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Stabilization Policy as Bifurcation Selection: Would Keynesian Policy Work if the World Really Were Keynesian?

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  • William Barnett

    (Department of Economics, The University of Kansas)

  • Yijun He

    (Washington University in St.Louis)

Abstract

The macroeconomic concept of "stabilization policy" implicitly assumes that the macroeconomy is unstable without imposition of a policy. Hence selection of a "stabilization policy" can be viewed as selection of a policy to bifurcate the system from an unstable to a stable operating regime. The literature on dynamics of high dimensional systems suggests that successful bifurcation selection is challenging. As an experiment to investigate this point of view, we use the continuous time UK dynamic macroeconomic model, since it is a second order differential equation system that has properties that are well suited to the purpose. The model's published point estimates are in the unstable region, and the model's Keynesian frictions provide the opportunity for Pareto-improving stabilization policy intervention. Under strongly simplifying assumptions intended to produce the least difficult bifurcation selection, we explore the problem of selecting a successful bifurcation policy to stabilize the system. Under assumptions designed to be most favorable to Keynesian stabilization policy, we find that policies that would produce successful bifurcation to stability are very complicated. We also find that less complicated policies based upon reasonable economic intuition can be counterproductive, since such policies can contract the size of the stable subset of the parameter space.

Suggested Citation

  • William Barnett & Yijun He, 2012. "Stabilization Policy as Bifurcation Selection: Would Keynesian Policy Work if the World Really Were Keynesian?," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 201228, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised Sep 2012.
  • Handle: RePEc:kan:wpaper:201228
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Barnett William A & Dalkir Mehmet S, 2007. "Gains from Synchronization," Studies in Nonlinear Dynamics & Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 28-55, March.
    2. Barnett, William A. & Duzhak, Evgeniya Aleksandrovna, 2008. "Non-robust dynamic inferences from macroeconometric models: Bifurcation stratification of confidence regions," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 387(15), pages 3817-3825.
    3. Peter N. Ireland, 2007. "Commentary on "Monetary policy as equilibrium selection"," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jul, pages 343-348.
    4. He, Yijun & Barnett, William A., 2006. "Singularity bifurcations," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 5-22, March.
    5. William Barnett & Barry E. Jones & Milka Kirova & Travis D. Nesmith & Meenakshi Pasupathy1, 2004. "The Nonlinear Skeletons in the Closet," WORKING PAPERS SERIES IN THEORETICAL AND APPLIED ECONOMICS 200403, University of Kansas, Department of Economics, revised May 2004.
    6. William A. Barnett & Yijun He, 2002. "Bifurcations in Macroeconomic Models," Macroeconomics 0210006, EconWPA.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Stability; bifurcation; macroeconometric systems;

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E61 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - Policy Objectives; Policy Designs and Consistency; Policy Coordination

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