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Modelling Inflation Volatility

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  • Eric Eisenstat
  • Rodney W. Strachan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Eric Eisenstat & Rodney W. Strachan, 2014. "Modelling Inflation Volatility," CAMA Working Papers 2014-21, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:camaaa:2014-21
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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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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Joshua C. C. Chan, 2017. "The Stochastic Volatility in Mean Model With Time-Varying Parameters: An Application to Inflation Modeling," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 17-28, January.
    2. Joshua C. C. Chan & Angelia L. Grant, 2016. "On the Observed-Data Deviance Information Criterion for Volatility Modeling," Journal of Financial Econometrics, Society for Financial Econometrics, vol. 14(4), pages 772-802.
    3. Joshua C.C. Chan & Angelia L. Grant, 2014. "Issues in Comparing Stochastic Volatility Models Using the Deviance Information Criterion," CAMA Working Papers 2014-51, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Nonejad Nima, 2015. "Particle Gibbs with ancestor sampling for stochastic volatility models with: heavy tails, in mean effects, leverage, serial dependence and structural breaks," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 19(5), pages 561-584, December.
    5. Dovern, Jonas & Feldkircher, Martin & Huber, Florian, 2016. "Does joint modelling of the world economy pay off? Evaluating global forecasts from a Bayesian GVAR," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 86-100.
    6. Joshua C.C. Chan, 2015. "Specification tests for time-varying parameter models with stochastic volatility," CAMA Working Papers 2015-42, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    7. Daniele Bianchi & Massimo Guidolin & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2017. "Macroeconomic Factors Strike Back: A Bayesian Change-Point Model of Time-Varying Risk Exposures and Premia in the U.S. Cross-Section," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(1), pages 110-129, January.
    8. Huber, Florian, 2014. "Density Forecasting using Bayesian Global Vector Autoregressions with Common Stochastic Volatility," Department of Economics Working Paper Series 4280, WU Vienna University of Economics and Business.
    9. Joshua C.C. Chan & Eric Eisenstat, 2015. "Bayesian model comparison for time-varying parameter VARs with stochastic volatility," CAMA Working Papers 2015-32, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Inflation volatility; monetary policy; time varying parameter model; Bayesian estimation; Change-point model;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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