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Macroeconomic Analysis without the Rational Expectations Hypothesis

  • 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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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
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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
Note: EFG ME
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  2. 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.
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  4. Richard Clarida & Jordi Gali & Mark Gertler, 1998. "Monetary Policy Rules and Macroeconomic Stability: Evidence and Some Theory," NBER Working Papers 6442, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. George W. Evans & Seppo Honkapohja & Kaushik Mitra, 2010. "Does Ricardian Equivalence Hold When Expectations are not Rational?," CDMA Working Paper Series 201008, Centre for Dynamic Macroeconomic Analysis.
  7. Fuster, Andreas & Hebert, Benjamin Michael & Laibson, David I., 2012. "Investment Dynamics with Natural Expectations," Scholarly Articles 10139283, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Woodford, Michael, 2001. "Fiscal Requirements for Price Stability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 33(3), pages 669-728, August.
  9. Honkapohja, Seppo & Evans, George W., 2000. "Expectations and the stability problem for optimal monetary policies," Discussion Paper Series 1: Economic Studies 2000,10, Deutsche Bundesbank, Research Centre.
  10. Lawrence J. Christiano & Martin Eichenbaum & Charles Evans, 2001. "Nominal rigidities and the dynamic effects of a shock to monetary policy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Jun.
  11. Stefano Eusepi & Bruce Preston, 2013. "Fiscal foundations of inflation: imperfect knowledge," Staff Reports 649, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  12. Adam, Klaus & Woodford, Michael, 2012. "Robustly Optimal Monetary Policy in a Microfounded New Keynesian Model," Working Papers 12-01, University of Mannheim, Department of Economics.
  13. Mordecai Kurz & Maurizio Motolese, 2007. "Diverse Beliefs and Time Variability of Risk Premia," Discussion Papers 06-044, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  14. Preston, Bruce, 2005. "Learning about Monetary Policy Rules when Long-Horizon Expectations Matter," MPRA Paper 830, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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  19. Bray, Margaret, 1982. "Learning, estimation, and the stability of rational expectations," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 318-339, April.
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  25. Maskin, Eric & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "Markov Perfect Equilibrium: I. Observable Actions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 100(2), pages 191-219, October.
  26. 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.
  27. Milani, Fabio, 2008. "Learning, monetary policy rules, and macroeconomic stability," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 3148-3165, October.
  28. Roger Guesnerie, 2005. "Assessing Rational Expectations 2: "Eductive" Stability in Economics," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262072580, June.
  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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