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Counterfactual Analysis in Macroeconometrics: An Empirical Investigation into the Effects of Quantitative Easing

  • Pesaran, M. Hashem


    (University of Cambridge)

  • Smith, Ron P.


    (Birkbeck College, University of London)

This paper is concerned with ex ante and ex post counterfactual analyses in the case of macroeconometric applications where a single unit is observed before and after a given policy intervention. It distinguishes between cases where the policy change affects the model's parameters and where it does not. It is argued that for ex post policy evaluation it is important that outcomes are conditioned on ex post realized variables that are invariant to the policy change but nevertheless influence the outcomes. The effects of the control variables that are determined endogenously with the policy outcomes can be solved out for the policy evaluation exercise. An ex post policy ineffectiveness test statistic is proposed. The analysis is applied to the evaluation of the effects of the quantitative easing (QE) in the UK after March 2009. It is estimated that a 100 basis points reduction in the spread due to QE has an impact effect on output growth of about one percentage point, but the policy impact is very quickly reversed with no statistically significant effects remaining within 9-12 months of the policy intervention.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6618.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6618
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  1. Joshua D. Angrist & Òscar Jordà & Guido Kuersteiner, 2013. "Semiparametric Estimates of Monetary Policy Effects: String Theory Revisited," NBER Working Papers 19355, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
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  7. David Bowman & Fang Cai & Sally M. Davies & Steven B. Kamin, 2011. "Quantitative easing and bank lending: evidence from Japan," International Finance Discussion Papers 1018, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  8. Christiane Baumeister & Luca Benati, 2013. "Unconventional Monetary Policy and the Great Recession: Estimating the Macroeconomic Effects of a Spread Compression at the Zero Lower Bound," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 9(2), pages 165-212, June.
  9. Joyce, Michael & Lasaosa, Ana & Stevens , Ibrahim & Tong, Matthew, 2010. "The financial market impact of quantitative easing," Bank of England working papers 393, Bank of England.
  10. Filippo di Mauro & L. Vanessa Smith & Stephane Dees & M. Hashem Pesaran, 2007. "Exploring the international linkages of the euro area: a global VAR analysis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(1), pages 1-38.
  11. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Pick, Andreas & Pranovich, Mikhail, 2013. "Optimal forecasts in the presence of structural breaks," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 177(2), pages 134-152.
  12. Giannone, Domenico & Lenza, Michele & Pill, Huw & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2010. "Non-standard Monetary Policy Measures and Monetary Developments," CEPR Discussion Papers 8125, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat, 2009. "Unconventional monetary policies: an appraisal," BIS Working Papers 292, Bank for International Settlements.
  14. Kapetanios, George & Mumtaz, Haroon & Stevens, Ibrahim & Theodoridis, Konstantinos, 2012. "Assessing the economy-wide effects of quantitative easing," Bank of England working papers 443, Bank of England.
  15. Guido Imbens & Jeffrey Wooldridge, 2008. "Recent developments in the econometrics of program evaluation," CeMMAP working papers CWP24/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Guido W. Imbens, 2009. "Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)," NBER Working Papers 14896, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Michael Joyce & David Miles & Andrew Scott & Dimitri Vayanos, 2012. "Quantitative Easing and Unconventional Monetary Policy – an Introduction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 122(564), pages F271-F288, November.
  18. James J. Heckman, 2010. "Building Bridges Between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy," NBER Working Papers 16110, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Angrist, Joshua & Kuersteiner, Guido M., 2008. "Causal Effects of Monetary Shocks: Semiparametric Conditional Independence Tests with a Multinomial Propensity Score," IZA Discussion Papers 3606, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  20. M. Hashem Pesaran & Ron P. Smith, 2013. "Signs of Impact Effects in Time Series Regression Models," CESifo Working Paper Series 4433, CESifo Group Munich.
  21. M. Hashem Pesaran & L. Vanessa Smith & Ron P. Smith, 2007. "What if the UK or Sweden had joined the euro in 1999? An empirical evaluation using a Global VAR," International Journal of Finance & Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 55-87.
  22. Gabriel Fagan & James R. Lothian & Paul D. Mcnelis, 2013. "Was The Gold Standard Really Destabilizing?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(2), pages 231-249, 03.
  23. Jack Meaning & Feng Zhu, 2011. "The impact of recent central bank asset purchase programmes," BIS Quarterly Review, Bank for International Settlements, December.
  24. Michael A. S. Joyce & Ana Lasaosa & Ibrahim Stevens & Matthew Tong, 2011. "The Financial Market Impact of Quantitative Easing in the United Kingdom," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 7(3), pages 113-161, September.
  25. Joyce, Michael, 2012. "Quantitative easing and other unconventional monetary policies: Bank of England conference summary," Bank of England Quarterly Bulletin, Bank of England, vol. 52(1), pages 48-56.
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