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Learning and Time-Varying Macroeconomic Volatility

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  • Fabio Milani

    () (Department of Economics, University of California-Irvine)

Abstract

This paper presents a DSGE model in which agents' learning about the economy can endogenously generate time-varying macroeconomic volatility. Economic agents use simple models to form expectations and need to learn the relevant parameters. Their gain coefficient is endogenous and is adjusted according to past forecast errors. The model is estimated using likelihood-based Bayesian methods. The endogenous gain is jointly estimated with the structural parameters of the system. The estimation results show that private agents appear to have often switched to constant-gain learning, with a high constant gain, during most of the 1970s and until the early 1980s, while reverting to a decreasing gain later on. As a result, the model can generate a pattern of volatility, which is increasing in the 1970s and falling in the second half of the sample, with a decline that can roughly match the magnitude of the Great Moderation. The paper also documents how a failure to incorporate learning into the estimation may lead econometricians to spuriously find time-varying volatility in the exogenous shocks, even when these have constant variance by construction.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Milani, 2007. "Learning and Time-Varying Macroeconomic Volatility," Working Papers 070802, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:070802
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    Cited by:

    1. Paul De Grauwe, 2012. "Booms and busts: New Keynesian and behavioural explanations," Chapters,in: What’s Right with Macroeconomics?, chapter 6, pages 149-180 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Berardi, Michele & Galimberti, Jaqueson K., 2017. "Empirical calibration of adaptive learning," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 144(C), pages 219-237.
    3. Gaus, Eric & Sinha, Arunima, 2017. "Characterizing investor expectations for assets with varying risk," Research in International Business and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 39(PB), pages 990-999.
    4. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:293-317 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2009. "Robust Learning Stability with Operational Monetary Policy Rules," Central Banking, Analysis, and Economic Policies Book Series,in: Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel & Carl E. Walsh & Norman Loayza (Series Editor) & Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (Series (ed.), Monetary Policy under Uncertainty and Learning, edition 1, volume 13, chapter 5, pages 145-170 Central Bank of Chile.
    6. Cole, Stephen, 2016. "The limits of central bank forward guidance under learning," MPRA Paper 70862, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Paul De Grauwe, 2008. "Macroeconomic modeling when agents are imperfectly informed," Discussion Papers 6_2008, D.E.S. (Department of Economic Studies), University of Naples "Parthenope", Italy.
    8. James Bullard & Aarti Singh, 2012. "Learning And The Great Moderation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(2), pages 375-397, May.
    9. Berardi, Michele & Galimberti, Jaqueson K., 2017. "On the initialization of adaptive learning in macroeconomic models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 26-53.
    10. Paul De Grauwe, 2010. "Top-Down versus Bottom-Up Macroeconomics," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 56(4), pages 465-497, December.
    11. Jolana Stejskalova, 2016. "Impact of the information on tax burden on the stock market," MENDELU Working Papers in Business and Economics 2016-62, Mendel University in Brno, Faculty of Business and Economics.
    12. Agnieszka Markiewicz, 2012. "Model Uncertainty And Exchange Rate Volatility," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(3), pages 815-844, August.
    13. Paul De Grauwe, 2012. "Lectures on Behavioral Macroeconomics," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9891.
    14. Tim Taylor & Richard Harrison, 2008. "Misperceptions, heterogeneous expectations and macroeconomic dynamics," 2008 Meeting Papers 710, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Caprioli, Francesco, 2015. "Optimal fiscal policy under learning," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 101-124.
    16. Eric Gaus, 2013. "Time-Varying Parameters and Endogenous Learning Algorithms," Working Papers 13-02, Ursinus College, Department of Economics.
    17. André, Marine Charlotte & Dai, Meixing, 2017. "Is central bank conservatism desirable under learning?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 281-296.
    18. Richard Harrison & Haroon Mumtaz & Tony Yates, 2008. " Using time-varying VARs to diagnose the source of ‘Great Moderations’: a Monte Carlo analysis," CDMA Conference Paper Series 0814, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
    19. Cole, Stephen, 2015. "Learning and the effectiveness of central bank forward guidance," MPRA Paper 65207, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    20. Dan Tortorice, 2016. "The Business Cycles Implications of Fluctuating Long Run Expectations," Working Papers 100, Brandeis University, Department of Economics and International Businesss School.
    21. Fabio Milani, 2009. "The Effect of Global Output on U.S. Inflation and Inflation Expectations: A Structural Estimation," Working Papers 080920, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    22. De Grauwe, Paul, 2012. "Booms and busts in economic activity: A behavioral explanation," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 484-501.
    23. Paul Grauwe, 2011. "Animal spirits and monetary policy," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(2), pages 423-457, June.
    24. De Grauwe, Paul, 2008. "DSGE-Modelling: when agents are imperfectly informed," Working Paper Series 897, European Central Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Adaptive learning; Constant gain; Monetary policy; Macroeconomic volatility; Inflation dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E30 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E58 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Central Banks and Their Policies
    • E66 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General Outlook and Conditions

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