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Learning as a Rational Foundation for Macroeconomics and Finance

  • Evans, George W.
  • Honkapohja, Seppo

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.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8340.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8340
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  1. George Evans & Eran Guse & Seppo Honkapohja, 2007. "Liquidity Traps, Learning and Stagnation," Kiel Working Papers 1341, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  3. Klaus Adam, 2007. "Experimental Evidence on the Persistence of Output and Inflation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(520), pages 603-636, 04.
  4. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2005. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: Natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 1927-1950, November.
  6. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2011. "Expectations, Learning, and Business Cycle Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2844-72, October.
  7. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2003. "Policy interaction, expectations, and the liquidity trap," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-16, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  8. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  9. Alex Brazier & Richard Harrison & Mervyn King & Tony Yates, 2006. "The danger of inflating expectations of macroeconomic stability: heuristic switching in an overlapping generations monetary model," Bank of England working papers 303, Bank of England.
  10. Guse, Eran A., 2005. "Stability properties for learning with heterogeneous expectations and multiple equilibria," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(10), pages 1623-1642, October.
  11. Roberto Ricciuti, 2003. "Assessing Ricardian Equivalence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(1), pages 55-78, February.
  12. Sargent, Thomas J., 1991. "Equilibrium with signal extraction from endogenous variables," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 245-273, April.
  13. Adam, Klaus & Marcet, Albert & Nicolini, Juan Pablo, 2007. "Stock Market Volatility and Learning," CEPR Discussion Papers 6518, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. George W. Evans & Roger Guesnerie & Bruce McGough, 2014. "Eductive Stability in Real Business Cycle Models," CDMA Working Paper Series 201406, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  15. Florian Wagener & Cars Hommes & William Brock, 2006. "More hedging instruments may destabilize markets," Working Papers wp06-11, Warwick Business School, Finance Group.
  16. William Branch & George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2012. "Finite Horizon Learning," CDMA Working Paper Series 201204, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  17. Honkapohja, Seppo & Evans, George W., 2000. "Expectations and the stability problem for optimal monetary policies," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,10, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  18. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2006. "Monetary Policy, Expectations and Commitment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 108(1), pages 15-38, 03.
  19. James Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2003. "Did the Great Inflation Occur Despite Policymaker Commitment to a Taylor Rule?," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 129, Society for Computational Economics.
  20. Berardi, Michele, 2007. "Heterogeneity and misspecifications in learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3203-3227, October.
  21. Pfajfar, Damjan, 2013. "Formation of rationally heterogeneous expectations," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(8), pages 1434-1452.
  22. Ramon Marimon & Shyam Sunder, 1993. "Indeterminacy of equilibria in a hyperinflationary world: Experimental evidence," Economics Working Papers 25, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  23. Giuseppe Ferrero & Alessandro Secchi, 2010. "Central bank’s macroeconomic projections and learning," National Bank of Poland Working Papers 72, National Bank of Poland, Economic Institute.
  24. William A. Branch & George W. Evans, 2010. "Asset Return Dynamics and Learning," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 1651-1680, April.
  25. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. David L. Reifschneider & John C. Williams, 1999. "Three lessons for monetary policy in a low inflation era," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-44, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  27. Andreas Fuster & David Laibson & Brock Mendel, 2010. "Natural Expectations and Macroeconomic Fluctuations," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 24(4), pages 67-84, Fall.
  28. James B. Bullard, 2006. "The learnability criterion and monetary policy," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue May, pages 203-217.
  29. repec:clu:wpaper:0708-10 is not listed on IDEAS
  30. Chryssi Giannitsarou, 2003. "Heterogeneous Learning," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 6(4), pages 885-906, October.
  31. Chakraborty, Avik & Evans, George W., 2008. "Can perpetual learning explain the forward-premium puzzle?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 477-490, April.
  32. Hommes, Cars & Sorger, Gerhard, 1998. "Consistent Expectations Equilibria," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 2(03), pages 287-321, September.
  33. Martin Ellison & Tony Yates, 2007. "Escaping Volatile Inflation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 981-993, 06.
  34. Agnieszka Markiewicz, 2010. "Monetary Policy, Model Uncertainty and Exchange Rate Volatility," CESifo Working Paper Series 2949, CESifo Group Munich.
  35. Fourgeaud, Claude & Gourieroux, Christian & Pradel, Jacqueline, 1986. "Learning Procedures and Convergence to Rationality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 845-68, July.
  36. Emiliano Santoro & Damjan Pfajfar, 2006. "Heterogeneity and learning in inflation expectation formation: an empirical assessment," Department of Economics Working Papers 0607, Department of Economics, University of Trento, Italia.
  37. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
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