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Modelling Inflation Volatility

  • Eric Eisenstat
  • Rodney W. Strachan

This paper discusses estimation of US inflation volatility using time varying parameter models, in particular whether it should be modelled as a stationary or random walk stochastic process. Specifying inflation volatility as an unbounded process, as implied by the random walk, conflicts with priors beliefs, yet a stationary process cannot capture the low frequency behaviour commonly observed in estimates of volatility. We therefore propose an alternative model with a change-point process in the volatility that allows for switches between stationary models to capture changes in the level and dynamics over the past forty years. To accommodate the stationarity restriction, we develop a new representation that is equivalent to our model but is computationally more efficient. All models produce effectively identical estimates of volatility, but the change-point model provides more information on the level and persistence of volatility and the probabilities of changes. For example, we find a few well defined switches in the volatility process and, interestingly, these switches line up well with economic slowdowns or changes of the Federal Reserve Chair.

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File URL: https://cama.crawford.anu.edu.au/sites/default/files/publication/cama_crawford_anu_edu_au/2014-02/21_2014_eisenstat_strachan.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University in its series CAMA Working Papers with number 2014-21.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2014
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2014-21
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  1. Grassi Stefano & Proietti Tommaso, 2010. "Has the Volatility of U.S. Inflation Changed and How?," Journal of Time Series Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, September.
  2. 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.
  3. Joshua Chan & Rodney Strachan, 2012. "Estimation in Non-Linear Non-Gaussian State Space Models with Precision-Based Methods," CAMA Working Papers 2012-13, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  4. Sangjoon Kim, Neil Shephard & Siddhartha Chib, . "Stochastic volatility: likelihood inference and comparison with ARCH models," Economics Papers W26, revised version of W, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Joshua C. C. Chan & Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2013. "A New Model of Trend Inflation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 94-106, January.
  6. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
  7. Berg, Andreas & Meyer, Renate & Yu, Jun, 2004. "Deviance Information Criterion for Comparing Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22(1), pages 107-20, January.
  8. Stern, Steven, 1992. "A Method for Smoothing Simulated Moments of Discrete Probabilities in Multinomial Probit Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 943-52, July.
  9. McCausland, William J. & Miller, Shirley & Pelletier, Denis, 2011. "Simulation smoothing for state-space models: A computational efficiency analysis," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 199-212, January.
  10. D'Agostino, Antonello & Gambetti, Luca & Giannone, Domenico & Giannone, Domenico, 2009. "Macroeconomic Forecasting and Structural Change," Research Technical Papers 8/RT/09, Central Bank of Ireland.
  11. Andrew Ang & Geert Bekaert & Min Wei, 2006. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2006-15, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Joshua C.C. Chan, 2013. "Moving Average Stochastic Volatility Models with Application to Inflation Forecast," CAMA Working Papers 2013-31, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  13. Gary Koop & Roberto Leon-Gonzalez & Rodney W. Strachan, 2008. "Dynamic probabilities of restrictions in state space models: An application to the Phillips curve," Working Paper Series 26-08, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, revised Jan 2008.
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