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Macroeconomics and Volatility: Data, Models, and Estimation

  • Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús
  • Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco

One basic feature of aggregate data is the presence of time-varying variance in real and nominal variables. Periods of high volatility are followed by periods of low volatility. For instance, the turbulent 1970s were followed by the much more tranquil times of the great moderation from 1984 to 2007. Modeling these movements in volatility is important to understand the source of aggregate fluctuations, the evolution of the economy, and for policy analysis. In this chapter, we first review the different mechanisms proposed in the literature to generate changes in volatility similar to the ones observed in the data. Second, we document the quantitative importance of time-varying volatility in aggregate time series. Third, we present a prototype business cycle model with time-varying volatility and explain how it can be computed and how it can be taken to the data using likelihood-based methods and non-linear filtering theory. Fourth, we present two 'real life' applications. We conclude by summarizing what we know and what we do not know about volatility in macroeconomics and by pointing out some directions for future research.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8169.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8169
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  1. Geert Bekaert & Marie Hoerova & Marco Lo Duca, 2012. "Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy," Working Paper Research 229, National Bank of Belgium.
  2. Pablo A. Guerron-Quintana & Martin Uribe & Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Jesús Fernández-Villaverde, 2009. "Risk Matters: The Real E¤ects of Volatility Shocks," 2009 Meeting Papers 237, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. 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.
  4. Graciela L. Kaminsky & Carmen Reinhart & Carlos A. Vegh, 2003. "The Unholy Trinity of Financial Contagion," NBER Working Papers 10061, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco, 2006. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5513, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. R?diger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2013. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 217-49, April.
  7. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 12022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Manuel S. Santos & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2003. "Accuracy Of Simulations For Stochastic Dynamic Models," Economics Working Papers we034615, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  9. 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.
  10. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo A. Guerrón-Quintana & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Reading the Recent Monetary History of the U.S., 1959-2007," NBER Working Papers 15929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2004. "Estimating Dynamic Equilibrium Economies: Linear versus Nonlinear Likelihood," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  12. Elder, John, 2004. "Another Perspective on the Effects of Inflation Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 911-28, October.
  13. Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Francisco Rubio-Ramirez, Juan, 2004. "Comparing dynamic equilibrium models to data: a Bayesian approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 153-187, November.
  14. Kiseok Lee & Shawn Ni & Ronald A. Ratti, 1995. "Oil Shocks and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Price Variability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 39-56.
  15. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  16. Kevin B. Grier & Mark J. Perry, 2000. "The effects of real and nominal uncertainty on inflation and output growth: some garch-m evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 45-58.
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