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Modeling model uncertainty

  • Onatski, Alexei
  • Williams, Noah

Recently there has been much interest in studying monetary policy under model uncertainty. We develop methods to analyze different sources of uncertainty in one coherent structure useful for policy decisions. We show how to estimate the size of the uncertainty based on time series data, and incorporate this uncertainty in policy optimization. We propose two different approaches to modeling model uncertainty. The first is model error modeling, which imposes additional structure on the errors of an estimated model, and builds a statistical description of the uncertainty around a model. The second is set membership identification, which uses a deterministic approach to find a set of models consistent with data and prior assumptions. The center of this set becomes a benchmark model, and the radius measures model uncertainty. Using both approaches, we compute the robust monetary policy under different model uncertainty specifications in a small model of the US economy. JEL Classification: E52, C32, D81

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Working Paper Series with number 0169.

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Date of creation: Aug 2002
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbwps:20020169
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  1. Söderström, Ulf, 1999. "Monetary policy with uncertain parameters," SSE/EFI Working Paper Series in Economics and Finance 308, Stockholm School of Economics.
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  3. Craine, Roger, 1979. "Optimal monetary policy with uncertainty," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 59-83, February.
  4. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy rules based on real-time data," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-03, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  5. Giordani, Paolo & Soderlind, Paul, 2004. "Solution of macromodels with Hansen-Sargent robust policies: some extensions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(12), pages 2367-2397, December.
  6. Rudebusch, Glenn D & Svensson, Lars E O, 1998. "Policy Rules for Inflation Targeting," CEPR Discussion Papers 1999, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. J. Rust & J. F. Traub & H. Wozniakowski, 2002. "Is There a Curse of Dimensionality for Contraction Fixed Points in the Worst Case?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 285-329, January.
  8. Andrew Levin & Volker Wieland & John C. Williams, 1998. "Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 6570, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. John B. Taylor, 1999. "Monetary Policy Rules," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number tayl99-1, June.
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  12. William Poole, 1999. "Monetary policy rules?," Speech 81, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  13. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
  14. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:85-110 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Eric T. Swanson, 2000. "On signal extraction and non-certainty-equivalence in optimal monetary policy rules," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-32, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  16. N. Gregory Mankiw & Matthew D. Shapiro, 1986. "News or Noise? An Analysis of GNP Revisions," NBER Working Papers 1939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Onatski, Alexei & Stock, James H., 2002. "Robust Monetary Policy Under Model Uncertainty In A Small Model Of The U.S. Economy," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 85-110, February.
  18. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
  19. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
  20. Gary Chamberlain, 2000. "Econometric applications of maxmin expected utility," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 625-644.
  21. Thomas J. Sargent & LarsPeter Hansen, 2001. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 60-66, May.
  22. Peter Isard & Douglas Laxton & Ann-Charlotte Eliasson, 1999. "Simple Monetary Policy Rules Under Model Uncertainty," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 537-577, November.
  23. Alan S. Blinder, 1997. "Distinguished Lecture on Economics in Government: What Central Bankers Could Learn from Academics--And Vice Versa," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(2), pages 3-19, Spring.
  24. Christopher A. Sims, 2001. "Pitfalls of a Minimax Approach to Model Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 51-54, May.
  25. Taylor, John B., 1993. "Discretion versus policy rules in practice," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 195-214, December.
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