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Causality, Structure, and the Uniqueness of Rational Expectations Equilibria

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

Consider a rational expectations (RE) model that includes a relationship between variables `x_t` and `z_(t+1)`. To be considered structural and potentially useful as a guide to actual behavior, this model must specify whether `x_t` is influenced by the expectation at t of `z_(t+1)` or, alternatively, that `z_(t+1)` is directly influenced (via some inertial mechanism) by `x_t` (i.e., that `z_t` is influenced by `x_(t-1)`). These are quite different phenomena. Here it is shown that, for a very broad class of multivariate linear RE models, distinct causal specifications involving both expectational and inertial influences will be uniquely associated with distinct solutions--which will result operationally from different specifications concerning which of the model's variables are predetermined. It follows that for a given structure, and with a natural continuity assumption, there is only one RE solution that is fully consistent with the model's specification. Furthermore, this solution does not involve "sunspot" phenomena.

Suggested Citation

  • Bennett T. McCallum, 2009. "Causality, Structure, and the Uniqueness of Rational Expectations Equilibria," NBER Working Papers 15234, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15234
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. McCallum, Bennett T., 2004. "On the relationship between determinate and MSV solutions in linear RE models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 84(1), pages 55-60, July.
    2. King, Robert G & Watson, Mark W, 1998. "The Solution of Singular Linear Difference Systems under Rational Expectations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1015-1026, November.
    3. John H. Cochrane, 2011. "Determinacy and Identification with Taylor Rules," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(3), pages 565-615.
    4. Blanchard, Olivier J, 1979. "Backward and Forward Solutions for Economies with Rational Expectations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(2), pages 114-118, May.
    5. Lubik, Thomas A. & Schorfheide, Frank, 2003. "Computing sunspot equilibria in linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(2), pages 273-285, November.
    6. Cho, Seonghoon & McCallum, Bennett T., 2009. "Another weakness of "determinacy" as a selection criterion for rational expectations models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 104(1), pages 17-19, July.
    7. Zellner, Arnold, 1979. "Causality and econometrics," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 9-54, January.
    8. McCallum, Bennett T., 2003. "Multiple-solution indeterminacies in monetary policy analysis," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(5), pages 1153-1175, July.
    9. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Kahn, Charles M, 1980. "The Solution of Linear Difference Models under Rational Expectations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(5), pages 1305-1311, July.
    10. Calvo, Guillermo A., 1978. "On the indeterminacy of interest rates and wages with perfect foresight," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 321-337, December.
    11. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
    12. McCallum, Bennett T., 2007. "E-stability vis-a-vis determinacy results for a broad class of linear rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 1376-1391, April.
    13. Sims, Christopher A, 2002. "Solving Linear Rational Expectations Models," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 20(1-2), pages 1-20, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bennett T. McCallum, 2012. "A Continuity Refinement for Rational Expectations Solutions," NBER Working Papers 18323, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bennett T. McCallum, 2012. "Determinacy, Learnability, Plausibility, and the Role of Money in New Keynesian Models," NBER Working Papers 18215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Cho, Seonghoon & Moreno, Antonio, 2011. "The forward method as a solution refinement in rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 35(3), pages 257-272, March.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum, 2010. "Indeterminacy, Causality, and the Foundations of Monetary Policy Analysis," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(I), pages 107-120, March.
    5. C├ędric Tille & Katrin Assenmacher-Wesche, 2010. "Discussion: Indeterminacy, Causality, and the Foundations of Monetary Policy Analysis," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 146(I), pages 121-130, March.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C62 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Existence and Stability Conditions of Equilibrium
    • E37 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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