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Macroeconomics and Volatility: Data, Models, and Estimation

  • Jesús Fernández-Villaverde
  • Juan Rubio-Ramírez

One basic feature of aggregate data is the presence of time-varying variance in real and nominal variables. Periods of high volatility are followed by periods of low volatility. For instance, the turbulent 1970s were followed by the much more tranquil times of the great moderation from 1984 to 2007. Modeling these movements in volatility is important to understand the source of aggregate fluctuations, the evolution of the economy, and for policy analysis. In this chapter, we first review the different mechanisms proposed in the literature to generate changes in volatility similar to the ones observed in the data. Second, we document the quantitative importance of time-varying volatility in aggregate time series. Third, we present a prototype business cycle model with time-varying volatility and explain how it can be computed and how it can be taken to the data using likelihood-based methods and non-linear filtering theory. Fourth, we present two "real life" applications. We conclude by summarizing what we know and what we do not know about volatility in macroeconomics and by pointing out some directions for future research.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16618.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16618.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
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Publication status: published as (2013) \Macroeconomics and Volatility: Data, Models, and Methods." Joint with Juan F. Rubio-Ramrez (Duke University). In Advances in Economics and Econo- metrics: Theory and Applications, Tenth World Congress of the Econometric So- ciety , Cambridge University Press.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16618
Note: EFG
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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  1. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2004. "Estimating Dynamic Equilibrium Economies: Linear versus Nonlinear Likelihood," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-005, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  2. Juan Rubio-Ramirez & Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo A. Guerron-Quintana, 2010. "Fortune or Virtue: Time Variant Volatilities versus Parameter Drifting in U.S. Data," 2010 Meeting Papers 270, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  3. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo A. Guerrón-Quintana & Juan Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Reading the Recent Monetary History of the U.S., 1959-2007," NBER Working Papers 15929, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fernández-Villaverde, Jesús & Rubio-Ramírez, Juan Francisco, 2006. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," CEPR Discussion Papers 5513, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Tim Bollerslev, 1986. "Generalized autoregressive conditional heteroskedasticity," EERI Research Paper Series EERI RP 1986/01, Economics and Econometrics Research Institute (EERI), Brussels.
  6. Alejandro Justiniano & Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2008. "The Time-Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(3), pages 604-41, June.
  7. Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Francisco Rubio-Ramirez, Juan, 2004. "Comparing dynamic equilibrium models to data: a Bayesian approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 123(1), pages 153-187, November.
  8. Ruediger Bachmann & Steffen Elstner & Eric R. Sims, 2010. "Uncertainty and Economic Activity: Evidence from Business Survey Data," NBER Working Papers 16143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Kevin B. Grier & Mark J. Perry, 2000. "The effects of real and nominal uncertainty on inflation and output growth: some garch-m evidence," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 45-58.
  10. Manuel S. Santos & Adrian Peralta-Alva, 2003. "Accuracy Of Simulations For Stochastic Dynamic Models," Economics Working Papers we034615, Universidad Carlos III, Departamento de Economía.
  11. Bekaert, Geert & Hoerova, Marie & Lo Duca, Marco, 2013. "Risk, uncertainty and monetary policy," Working Paper Series 1565, European Central Bank.
  12. Elder, John, 2004. "Another Perspective on the Effects of Inflation Uncertainty," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 36(5), pages 911-28, October.
  13. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Martin Uribe, 2011. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(6), pages 2530-61, October.
  14. Kiseok Lee & Shawn Ni & Ronald A. Ratti, 1995. "Oil Shocks and the Macroeconomy: The Role of Price Variability," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 4), pages 39-56.
  15. Jesus Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2010. "Fortune or virtue: time-variant volatilities versus parameter drifting," Working Papers 10-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
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