IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations

  • Alejandro Justiniano
  • Giorgio E. Primiceri

In this paper we investigate the sources of the important shifts in the volatility of U.S. macroeconomic variables in the postwar period. To this end, we propose the estimation of DSGE models allowing for time variation in the volatility of the structural innovations. We apply our estimation strategy to a large-scale model of the business cycle and find that investment specific technology shocks account for most of the sharp decline in volatility of the last two decades.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12022.

in new window

Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Justiniano, Alejandro and Giorgio E. Primiceri. “The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations.” The American Economic Review 98, 3 (June 2008): 604-641.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12022
Note: EFG ME
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Canova, Fabio & Sala, Luca, 2009. "Back to square one: Identification issues in DSGE models," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(4), pages 431-449, May.
  2. Sungbae An & Frank Schorfheide, 2006. "Bayesian analysis of DSGE models," Working Papers 06-5, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  3. David Altig & Lawrence Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Jesper Linde, 2011. "Firm-Specific Capital, Nominal Rigidities and the Business Cycle," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 14(2), pages 225-247, April.
  4. Sangjoon Kim, Neil Shephard & Siddhartha Chib, . "Stochastic volatility: likelihood inference and comparison with ARCH models," Economics Papers W26, revised version of W, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
  5. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  6. Zvi Hercowitz & Jeffrey C. Campbell, 2005. "The Role of Collateralized Household Debt in Macroeconomic Stabilization," 2005 Meeting Papers 120, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
  8. Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2005. "Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 11596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Luca Gambetti & Evi Pappa & Fabio Canova, 2005. "The structural dynamics of US output and inflation: What explains the changes?," Economics Working Papers 921, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  10. Del Negro, Marco & Schorfheide, Frank & Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2005. "On the fit and forecasting performance of New-Keynesian models," Working Paper Series 0491, European Central Bank.
  11. Mark Bils & Peter J. Klenow, 2004. "Some Evidence on the Importance of Sticky Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(5), pages 947-985, October.
  12. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
  13. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2005. "Nominal Rigidities and the Dynamic Effects of a Shock to Monetary Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 1-45, February.
  14. Peter N. Ireland, 2004. "Technology Shocks in the New Keynesian Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(4), pages 923-936, November.
  15. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
  16. Bernanke, Ben S. & Mihov, Ilian, 1995. "Measuring Monetary Policy," Economics Series 10, Institute for Advanced Studies.
  17. Richard Clarida & Jordi Galí & Mark Gertler, 2000. "Monetary Policy Rules And Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence And Some Theory," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(1), pages 147-180, February.
  18. Andrew T. Levin & Alexei Onatski & John Williams & Noah M. Williams, 2006. "Monetary Policy Under Uncertainty in Micro-Founded Macroeconometric Models," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2005, Volume 20, pages 229-312 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Greenwood, Jeremy & Hercowitz, Zvi & Krusell, Per, 1997. "Long-Run Implications of Investment-Specific Technological Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 342-62, June.
  20. 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.
  21. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell & Gabriel Perez-Quiros, 2002. "On the causes of the increased stability of the U.S. economy," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 183-202.
  22. V. V. Chari & Patrick Kehoe & Ellen McGrattan, 2004. "Business Cycle Accounting," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000560, UCLA Department of Economics.
  23. Calvin Schnure, 2005. "Boom-Bust Cycles in Housing: The Changing Role of Financial Structure," IMF Working Papers 05/200, International Monetary Fund.
  24. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2004. "Estimating Nonlinear Dynamic Equilibrium economies: A Likelihood Approach," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-001, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  25. Marcelle Chauvet & Simon M. Potter, 2001. "Recent changes in the U.S. business cycle," Staff Reports 126, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  26. Faia, Ester & Monacelli, Tommaso, 2007. "Optimal interest rate rules, asset prices, and credit frictions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(10), pages 3228-3254, October.
  27. Hall, Robert E, 1997. "Macroeconomic Fluctuations and the Allocation of Time," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(1), pages S223-50, January.
  28. Sylvain Leduc & Keith Sill, 2006. "Monetary policy, oil shocks, and TFP: accounting for the decline in U.S. volatility," International Finance Discussion Papers 873, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  29. Greenwood, J. & Hercowitz, Z. & Krusell, P., 1998. "The Role of Investment-Specific Technological Change in the Business Cycle," RCER Working Papers 449, University of Rochester - Center for Economic Research (RCER).
  30. Carlstrom, Charles T & Fuerst, Timothy S, 1997. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations: A Computable General Equilibrium Analysis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(5), pages 893-910, December.
  31. Jonathan McCarthy & Richard Peach, 2002. "Monetary policy transmission to residential investment," Economic Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, issue May, pages 139-158.
  32. Patric H. Hendershott, 1990. "The Market for Home Mortgage Credit: Recent Changes and Future Prospects," NBER Working Papers 3548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. 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.
  34. Robert J. Gordon, 1990. "The Measurement of Durable Goods Prices," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number gord90-1, December.
  35. James A. Kahn & Margaret M. McConnell, 2002. "Has inventory volatility returned? A look at the current cycle," Current Issues in Economics and Finance, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, vol. 8(May).
  36. Jonas D. M. Fisher, 2006. "The Dynamic Effects of Neutral and Investment-Specific Technology Shocks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 114(3), pages 413-451, June.
  37. J. Durbin, 2002. "A simple and efficient simulation smoother for state space time series analysis," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 89(3), pages 603-616, August.
  38. Bradley, Michael G & Gabriel, Stuart A & Wohar, Mark E, 1995. "The Thrift Crisis, Mortgage-Credit Intermediation, and Housing Activity," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(2), pages 476-97, May.
  39. Matteo Iacoviello, 2005. "House Prices, Borrowing Constraints, and Monetary Policy in the Business Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 739-764, June.
  40. 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.
  41. Herrera, Ana Maria & Pesavento, Elena, 2005. "The Decline in U.S. Output Volatility: Structural Changes and Inventory Investment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 462-472, October.
  42. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  43. repec:ucp:bknber:9780226304557 is not listed on IDEAS
  44. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2002. "An estimated stochastic dynamic general equilibrium model of the euro area," Working Paper Series 0171, European Central Bank.
  45. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1983. "Staggered prices in a utility-maximizing framework," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3), pages 383-398, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is featured on the following reading lists or Wikipedia pages:

  1. The Time-Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations (AER 2008) in ReplicationWiki

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:12022. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.