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Fortune or Virtue: Time-Variant Volatilities Versus Parameter Drifting in U.S. Data

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  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús
  • Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A.
  • Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco

Abstract

This paper compares the role of stochastic volatility versus changes in monetary policy rules in accounting for the time-varying volatility of U.S. aggregate data. Of special interest to us is understanding the sources of the great moderation of business cycle fluctuations that the U.S. economy experienced between 1984 and 2007. To explore this issue, we build a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with both stochastic volatility and parameter drifting in the Taylor rule and we estimate it non-linearly using U.S. data and Bayesian methods. Methodologically, we show how to confront such a rich model with the data by exploiting the structure of the high-order approximation to the decision rules that characterize the equilibrium of the economy. Our main empirical findings are: 1) even after controlling for stochastic volatility (and there is a fair amount of it), there is overwhelming evidence of changes in monetary policy during the analyzed period; 2) however, these changes in monetary policy mattered little for the great moderation; 3) most of the great performance of the U.S. economy during the 1990s was a result of good shocks; and 4) the response of monetary policy to inflation under Burns, Miller, and Greenspan was similar, while it was much higher under Volcker.

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  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Guerron-Quintana, Pablo A. & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco, 2010. "Fortune or Virtue: Time-Variant Volatilities Versus Parameter Drifting in U.S. Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 7813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7813
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    Cited by:

    1. Stevanovic Dalibor, 2016. "Common time variation of parameters in reduced-form macroeconomic models," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 20(2), pages 159-183, April.
    2. Benigno, Gianluca & Benigno, Pierpaolo & Nisticò, Salvatore, 2013. "Second-order approximation of dynamic models with time-varying risk," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(7), pages 1231-1247.
    3. Andreasen, Martin M., 2012. "An estimated DSGE model: Explaining variation in nominal term premia, real term premia, and inflation risk premia," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(8), pages 1656-1674.
    4. Baele, Lieven & Bekaert, Geert & Cho, Seonghoon & Inghelbrecht, Koen & Moreno, Antonio, 2015. "Macroeconomic regimes," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 51-71.
    5. Bikbov, Ruslan & Chernov, Mikhail, 2013. "Monetary policy regimes and the term structure of interest rates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 174(1), pages 27-43.
    6. Bidder, R.M. & Smith, M.E., 2012. "Robust animal spirits," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 738-750.
    7. Steffen Henzel & Malte Rengel, 2013. "Dimensions of macroeconomic uncertainty: A common factor analysis," ifo Working Paper Series 167, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    8. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco, 2010. "Macroeconomics and Volatility: Data, Models, and Estimation," CEPR Discussion Papers 8169, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Bianchi, Francesco, 2016. "Methods for measuring expectations and uncertainty in Markov-switching models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 190(1), pages 79-99.
    10. repec:bla:ecinqu:v:55:y:2017:i:2:p:843-877 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Guérin, Pierre & Maurin, Laurent & Mohr, Matthias, 2015. "Trend-Cycle Decomposition Of Output And Euro Area Inflation Forecasts: A Real-Time Approach Based On Model Combination," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 19(02), pages 363-393, March.
    12. Müller, Ulrich K., 2012. "Measuring prior sensitivity and prior informativeness in large Bayesian models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(6), pages 581-597.
    13. Dario Caldara & Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Wen Yao, 2012. "Computing DSGE Models with Recursive Preferences and Stochastic Volatility," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 15(2), pages 188-206, April.
    14. Hatcher, Michael, 2011. "Time-varying volatility, precautionary saving and monetary policy," Bank of England working papers 440, Bank of England.
    15. Lafuente, Juan A. & Pérez, Rafaela & Ruiz, Jesús, 2014. "Time-varying inflation targeting after the nineties," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 400-408.
    16. Lee, Junghoon, 2016. "The impact of idiosyncratic uncertainty when investment opportunities are endogenous," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 105-124.
    17. Galvao Ana Beatriz & Marcellino Massimiliano, 2014. "The effects of the monetary policy stance on the transmission mechanism," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 18(3), pages 1-20, May.
    18. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Reading the recent monetary history of the United States, 1959-2007," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 311-338.
    19. Guido Ascari & Paolo Bonomolo & Hedibert F. Lopes, 2016. "Rational Sunspots," Economics Series Working Papers 787, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
    20. Lakdawala, Aeimit, 2016. "Changes in Federal Reserve preferences," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 124-143.
    21. Anh Nguyen, 2015. "Financial frictions and the volatility of monetary policy in a DSGE model," Working Papers 75949436, Lancaster University Management School, Economics Department.
    22. Tae Bong Kim, 2013. "Monetary Policy in Korea through the lense of Taylor Rule in DSGE model," 2013 Meeting Papers 746, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    23. Bidder, Rhys, 2015. "Animal spirits and business cycles," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Bayesian methods; DSGE models; Parameter drifting; Stochastic volatility;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)

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