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Noisy Information, Interest Rate Shocks and the Great Moderation

In this paper we quantitatively evaluate the hypothesis that the Great Moderation is partly the result of a less activist monetary policy. We simulate a New Keynesian model where the central bank can only observe a noisy estimate of the output gap and fnd that the less pronounced reaction of the Federal Reserve to output gap uctuations since 1979 can account for half of the reduction in the standard deviation of GDP associated with the Great Moderation. Our simulations are consistent with the empirically documented smaller magnitude and impact of interest rate shocks since the early 1980s.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria in its series Economics working papers with number 2010-07.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:jku:econwp:2010_07
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  1. Orphanides, Athanasios & Williams, John C., 2007. "Robust monetary policy with imperfect knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1406-1435, July.
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  4. Dynan, Karen E. & Elmendorf, Douglas W. & Sichel, Daniel E., 2006. "Can financial innovation help to explain the reduced volatility of economic activity?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 123-150, January.
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  9. Shaghil Ahmed & Andrew T. Levin & Beth Anne Wilson, 2002. "Recent U.S. macroeconomic stability: good policies, good practices or good luck?," International Finance Discussion Papers 730, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2002. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Working Papers 9127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Athanasios Orphanides & John C. Williams, 2008. "Learning, Expectations Formation, and the Pitfalls of Optimal Control Monetary Policy," Working Papers 2008-3, Central Bank of Cyprus.
  12. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson & Jeremy M. Piger, 2001. "The less volatile U.S. economy: a Bayesian investigation of timing, breadth, and potential explanations," International Finance Discussion Papers 707, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  13. Orphanides, Athanasios, 2001. "Monetary policy rules, macroeconomic stability and inflation: a view from the trenches," Working Paper Series 0115, European Central Bank.
  14. Gabriel Perez-Quiros & Margaret M. McConnell, 2000. "Output Fluctuations in the United States: What Has Changed since the Early 1980's?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(5), pages 1464-1476, December.
  15. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2005. "Understanding Changes In International Business Cycle Dynamics," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 3(5), pages 968-1006, 09.
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  17. James B. Bullard & Stefano Eusepi, 2004. "Did the Great Inflation occur despite policymaker commitment to a Taylor rule?," Working Papers 2003-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  18. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1999. "The Science of Monetary Policy: A New Keynesian Perspective," Working Papers 99-13, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  19. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
  20. Smith Penelope & Summers Peter M, 2009. "Regime Switches in GDP Growth and Volatility: Some International Evidence and Implications for Modeling Business Cycles," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 9(1), pages 1-19, September.
  21. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 1998. "Monetary Policy Shocks: What Have We Learned and to What End?," NBER Working Papers 6400, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
  23. Athanasios Orphanides, 1998. "Monetary policy evaluation with noisy information," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1998-50, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  24. Domenico Giannone & Michele Lenza & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "Explaining The Great Moderation: It Is Not The Shocks," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 621-633, 04-05.
  25. Olivier Blanchard & John Simon, 2001. "The Long and Large Decline in U.S. Output Volatility," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 32(1), pages 135-174.
  26. Steven J. Davis & James A. Kahn, 2008. "Interpreting the Great Moderation: changes in the volatility of economic activity at the macro and micro Levels," Staff Reports 334, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  27. Fabio Canova, 2004. "What explains the Great Moderation in the US? A structural analysis," Economics Working Papers 919, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Dec 2007.
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