IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence

  • Fabio Milani


    (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

This paper presents an estimated model with learning and provides evidence that learning can improve the fit of popular monetary DSGE models and endogenously generate realistic levels of persistence. The paper starts with an agnostic view, developing a model that nests learning and some of the structural sources of persistence, such as habit formation in consumption and inflation indexation, that are typically needed in monetary models with rational expectations to match the persistence of macroeconomic variables. I estimate the model by likelihood-based Bayesian methods, which allow the estimation of the learning gain coefficient jointly with the "deep" parameters of the economy. The empirical results show that when learning replaces rational expectations, the estimated degrees of habits and indexation drop near zero. This ?nding suggests that persistence arises in the model economy mainly from expectations and learning. The posterior model probabilities show that the specification with learning fits significantly better than does the specification with rational expectations. Finally, if learning rather than mechanical sources of persistence provides a more appropriate representation of the economy, the implied optimal policy will be different. The policymaker will also incur substantial costs from misspecifying private expectations formation.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 050608.

in new window

Length: 55 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050608
Contact details of provider: Postal: Irvine, CA 92697-3125
Phone: (949) 824-5788
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Jean Boivin & Marc P. Giannoni, 2006. "Has Monetary Policy Become More Effective?," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(3), pages 445-462, August.
  2. Woodford, Michael, 1997. "Doing Without Money: Controlling Inflation in a Post-Monetary World," Seminar Papers 632, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  3. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "Monetary policy rules and macroeconomic stability: Evidence and some theory," Economics Working Papers 350, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised May 1999.
  4. Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Inflation Dynamics: A Structural Econometric Analysis," NBER Working Papers 7551, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. James B. Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2003. "Did the Great Inflation occur despite policymaker commitment to a Taylor rule?," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2003-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  6. Branch, William A. & Evans, George W., 2006. "A simple recursive forecasting model," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 158-166, May.
  7. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2004. "Forecasting with a Bayesian DSGE Model: an application to the euro area," Working Paper Research 60, National Bank of Belgium.
  8. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
  9. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  10. Richard Dennis, 2003. "New Keynesian optimal-policy models: an empirical assessment," Working Paper Series 2003-16, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "The decline of activist stabilization policy: natural rate misperceptions, learning, and expectations," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  12. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2004. "Comparing shocks and frictions in US and euro area business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0391, European Central Bank.
  13. Bennett T. McCallum & Edward Nelson, . "An Optimizing IS-LM Specification for Monetary Policy and Business Cycle Analysis," GSIA Working Papers 1997-71, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
  14. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  15. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2005. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," NBER Working Papers 11034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. V. V. Chari & Patrick Kehoe & Ellen McGrattan, 2004. "Business Cycle Accounting," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000560, UCLA Department of Economics.
  17. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2004. "Implications of habit formation for optimal monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 305-325, March.
  18. Kaushik Mitra & James Bullard, . "Learning About Monetary Policy Rules," Discussion Papers 00/41, Department of Economics, University of York.
  19. An, Sungbae & Schorfheide, Frank, 2005. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models," CEPR Discussion Papers 5207, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. P.A. Tinsley & Sharon Kozicki, 2004. "Permanent and Transitory Policy Shocks in an Empirical Macro Model with Asymmetric Information," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 146, Society for Computational Economics.
  21. Faust, Jon & Svensson, Lars E O, 2001. "Transparency and Credibility: Monetary Policy with Unobservable Goals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 42(2), pages 369-97, May.
  22. Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumption and Its Implications for Monetary-Policy Models," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 367-390, June.
  23. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Adaptive Learning and Inflation Persistence," Macroeconomics 0506013, EconWPA.
  24. Rabanal, Pau & Rubio-Ramirez, Juan F., 2005. "Comparing New Keynesian models of the business cycle: A Bayesian approach," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(6), pages 1151-1166, September.
  25. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2007. "Bayesian Analysis of DSGE Models—Rejoinder," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 26(2-4), pages 211-219.
  26. Jordi Galí & Pau Rabanal, 2004. "Technology Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations: How Well Does the RBC Model Fit Postwar U.S. Data?," IMF Working Papers 04/234, International Monetary Fund.
  27. Alexei Onatski & Noah Williams, 2004. "Empirical and policy performance of a forward-looking monetary model," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
  28. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2003. "Imperfect knowledge, inflation expectations, and monetary policy," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/40, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
  29. anonymous, 2004. "Asset prices and monetary policy," Reserve Bank of New Zealand Bulletin, Reserve Bank of New Zealand, vol. 67, march.
  30. Schmitt-Grohé, Stephanie & Uribe, Martín, 2004. "Optimal Operational Monetary Policy in the Christiano-Eichenbaum-Evans Model of the US Business Cycle," CEPR Discussion Papers 4654, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  31. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 1997. "The science of monetary policy: A new Keynesian perspective," Economics Working Papers 356, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 1999.
  32. Albert Marcet & Juan P. Nicolini, 1995. "Recurrent hyperinflations and learning," Economics Working Papers 244, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Nov 2001.
  33. Thomas J. Sargent & Noah Williams & Tao Zha, 2004. "Shocks and government beliefs: the rise and fall of American inflation," FRB Atlanta Working Paper 2004-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  34. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  35. Otrok, Christopher, 2001. "On measuring the welfare cost of business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-92, February.
  36. Ascari, Guido, 2002. "Staggered Price and Trend Inflation:Some Nuisances," Royal Economic Society Annual Conference 2002 10, Royal Economic Society.
  37. Mccallum, Bennet T., 1988. "Robustness properties of a rule for monetary policy," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 173-203, January.
  38. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  39. Marc P. Giannoni & Michael Woodford, 2003. "Optimal Inflation Targeting Rules," NBER Working Papers 9939, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  41. Marvin Goodfriend & Robert King, 1997. "The New Neoclassical Synthesis and the Role of Monetary Policy," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 231-296 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  42. John Landon-Lane, 2002. "Evaluating Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models using Likelihood," Departmental Working Papers 200211, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.
  43. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
  44. 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.
  45. Laurence Ball, 2000. "Near-Rationality and Inflation in Two Monetary Regimes," NBER Working Papers 7988, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  46. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2003. "Inflation scares and forecast-based monetary policy," Working Paper Series 2003-11, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  47. Amato, Jeffery D. & Laubach, Thomas, 2003. "Rule-of-thumb behaviour and monetary policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(5), pages 791-831, October.
  48. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Working Papers 050608, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  49. DeJong, David N. & Ingram, Beth F. & Whiteman, Charles H., 2000. "A Bayesian approach to dynamic macroeconomics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 203-223, October.
  50. Seppo Honkapohja & Kaushik Mitra & George W. Evans, 2011. "Notes on Agents¡¯ Behavioral Rules Under Adaptive Learning and Studies of Monetary Policy," CDMA Working Paper Series 201102, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  51. Collard, Fabrice & Dellas, Harris, 2004. "The New Keynesian Model with Imperfect Information and Learning," IDEI Working Papers 273, Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse.
  52. Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Francisco Rubio-Ramirez, Juan, 2004. "Comparing dynamic equilibrium models to data: a Bayesian approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 153-187, November.
  53. David B. Gordon & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Are Countercyclical Fiscal Policies Counterproductive?," NBER Working Papers 11869, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  54. Michael Kiley, 2004. "Is Moderate-To-High Inflation Inherently Unstable?," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 193, Econometric Society.
  55. anonymous, 2004. "Monetary policy report to the Congress," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Spr, pages 125-152.
  56. Karen E. Dynan, 2000. "Habit Formation in Consumer Preferences: Evidence from Panel Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(3), pages 391-406, June.
  57. Arturo Extrella & Jeffrey C. Fuhrer, 1998. "Dynamic inconsistencies: counterfactual implications of a class of rational expectations models," Working Papers 98-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  58. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  59. Bennett McCallum, 1999. "Role of the Minimal State Variable Criterion in Rational Expectations Models," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 621-639, November.
  60. anonymous, 2004. "Monetary policy report to the Congress," Federal Reserve Bulletin, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.), issue Sum, pages 266-288.
  61. Preston, Bruce, 2006. "Adaptive learning, forecast-based instrument rules and monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 507-535, April.
  62. Preston, Bruce, 2008. "Adaptive learning and the use of forecasts in monetary policy," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(11), pages 3661-3681, November.
  63. Adam, Klaus, 2003. "Learning to Forecast and Cyclical Behavior of Output and Inflation," CFS Working Paper Series 2003/01, Center for Financial Studies (CFS).
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:050608. 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: (Jennifer dos Santos)

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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

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

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.