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Output gaps

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Abstract

What is the output gap? There are many definitions in the economics literature, all of which have a long history. I discuss three alternatives: the deviation of output from its long-run stochastic trend (i.e., the \"Beveridge-Nelson cycle\"); the deviation of output from the level consistent with current technologies and normal utilization of capital and labor input (i.e., the \"production-function approach\"); and the deviation of output from \"flexible-price\" output (i.e., its \"natural rate\"). Estimates of each concept are presented from a dynamic-stochastic-general-equilibrium (DSGE) model of the U.S. economy used at the Federal Reserve Board. Four points are emphasized: The DSGE model's estimate of the Beveridge-Nelson gap is very similar to gaps from policy institutions, but the DSGE model's estimate of potential growth has a higher variance and substantially different covariance with GDP growth; the natural rate concept depends strongly on model assumptions and is not designed to guide nominal interest rate movements in \"Taylor\" rules in the same way as the other measures; the natural rate and production function trends converge to the Beveridge-Nelson trend; and the DSGE model's estimate of the Beveridge-Nelson gap is as closely related to unemployment fluctuations as those from policy institutions and has more predictive ability for inflation.

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  • Michael T. Kiley, 2010. "Output gaps," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-27, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgfe:2010-27
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    1. Yellen: The Economic Outlook and Monetary Policy
      by Barry Ritholtz in The Big Picture on 2015-12-07 16:00:34

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    2. Sala, Luca & Söderström, Ulf & Trigari, Antonella, 2010. "The Output Gap, the Labor Wedge, and the Dynamic Behavior of Hours," CEPR Discussion Papers 8005, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Byron Gangnes, 2010. "The Employment Effects of Fiscal Policy: How Costly are ARRA Jobs?," Working Papers 2010-16, University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization, University of Hawaii at Manoa.
    4. Michael T. Kiley, 2020. "What Can the Data Tell Us about the Equilibrium Real Interest Rate?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 16(3), pages 181-209, June.
    5. Takuji Fueki & Ichiro Fukunaga & Hibiki Ichiue & Toyoichiro Shirota, 2016. "Measuring Potential Growth with an Estimated DSGE Model of Japan’s Economy," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 12(1), pages 1-32, March.
    6. Zuzana Mucka & Michal Horvath, 2015. "Fiscal Policy Matters A New DSGE Model for Slovakia," Discussion Papers Discussion Paper No. 1/20, Council for Budget Responsibility.
    7. James Morley, 2014. "Measuring economic slack in Asia and the Pacific," BIS Papers chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Globalisation, inflation and monetary policy in Asia and the Pacific, volume 77, pages 35-50, Bank for International Settlements.
    8. Christiano, Lawrence J. & Trabandt, Mathias & Walentin, Karl, 2010. "DSGE Models for Monetary Policy Analysis," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 7, pages 285-367, Elsevier.
    9. Hess T. Chung & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2010. "Documentation of the Estimated, Dynamic, Optimization-based (EDO) model of the U.S. economy: 2010 version," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2010-29, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    10. Borio, Claudio, 2014. "The financial cycle and macroeconomics: What have we learnt?," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 45(C), pages 182-198.
    11. Kiley, Michael T. & Sim, Jae, 2017. "Optimal monetary and macroprudential policies: Gains and pitfalls in a model of financial intermediation," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 54(PB), pages 232-259.
    12. Jesús Ferreiro & Catalina Gálvez & Ana González, 2015. "Fiscal Policies in the European Union during the Crisis," Panoeconomicus, Savez ekonomista Vojvodine, Novi Sad, Serbia, vol. 62(2), pages 131-155, June.
    13. Murasawa, Yasutomo, 2015. "The multivariate Beveridge–Nelson decomposition with I(1) and I(2) series," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 137(C), pages 157-162.
    14. Ellen E. Meade & Daniel L. Thornton, 2012. "The Phillips curve and US monetary policy: what the FOMC transcripts tell us," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(2), pages 197-216, April.
    15. David Lancaster & Peter Tulip, 2015. "Okun's Law and Potential Output," RBA Research Discussion Papers rdp2015-14, Reserve Bank of Australia.
    16. Mardi Dungey & Jan P.A.M. Jacobs & Jing Tian, 2017. "Forecasting output gaps in the G-7 countries: the role of correlated innovations and structural breaks," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 49(45), pages 4554-4566, September.
    17. John G. Fernald, 2015. "Productivity and Potential Output before, during, and after the Great Recession," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(1), pages 1-51.
    18. Matteo Barigozzi & Matteo Luciani, 2017. "Common Factors, Trends, and Cycles in Large Datasets," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2017-111, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    19. Roberto M. Billi, 2011. "Output gaps and monetary policy at low interest rates," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, vol. 96(Q I).
    20. Boivin, Jean & Kiley, Michael T. & Mishkin, Frederic S., 2010. "How Has the Monetary Transmission Mechanism Evolved Over Time?," Handbook of Monetary Economics, in: Benjamin M. Friedman & Michael Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Monetary Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 8, pages 369-422, Elsevier.
    21. Pitorac Ruxandra, 2015. "The Specifics Of Okun’S Law In The Romanian Economy Between 2007 And 2013," Annals - Economy Series, Constantin Brancusi University, Faculty of Economics, vol. 1, pages 50-53, February.
    22. Garratt, Anthony & Lee, Kevin & Shields, Kalvinder, 2016. "Information rigidities and the news-adjusted output gap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 1-17.
    23. Jane K. Dokko & Brian M. Doyle & Skander J. van den Heuvel & Michael T. Kiley & Jinill Kim & Shane M. Sherlund & Jae W. Sim, 2009. "Monetary policy and the housing bubble," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2009-49, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    24. Sandeep Mazumder, 2014. "The Impact of Educational Attainment and Gender on the Inflation-Unemployment Tradeoff," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 34(2), pages 651-662.
    25. Michael Dotsey, 2013. "DSGE models and their use in monetary policy," Business Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, issue Q2, pages 10-16.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Industrial productivity; Business cycles;

    JEL classification:

    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • O41 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - One, Two, and Multisector Growth Models

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