Adjustment Is Much Slower Than You Think
In most instances, the dynamic response of monetary and other policies to shocks is infrequent and lumpy. The same holds for the microeconomic response of some of the most important economic variables, such as investment, labor demand, and prices. We show that the standard practice of estimating the speed of adjustment of such variables with partial-adjustment ARMA procedures substantially overestimates this speed. For example, for the target federal funds rate, we find that the actual response to shocks is less than half as fast as the estimated response. For investment, labor demand and prices, the speed of adjustment inferred from aggregates of a small number of agents is likely to be close to instantaneous. While aggregating across microeconomic units reduces the bias (the limit of which is illustrated by Rotemberg's widely used linear aggregate characterization of Calvo's model of sticky prices), in some instances convergence is extremely slow. For example, even after aggregating investment across all establishments in U.S. manufacturing, the estimate of its speed of adjustment to shocks is biased upward by more than 80 percent. While the bias is not as extreme for labor demand and prices, it still remains significant at high levels of aggregation. Because the bias rises with disaggregation, findings of microeconomic adjustment that is substantially faster than aggregate adjustment are generally suspect.
|Date of creation:||Jul 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (203) 432-3610
Fax: (203) 432-3898
Web page: http://www.econ.yale.edu/
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Marvin Goodfriend, 1987.
"Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity,"
87-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- Goodfriend, Marvin, 1987. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 335-348, May.
- Marvin Goodfriend, 1986. "Interest rate smoothing and price level trend-stationarity," Working Paper 86-04, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
- Woodford, Michael, 2000.
"Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia,"
666, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Woodford, Michael, 1999. "Optimal monetary policy inertia," CFS Working Paper Series 1999/09, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
- Michael Woodford, 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia," NBER Working Papers 7261, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Woodford, M., 1999. "Optimal Monetary Policy Inertia.," Papers 666, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004.
"Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
- Caballero, Ricardo J., 1999.
Handbook of Macroeconomics,
in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 12, pages 813-862
- Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M. R. A. Engel & John C. Haltiwanger, 1995. "Plant-Level Adjustment and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(2), pages 1-54.
- Brian Sack, 1998. "Uncertainty, learning, and gradual monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-34, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Thomas J. Sargent, 1978.
"Estimation of dynamic labor demand schedules under rational expectations,"
27, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-44, December.
- Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo M.R.A. Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1995.
"Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building From Microeconomic Evidence,"
NBER Working Papers
5042, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Caballero, Ricardo J & Engel, Eduardo M R A & Haltiwanger, John, 1997. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 115-37, March.
- Ricardo J. Caballero & Eduardo Engel & John Haltiwanger, 1996. "Aggregate Employment Dynamics: Building from Microeconomic Evidence," Documentos de Trabajo 6, Centro de Economía Aplicada, Universidad de Chile.
- Majd, Saman & Pindyck, Robert S., 1987.
"Time to build, option value, and investment decisions,"
Journal of Financial Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 7-27, March.
- Saman Majd & Robert S. Pindyck, 1985. "Time to Build, Option Value, and Investment Decisions," NBER Working Papers 1654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
- Julio Rotemberg, 1987. "The New Keynesian Microfoundations," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1987, Volume 2, pages 69-116 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:865. 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: (Louise Danishevsky)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.