables, the approaches have generally been country specific and have not provided either systematic estimation or comparison across countries. We adopt a common estimation approach, applied to a parsimonious monetary-policy model, to provide consistent estimates of key unobservables for the U.S., the Eurozone, and Japan, and several inflation-targeting countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and the U.K. Doing so allows us to obtain comparable measures of unobservables across a range of countries. We exploit our estimates to investigate issues of commonalities and convergence across countries in these key but unobservable variables.

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Paper provided by Central Bank of Chile in its series Working Papers Central Bank of Chile with number 527.

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Date of creation: Oct 2009
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Handle: RePEc:chb:bcchwp:527
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  1. Julien Garnier & Bjørn-Roger Wilhelmsen, 2009. "The natural rate of interest and the output gap in the euro area: a joint estimation," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 36(2), pages 297-319, May.
  2. Olivier J. Blanchard & Jordi Galí, 2005. "Real wage rigidities and the New Keynesian model," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  3. Basistha, Arabinda & Nelson, Charles R., 2007. "New measures of the output gap based on the forward-looking new Keynesian Phillips curve," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(2), pages 498-511, March.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides & Simon van Norden, 2001. "The Unreliability of Output Gap Estimates in Real Time," CIRANO Working Papers 2001s-57, CIRANO.
  5. Christopher J. Erceg & Andrew T. Levin, 2001. "Imperfect credibility and inflation persistence," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2001-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  6. Bruce E. Hansen, 1999. "The Grid Bootstrap And The Autoregressive Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 594-607, November.
  7. Carl Walsh, 2001. "Speed Limit Policies: The Output Gap and Optimal Monetary Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 609, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary policy rules and the Great Inflation," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2002-8, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  9. Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1994. "Estimating Potential Output as a Latent Variable," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 361-68, July.
  10. Jorge E. Restrepo, 2008. "Estimaciones de NAIRU para Chile," Investigación Conjunta - español, in: Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA) (ed.), Estimación y Uso de Variables no Observables en la Región, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 492-516 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
  11. Rodrigo Fuentes & Fabián Gredig & Mauricio Larraín, 2008. "La brecha de producto en Chile: medición y evaluación," Investigación Conjunta - español, in: Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA) (ed.), Estimación y Uso de Variables no Observables en la Región, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 69-102 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
  12. J. Rodrigo Fuentes & Fabián Gredig, 2008. "La tasa de interés neutral: estimaciones para Chile," Investigación Conjunta - español, in: Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos (CEMLA) (ed.), Estimación y Uso de Variables no Observables en la Región, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 8, pages 202-220 Centro de Estudios Monetarios Latinoamericanos, CEMLA.
  13. Hamilton, James D., 1986. "A standard error for the estimated state vector of a state-space model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 387-397, December.
  14. Nils Björksten & Özer Karagedikli, 2003. "Neutral real interest rates revisited," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 66, pages 11, September.
  15. Stephen Murchison & Andrew Rennison, 2006. "ToTEM: The Bank of Canada's New Quarterly Projection Model," Technical Reports 97, Bank of Canada.
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