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Macroeconomic Analysis without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis

Listed author(s):
  • Michael Woodford

This paper reviews a variety of alternative approaches to the specification of the expectations of economic decisionmakers in dynamic models, and reconsiders familiar results in the theory of monetary and fiscal policy when one allows for departures from the hypothesis of rational expectations. The various approaches are all illustrated in the context of a common model, a log-linearized New Keynesian model in which both households and firms solve infinite-horizon decision problems; under the hypothesis of rational expectations, the model reduces to the standard "3-equation model" used in studies such as Clarida et al. (1999). The alternative approaches considered include rationalizable equilibrium dynamics (Guesnerie, 2008); restricted perceptions equilibria (Branch, 2004); decreasing-gain and constant-gain variants of least-squares learning dynamics (Evans and Honkapohja, 2001); rational belief equilibria (Kurz, 2012); and near-rational expectations equilibria (Woodford, 2010). Issues treated include Ricardian equivalence; the determinacy of equilibrium under alternative interest-rate rules; non-fundamental sources of aggregate instability; the trade-off between inflation stabilization and output-gap stabilization; and the possibility of a "deflation trap."

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w19368.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19368.

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Date of creation: Aug 2013
Publication status: published as Michael Woodford, 2013. "Macroeconomic Analysis Without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 5(1), pages 303-346, 05.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19368
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  1. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles L. Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  3. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Macroeconomics 0510022, EconWPA.
  4. Sergey Slobodyan & Raf Wouters, 2009. "Learning in an Estimated Medium-Scale DSGE Model," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp396, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
  5. Bray, Margaret, 1982. "Learning, estimation, and the stability of rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 318-339, April.
  6. Milani, Fabio, 2008. "Learning, monetary policy rules, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3148-3165, October.
  7. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo & Mitra, Kaushik, 2010. "Does Ricardian Equivalence Hold When Expectations are not Rational?," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-73, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
  8. Andreas Fuster & Benjamin Hebert & David Laibson, 2011. "Natural Expectations, Macroeconomic Dynamics, and Asset Pricing," NBER Working Papers 17301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Michael Woodford, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," NBER Working Papers 8072, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2012. "Debt, Policy Uncertainty, And Expectations Stabilization," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 10(4), pages 860-886, 08.
  11. Smets, Frank & Wouters, Raf, 2007. "Shocks and frictions in US business cycles: a Bayesian DSGE approach," Working Paper Series 0722, European Central Bank.
  12. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2013. "Fiscal foundations of inflation: imperfect knowledge," Staff Reports 649, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  13. Jess Benhabib & George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja, 2014. "Liquidity Traps and Expectation Dynamics: Fiscal Stimulus or Fiscal Austerity?," CDMA Working Paper Series 201407, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  14. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2001. "Expectations and the Stability Problem for Optimal Monetary Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 2805, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Bullard, James & Mitra, Kaushik, 2002. "Learning about monetary policy rules," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(6), pages 1105-1129, September.
  16. Clarida, R. & Gali, J. & Gertler, M., 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and some Theory," Working Papers 98-01, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
  17. Carl E. Walsh, 2010. "Monetary Theory and Policy, Third Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 3, volume 1, number 0262013770, September.
  18. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  19. Adam, Klaus & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Robustly optimal monetary policy in a microfounded New Keynesian model," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(5), pages 468-487.
  20. Roger Guesnerie, 2005. "Assessing Rational Expectations 2: "Eductive" Stability in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072580, September.
  21. Eric Maskin & Jean Tirole, 1997. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium, I: Observable Actions," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1799, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  22. Grandmont, Jean-Michel, 1977. "Temporary General Equilibrium Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(3), pages 535-572, April.
  23. Marcet, Albert & Sargent, Thomas J., 1989. "Convergence of least squares learning mechanisms in self-referential linear stochastic models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 337-368, August.
  24. Mordecai Kurz & Maurizio Motolese, 2011. "Diverse beliefs and time variability of risk premia," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 47(2), pages 293-335, June.
  25. Fuster, Andreas & Hebert, Benjamin Michael & Laibson, David I., 2012. "Investment Dynamics with Natural Expectations," Scholarly Articles 10139283, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  26. Deaton, Angus, 1992. "Understanding Consumption," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198288244.
  27. Howitt, Peter, 1992. "Interest Rate Control and Nonconvergence to Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(4), pages 776-800, August.
  28. Pearce, David G, 1984. "Rationalizable Strategic Behavior and the Problem of Perfection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 1029-1050, July.
  29. Jianjun Miao & Hyosung Kwon, 2013. "Woodford's Approach to Robust Policy Analysis in a Linear-Quadratic Framework," 2013 Meeting Papers 19, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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