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Expectation Formation and Monetary DSGE Models: Beyond the Rational Expectations Paradigm

Author

Listed:
  • Fabio Milani

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

  • Ashish Rajbhandari

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

Abstract

Empirical work in macroeconomics almost universally relies on the hypothesis of rational expectations. This paper departs from the literature by considering a variety of alternative expectations formation models. We study the econometric properties of a popular New Keynesian monetary DSGE model under different expectational assumptions: the benchmark case of rational expectations, rational expectations extended to allow for `news' about future shocks, near-rational expectations and learning, and observed subjective expectations from surveys. The results show that the econometric evaluation of the model is extremely sensitive to how expectations are modeled. The posterior distributions for the structural parameters significantly shift when the assumption of rational expectations is modified. Estimates of the structural disturbances under different expectation processes are often dissimilar. The modeling of expectations has important effects on the ability of the model to fit macroeconomic time series. The model achieves its worse fit under rational expectations. The introduction of news improves fit. The best-fitting specifications, however, are those that assume learning. Expectations also have large effects on forecasting. Survey expectations, news, and learning all work to improve the model's one-step-ahead forecasting accuracy. Rational expectations, however, dominate over longer horizons, such as one-year ahead or beyond.

Suggested Citation

  • Fabio Milani & Ashish Rajbhandari, 2012. "Expectation Formation and Monetary DSGE Models: Beyond the Rational Expectations Paradigm," Working Papers 111212, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:irv:wpaper:111212
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    File URL: https://www.economics.uci.edu/files/docs/workingpapers/2011-2012/milani-12.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Slobodyan, Sergey & Wouters, Raf, 2012. "Learning in an estimated medium-scale DSGE model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 26-46.
    2. Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe & Martin Uribe, 2008. "What's News in Business Cycles," NBER Working Papers 14215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Neiss, Katharine S. & Nelson, Edward, 2003. "The Real-Interest-Rate Gap As An Inflation Indicator," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 239-262, April.
    4. Bruce Preston, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 1(2), September.
    5. Paul Levine & Joseph Pearlman & George Perendia & Bo Yang, 2012. "Endogenous Persistence in an estimated DSGE Model Under Imperfect Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(565), pages 1287-1312, December.
    6. Emi Nakamura & Jón Steinsson, 2008. "Five Facts about Prices: A Reevaluation of Menu Cost Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1415-1464.
    7. Christoffel, Kai & Warne, Anders & Coenen, Günter, 2010. "Forecasting with DSGE models," Working Paper Series 1185, European Central Bank.
    8. Katharine Neiss & Edward Nelson, 2002. "Inflation dynamics, marginal cost, and the output gap: evidence from three countries," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Mar.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Paul Beaudry & Franck Portier, 2014. "News-Driven Business Cycles: Insights and Challenges," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 52(4), pages 993-1074, December.
    2. Sergey Ivashchenko & Rangan Gupta, 2017. "Near-Rational Expectations: How Far are Surveys from Rationality?," Journal of Economics and Econometrics, Economics and Econometrics Society, vol. 60(1), pages 1-27.
    3. Best Gabriela & Kapinos Pavel, 2016. "Monetary policy and news shocks: are Taylor rules forward-looking?," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 16(2), pages 335-360, June.
    4. Lance Kent, 2015. "Relaxing Rational Expectations," Working Papers 159, Department of Economics, College of William and Mary.
    5. Guimarães, Rodrigo, 2014. "Expectations, risk premia and information spanning in dynamic term structure model estimation," Bank of England working papers 489, Bank of England.
    6. Milani, Fabio, 2017. "Sentiment and the U.S. business cycle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 82(C), pages 289-311.
    7. Fabio Milani, 2012. "The Modeling of Expectations in Empirical DSGE Models: a Survey," Working Papers 121301, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    8. Kortelainen, Mika & Paloviita, Maritta & Viren, Matti, 2016. "How useful are measured expectations in estimation and simulation of a conventional small New Keynesian macro model?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 52(PB), pages 540-550.
    9. Fabio Milani & Ashish Rajrhandari, 2012. "Observed Expectations, News Shocks, and the Business Cycle," Working Papers 121305, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    10. Sergey Ivashchenko, 2014. "Near-Rational Expectations: How Far Are Surveys from Rationality?," EUSP Department of Economics Working Paper Series Ec-06/14, European University at St. Petersburg, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Expectation formation; Rational expectations; News shocks; Adaptive learning; Survey expectations; Econometric evaluation of DSGE models; Forecasting;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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