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Learning as a Rational Foundation for Macroeconomics and Finance

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  • Evans, George W.
  • Honkapohja, Seppo

Abstract

Expectations play a central role in modern macroeconomics. The econometric learning approach, in line with the cognitive consistency principle, models agents as forming expectations by estimating and updating subjective forecasting models in real time. This approach provides a stability test for RE equilibria and a selection criterion in models with multiple equilibria. Further features of learning, such as discounting of older data, use of misspecified models, or heterogeneous choice by agents between competing models, generate novel learning dynamics. Empirical applications are reviewed and the roles of the planning horizon and structural knowledge are discussed. We develop several applications of learning to macroeconomic policy: the scope of Ricardian equivalence, appropriate specification of interest-rate rules, implementation of price-level targeting to achieve learning-stability of the optimal RE equilibrium and whether under learning price-level targeting can rule out the deflation trap at the zero-lower-bound.

Suggested Citation

  • Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2011. "Learning as a Rational Foundation for Macroeconomics and Finance," CEPR Discussion Papers 8340, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8340
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    Cited by:

    1. Murray, James, 2014. "Fiscal Policy Uncertainty and Its Macroeconomic Consequences," MPRA Paper 57409, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. George W. Evans, 2011. "Comment on "Natural Expectations, Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Asset Pricing"," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2011, Volume 26, pages 61-71, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Uehara, Takuro, 2013. "Ecological threshold and ecological economic threshold: Implications from an ecological economic model with adaptation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 374-384.
    4. Holden, Steinar, 2012. "Implications of Insights from Behavioral Economics for Macroeconomic Models," Memorandum 25/2012, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    5. Hommes, Cars & Zhu, Mei, 2014. "Behavioral learning equilibria," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 150(C), pages 778-814.
    6. repec:zbw:bofrdp:2012_005 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Saxell, Tanja, 2014. "Industrial organization studies on pharmaceutical markets," Research Reports P65, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    8. Paloviita, Maritta & Kinnunen, Helvi, 2011. "Real time analysis of euro area fiscal policies: adjustment to the crisis," Research Discussion Papers 21/2011, Bank of Finland.
    9. Saxell, Tanja, 2014. "Industrial organization studies on pharmaceutical markets," Research Reports 65, VATT Institute for Economic Research.
    10. Giuliana Passamani & Alessandro Sardone & Roberto Tamborini, 2022. "Inflation puzzles, the Phillips Curve and output expectations: new perspectives from the Euro Zone," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 49(1), pages 123-153, February.
    11. repec:zbw:bofrdp:2011_013 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Patrick M. Crowley & Andrew Hughes Hallett, 2014. "The Great Moderation Under the Microscope: Decomposition of Macroeconomic Cycles in US and UK Aggregate Demand," Dynamic Modeling and Econometrics in Economics and Finance, in: Marco Gallegati & Willi Semmler (ed.), Wavelet Applications in Economics and Finance, edition 127, pages 47-71, Springer.
    13. Bovi, Maurizio, 2013. "Are the representative agent’s beliefs based on efficient econometric models?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 633-648.
    14. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2012. "Fiscal Policy and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 8891, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. repec:zbw:bofrdp:2011_021 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    asset prices; business cycles; Cognitive consistency; E-stability; least-squares; monetary policy; persistent learning dynamics;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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