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Elements of a Theory of Design Limits to Optimal Policy

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  • William A. Brock
  • Steven N. Durlauf

Abstract

This paper presents a framework for understanding the limits that exist in optimal policy design in dynamic contexts. We consider the design of policies in the context of dynamic linear models. Fundamental design limits exist for policy rules in such environments in the sense that any policy rule embodies tradeoffs between the magnitudes of different frequency-specific components of the variance. Hence policies that are effective in eliminating low frequency variance components of a state variable can only do so at the cost of exacerbating high frequency variance components, and vice versa. Examples of the implications of such tradeoffs are considered.

Suggested Citation

  • William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2004. "Elements of a Theory of Design Limits to Optimal Policy," NBER Working Papers 10495, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:10495 Note: EFG
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    11. Hansen, Lars Peter & Sargent, Thomas J., 2003. "Robust control of forward-looking models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(3), pages 581-604, April.
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    13. Marcellino, Massimiliano & Salmon, Mark, 2002. "Robust Decision Theory And The Lucas Critique," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 167-185, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Nason, James M. & Rondina, Giacomo, 2007. "Simple versus optimal rules as guides to policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(5), pages 1372-1396, July.
    2. Ekaterina Pirozhkova, 2017. "Financial frictions and robust monetary policy in the models of New Keynesian framework," BCAM Working Papers 1701, Birkbeck Centre for Applied Macroeconomics.
    3. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & West, Kenneth D., 2007. "Model uncertainty and policy evaluation: Some theory and empirics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, pages 629-664.
    4. Giannis Vardas & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2015. "Uncertainty aversion, robust control and asset holdings," Quantitative Finance, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 477-491, March.
    5. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N., 2005. "Local robustness analysis: Theory and application," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 29(11), pages 2067-2092, November.
    6. Beatrice PATARACCHIA, "undated". "Design-Limits in Regime-Switching cases," EcoMod2008 23800104, EcoMod.
    7. Yu, Xiangrong, 2013. "Measurement error and policy evaluation in the frequency domain," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 38(PB), pages 307-329.
    8. Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Rondina, Giacomo, 2013. "Design limits and dynamic policy analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(12), pages 2710-2728.
    9. Travaglini, Guido, 2007. "The U.S. Dynamic Taylor Rule With Multiple Breaks, 1984-2001," MPRA Paper 3419, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 15 Jun 2007.
    10. Pataracchia, Beatrice, 2011. "The spectral representation of Markov switching ARMA models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 11-15, July.
    11. Giannis Vardas & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2004. "Uncertainty Aversion and Robust Portfolio Choices," Working Papers 0408, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
    12. repec:wsi:ijtafx:v:10:y:2007:i:06:n:s0219024907004524 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Brock,W.A. & Durlauf,S.N., 2004. "Macroeconomics and model uncertainty," Working papers 20, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook

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