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Extreme Events and the Origin of Central Bank Priors


  • Chollete, Loran

    () (UiS)

  • Schmeidler, David

    (Tel Aviv University)


Where do central bank priors come from and how do policymakers evaluate a model before empirical probabilities are available? To address these questions, we analyze two central banks that choose priors about a rare disaster with the help of expert policy teams. Policymakers are misspecification averse when assessing subjective evidence, and therefore hedge in their selection of priors. This hedging results in priors that accommodate a modicum of belief disagreement.

Suggested Citation

  • Chollete, Loran & Schmeidler, David, 2014. "Extreme Events and the Origin of Central Bank Priors," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/15, University of Stavanger.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:stavef:2014_015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2009. "Varieties of Crises and Their Dates," Introductory Chapters,in: This Time Is Different: Eight Centuries of Financial Folly Princeton University Press.
    2. Chollete, Loran & Schmeidler, David, 2014. "Demand-Theoretic Approach to Choice of Priors," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/14, University of Stavanger.
    3. Raffaella Giacomini & Barbara Rossi, 2009. "Detecting and Predicting Forecast Breakdowns," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 669-705.
    4. Robert J. Barro, 2006. "Rare Disasters and Asset Markets in the Twentieth Century," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(3), pages 823-866.
    5. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 2010. "Simplicity and likelihood: An axiomatic approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 145(5), pages 1757-1775, September.
    6. Jessica A. Wachter, 2013. "Can Time-Varying Risk of Rare Disasters Explain Aggregate Stock Market Volatility?," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 68(3), pages 987-1035, June.
    7. Nicholas Bloom, 2009. "The Impact of Uncertainty Shocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 623-685, May.
    8. Raffaella Giacomini & Barbara Rossi, 2016. "Model Comparisons In Unstable Environments," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 369-392, May.
    9. Chollete, Lor & Schmeidler, David, 2014. "Misspecification Aversion and Selection of Initial Priors," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/13, University of Stavanger.
    10. Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Subjective Probability and Expected Utility without Additivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(3), pages 571-587, May.
    11. Jansen, Dennis W & de Vries, Casper G, 1991. "On the Frequency of Large Stock Returns: Putting Booms and Busts into Perspective," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(1), pages 18-24, February.
    12. Sims, Christopher A., 2003. "Implications of rational inattention," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 665-690, April.
    13. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "Power Laws in Economics and Finance," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 255-294, May.
    14. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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    1. Chollete, Lor & Schmeidler, David, 2014. "Misspecification Aversion and Selection of Initial Priors," UiS Working Papers in Economics and Finance 2014/13, University of Stavanger.

    More about this item


    Belief Disagreement; Central Bank; Misspecification Aversion; Rare Disaster; Subjective Evidence;

    JEL classification:

    • A10 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - General

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