IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Regime Switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics

  • Francesco Bianchi

The evolution of the U.S. economy over the last 50 years is examined through the lens of a micro-founded model that allows for changes in the behavior of the Federal Reserve and in the volatility of structural shocks. Agents are aware of the possibility of regime changes and their beliefs have an impact on the law of motion underlying the macroeconomy. The results support the view that there were regime switches in the conduct of monetary policy. However, the behavior of the Federal Reserve is identifi ed by repeated fluctuations between a Hawk- and a Dove- regime, instead of by the traditional pre- and post- Volcker structure. Counterfactual simulations show that if agents had anticipated the appointment of an extremely conservative Chairman, inflation would not have reached the peaks of the late '70s and the inflation-output trade-off would have been less severe. These "beliefs counterfactuals" are new in the literature. Finally, the paper provides a set of tools to handle some of the technical difficulties that arise in rational expectation models with Markov-switching regimes.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: main text
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Duke University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 12-04.

in new window

Length: 59
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:12-04
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Department of Economics Duke University 213 Social Sciences Building Box 90097 Durham, NC 27708-0097

Phone: (919) 660-1800
Fax: (919) 684-8974
Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. McCallum, Bennett T., 1983. "On non-uniqueness in rational expectations models : An attempt at perspective," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 139-168.
  2. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2008. "Sources of the Great Moderation: Shocks, Frictions, or Monetary Policy?," Emory Economics 0811, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  3. Svensson, Lars E. O. & Williams, Noah, 2005. "Monetary policy with model uncertainty: distribution forecast targeting," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2005,35, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  4. Wilbur John Coleman, 1989. "Equilibrium in a production economy with an income tax," International Finance Discussion Papers 366, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Eric M. Leeper & Tao Zha, 2002. "Modest policy interventions," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2002-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  7. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2011. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(12), pages 2150-2166.
  8. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2006. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," Caepr Working Papers 2006-001, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  9. Christopher A. Sims & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2006-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  10. Lars E. O. Svensson & Michael Woodford, 2000. "Indicator variables for optimal policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Giorgio Primiceri & Alejandro Justiniano, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," 2006 Meeting Papers 353, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  12. Mikhail Chernov & Ruslan Bikbov, 2009. "Monetary Policy Regimes and the Term Structure of Interest Rates," 2009 Meeting Papers 334, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  13. Athanasios Orphanides, 2002. "Monetary-Policy Rules and the Great Inflation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 115-120, May.
  14. Bennett T. McCallum, 2003. "The Unique Minimum State Variable RE Solution is E-Stable in All Well Formulated Linear Models," NBER Working Papers 9960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Hess Chung & Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Monetary and Fiscal Policy Switching," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(4), pages 809-842, 06.
  16. John Geweke, 1999. "Using simulation methods for bayesian econometric models: inference, development,and communication," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(1), pages 1-73.
  17. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  18. Leeper, Eric M., 1991. "Equilibria under 'active' and 'passive' monetary and fiscal policies," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 129-147, February.
  19. Ben S. Bernanke & Ilian Mihov, 1998. "Measuring Monetary Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 869-902.
  20. Hamilton, James D, 1989. "A New Approach to the Economic Analysis of Nonstationary Time Series and the Business Cycle," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 357-84, March.
  21. Luca Benati & Paolo Surico, 2009. "VAR Analysis and the Great Moderation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(4), pages 1636-52, September.
  22. Marc Giannoni & Jean Boivin, 2008. "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Data-Rich Environment," 2008 Meeting Papers 788, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  23. John Geweke, 1999. "Using Simulation Methods for Bayesian Econometric Models," Computing in Economics and Finance 1999 832, Society for Computational Economics.
  24. Thomas A. Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Testing for Indeterminacy: An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 190-217, March.
  25. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2008. "Generalizing the Taylor principle: comment," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2008-19, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  26. Frank Schorfheide, 2003. "Learning and monetary policy shifts," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:duk:dukeec:12-04. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Department of Economics Webmaster)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.