Counterfactuals, Forecasts, and Choice-Theoretic Modelling of Policy
This paper focuses on the problem of formulating an analysis of economic policy that is consistent with rational expectations. Cooley, LeRoy,and Raymon show that the Lucas and Sargent strategy for econometric policy evaluation is itself vulnerable to the logic of the Lucas critique. The present discussion develops the distinction between counter factuals and forecasts to clarify the nature of the inconsistencies in the Lucas and Sargent strategy. The paper goes on to propose and to illustrate a strategy for positive economic analysis that incorporates choice-theoretical modelling of policy. Such modelling can allow better forecasting, but it also shifts attention away from policy actions and their effects and towards the more fundamental relation between the policymaker's constraints and targets and economic outcomes. The forecasting problem in a choice-theoretic model of policy concerns the effects of hypothetical realizations of variables that determine the policymaker's constraints and targets. The analysis of counter factuals in this context recognizes that the parameters of the policy process are not invariant with respect to the processes that generate these exogenous variables. A program of positive economics that includes choice-theoretic modelling of policy also preserves a distinct role for policy advice as part of the process being modelled.
|Date of creation:||Jun 1984|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
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.:
- Robert P. Flood & Peter M. Garber, 1982.
"A model of stochastic process switching,"
International Finance Discussion Papers
201, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- Thomas J. Sargent, 1980.
"Interpreting economic time series,"
58, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1983.
"Rules, Discretion and Reputation in a Model of Monetary Policy,"
NBER Working Papers
1079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Barro, Robert J. & Gordon, David B., 1983. "Rules, discretion and reputation in a model of monetary policy," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 101-121.
- Brunner, Karl & Cukierman, Alex & Meltzer, Allan H., 1983. "Money and economic activity, inventories and business cycles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 281-319.
- Neftci, Salih & Sargent, Thomas J., 1978.
"A little bit of evidence on the natural rate hypothesis from the U.S,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 315-319, April.
- Salih Neftci & Thomas J. Sargent, 1975. "A little bit of evidence on the natural rate hypothesis from the U.S," Working Papers 83, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Barro, Robert J & Gordon, David B, 1983.
"A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural Rate Model,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(4), pages 589-610, August.
- Robert J. Barro & David B. Gordon, 1981. "A Positive Theory of Monetary Policy in a Natural-Rate Model," NBER Working Papers 0807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Herschel I. Grossman, 1980. "Rational Expectations, Business Cycles, and Government Behavior," NBER Chapters, in: Rational Expectations and Economic Policy, pages 5-22 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sargent, Thomas J. & Wallace, Neil, 1976.
"Rational expectations and the theory of economic policy,"
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 169-183, April.
- Thomas J. Sargent & Neil Wallace, 1974. "Rational expectations and the theory of economic policy," Working Papers 29, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
- Sargent, Thomas J, 1984. "Autoregressions, Expectations, and Advice," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 408-15, May.
- Behzad T. Diba & Herschel I. Grossman, 1983. "Rational Asset Price Bubbles," NBER Working Papers 1059, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Gertler, Mark, 1982. "Imperfect Information and Wage Inertia in the Business Cycle," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 967-87, October.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:1381. 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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.