IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedawp/88478.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Doubts about the Model and Optimal Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Anastasios G. Karantounias

Abstract

This paper analyzes optimal policy in setups where both the leader and the follower have doubts about the probability model of uncertainty. I illustrate the methodology in two environments: a) an industry populated with a large firm and many small firms in a competitive fringe, where both types of firms doubt the probability model of demand shocks, and b) a general equilibrium economy, where a policymaker taxes linearly the labor income of a representative household in order to finance an exogenous stream of stochastic spending shocks. The policymaker can distrust the probability model of spending shocks more, the same, or less than the household. Whenever there are doubts about the model, cautious agents form endogenous worst-case beliefs by assigning high probability on low profitability or low-utility events. There are two forces that shape optimal policy results: the manipulation of the endogenous beliefs of the follower to the benefit of the leader, and the discrepancy (if any) in the pessimistic beliefs between the leader and the follower. Depending on the application, the leader may amplify or mitigate the worst-case beliefs of the follower.

Suggested Citation

  • Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2020. "Doubts about the Model and Optimal Policy," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2020-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:88478
    DOI: 10.29338/wp2020-12
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.frbatlanta.org/-/media/documents/research/publications/wp/2020/07/31/12-doubts-about-the-model-and-optimal-policy.pdf
    File Function: Full text
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.29338/wp2020-12?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tomasz Strzalecki, 2011. "Axiomatic Foundations of Multiplier Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(1), pages 47-73, January.
    2. Fabrice Collard & Sujoy Mukerji & Kevin Sheppard & Jean‐Marc Tallon, 2018. "Ambiguity and the historical equity premium," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 945-993, July.
    3. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J Sargent, 2014. "Robust Control and Model Uncertainty," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: UNCERTAINTY WITHIN ECONOMIC MODELS, chapter 5, pages 145-154, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Pierpaolo Benigno & Salvatore Nisticò, 2012. "International Portfolio Allocation under Model Uncertainty," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 4(1), pages 144-189, January.
    5. Michael Woodford, 2010. "Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy with Near-Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 274-303, March.
    6. Andrea Ajello & Thomas Laubach & David López-Salido & Taisuke Nakata, 2019. "Financial Stability and Optimal Interest Rate Policy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 15(1), pages 279-326, March.
    7. Kenneth L. Judd, 1998. "Numerical Methods in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262100711, December.
    8. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1406-1435, July.
    9. Axelle Ferriere & Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2019. "Fiscal Austerity in Ambiguous Times," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 89-131, January.
    10. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J Sargent, 2014. "Robust Control and Model Misspecification," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: UNCERTAINTY WITHIN ECONOMIC MODELS, chapter 6, pages 155-216, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    11. Cosmin L. Ilut & Martin Schneider, 2014. "Ambiguous Business Cycles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(8), pages 2368-2399, August.
    12. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 289-314.
    13. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Paciello, Luigi, 2014. "Monetary policy, doubts and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 85-98.
    14. Lars Ljungqvist & Thomas J. Sargent, 2004. "Recursive Macroeconomic Theory, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 026212274x, December.
    15. Demian Pouzo & Ignacio Presno, 2016. "Sovereign Default Risk and Uncertainty Premia," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 8(3), pages 230-266, July.
    16. Karantounias, Anastasios G., 2013. "Managing pessimistic expectations and fiscal policy," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), January.
    17. Nengjiu Ju & Jianjun Miao, 2012. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 559-591, March.
    18. Anmol Bhandari & Jaroslav Borovicka & Paul Ho, 2019. "Survey Data and Subjective Beliefs in Business Cycle Models," Working Paper 19-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.
    19. Kwon, Hyosung & Miao, Jianjun, 2017. "Three types of robust Ramsey problems in a linear-quadratic framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 211-231.
    20. Croce, Mariano M. & Nguyen, Thien T. & Schmid, Lukas, 2012. "The market price of fiscal uncertainty," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 401-416.
    21. J. Tetlow, Robert & von zur Muehlen, Peter, 2001. "Robust monetary policy with misspecified models: Does model uncertainty always call for attenuated policy?," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 25(6-7), pages 911-949, June.
    22. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
    23. Bidder, R.M. & Smith, M.E., 2012. "Robust animal spirits," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 738-750.
    24. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(1), pages 111-144, February.
    25. Robert J. Tetlow, 2015. "Real-Time Model Uncertainty in the United States: "Robust" Policies Put to the Test," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 11(2), pages 113-155, March.
    26. Timothy M. Christensen, 2018. "Dynamic Models with Robust Decision Makers: Identification and Estimation," Papers 1812.11246, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2019.
    27. Dow, James & Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro da Costa, 1992. "Uncertainty Aversion, Risk Aversion, and the Optimal Choice of Portfolio," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 197-204, January.
    28. Kydland, Finn E. & Prescott, Edward C., 1980. "Dynamic optimal taxation, rational expectations and optimal control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 2(1), pages 79-91, May.
    29. Pooya Molavi, 2019. "Macroeconomics with Learning and Misspecification: A General Theory and Applications," 2019 Meeting Papers 1584, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    30. Timothy Cogley & Riccardo Colacito & Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J. Sargent, 2008. "Robustness and U.S. Monetary Policy Experimentation," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 40(8), pages 1599-1623, December.
    31. Hansen, Lars Peter & Heaton, John & Lee, Junghoon & Roussanov, Nikolai, 2007. "Intertemporal Substitution and Risk Aversion," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 6, chapter 61, Elsevier.
    32. Fabrice Collard & Sujoy Mukerji & Kevin Sheppard & Jean‐Marc Tallon, 2018. "Ambiguity and the historical equity premium," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 9(2), pages 945-993, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Doubts about the Model and Optimal Policy
      by Christian Zimmermann in NEP-DGE blog on 2020-08-31 20:30:26

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Thien Nguyen & Lukas Schmid & Howard Kung & Mariano Croce, 2012. "Fiscal Policies and Asset Prices," 2012 Meeting Papers 565, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Karantounias, Anastasios G., 2013. "Managing pessimistic expectations and fiscal policy," Theoretical Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 8(1), January.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2020. "Model Uncertainty and Policy Design," Policy Hub 2020-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
    2. Axelle Ferriere & Anastasios G. Karantounias, 2019. "Fiscal Austerity in Ambiguous Times," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(1), pages 89-131, January.
    3. Kwon, Hyosung & Miao, Jianjun, 2017. "Three types of robust Ramsey problems in a linear-quadratic framework," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 211-231.
    4. repec:esx:essedp:770 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Ganguli, J & Condie, S & Illeditsch, PK, 2012. "Information Inertia," Economics Discussion Papers 5628, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
    6. repec:esx:essedp:719 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Sumru Altug & Cem Cakmakli & Fabrice Collard & Sujoy Mukerji & Han Ozsoylev, 2020. "Ambiguous Business Cycles: A Quantitative Assessment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 220-237, October.
    8. Agarwal, Vikas & Arisoy, Y. Eser & Naik, Narayan Y., 2017. "Volatility of aggregate volatility and hedge fund returns," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 125(3), pages 491-510.
    9. Massimo Guidolin & Francesca Rinaldi, 2013. "Ambiguity in asset pricing and portfolio choice: a review of the literature," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 74(2), pages 183-217, February.
    10. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2011. "Robustness and ambiguity in continuous time," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(3), pages 1195-1223, May.
    11. Nengjiu Ju & Jianjun Miao, 2012. "Ambiguity, Learning, and Asset Returns," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(2), pages 559-591, March.
    12. Massimo Marinacci, 2015. "Model Uncertainty," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(6), pages 1022-1100, December.
    13. Sumru Altug & Cem Cakmakli & Fabrice Collard & Sujoy Mukerji & Han Ozsoylev, 2020. "Ambiguous Business Cycles: A Quantitative Assessment," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 38, pages 220-237, October.
    14. Meyer-Gohde, Alexander, 2019. "Generalized entropy and model uncertainty," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 183(C), pages 312-343.
    15. Guangyu PEI, 2019. "Uncertainty, Pessimism and Economic Fluctuations," 2019 Meeting Papers 1494, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    16. Benigno, Pierpaolo & Paciello, Luigi, 2014. "Monetary policy, doubts and asset prices," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 85-98.
    17. Svec, Justin, 2012. "Optimal fiscal policy with robust control," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(3), pages 349-368.
    18. Backus, David & Ferriere, Axelle & Zin, Stanley, 2015. "Risk and ambiguity in models of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(C), pages 42-63.
    19. Luo, Yulei & Nie, Jun & Young, Eric R., 2014. "Model uncertainty and intertemporal tax smoothing," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 289-314.
    20. Chahrour, Ryan & Svec, Justin, 2014. "Optimal capital taxation and consumer uncertainty," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 178-198.
    21. Lars Peter Hansen & Thomas J Sargent, 2014. "Three Types of Ambiguity," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: UNCERTAINTY WITHIN ECONOMIC MODELS, chapter 11, pages 379-430, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    22. Anastasios G Karantounias, 2018. "Optimal Fiscal Policy with Recursive Preferences," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(4), pages 2283-2317.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    model uncertainty; ambiguity aversion; multiplier preferences; misspecification; robustness; martingale; monopolist; competitive fringe; demand uncertainty; Ramsey taxation;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D80 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - General
    • E62 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Fiscal Policy
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H63 - Public Economics - - National Budget, Deficit, and Debt - - - Debt; Debt Management; Sovereign Debt

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fip:fedawp:88478. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbatus.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbatus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.