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On the Interpretation of Near Random-Walk Behavior in GNP

  • Kenneth D. West

It is shown that GNP will have an autoregressive root very close to unity in a variant of Taylor's (1980a,b) overlapping wage contracts model, for stylized versions of simple money supply rules and plausible values for the model's parameters. In this variant, monetary policy is the only reason for serial correlation in GNP. It is premature, therefore, to conclude, as some authors, have, that the presence of such a root in U.S. GNP is inconsistent with either a stationary natural rate or with nominal shocks playing a major role in the business cycle.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2364.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2364.

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Date of creation: Aug 1987
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Publication status: published as American Economic Review, Vol. 78, No. 1, March 1988, pp. 202-209.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2364
Note: EFG
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  1. Blanchard, Olivier Jean & Quah, Danny, 1989. "The Dynamic Effects of Aggregate Demand and Supply Disturbances," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(4), pages 655-73, September.
  2. Walsh, Carl E, 1986. "In Defense of Base Drift," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 692-700, September.
  3. Benjamin M. Friedman, 1977. "The Inefficiency of Short-Run Monetary Targets for Monetary Policy," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 8(2), pages 293-346.
  4. Watson, Mark W., 1986. "Univariate detrending methods with stochastic trends," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 49-75, July.
  5. Stulz, Rene M. & Wasserfallen, Walter, 1985. "Macroeconomic time-series, business cycles and macroeconomic policies," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 9-53, January.
  6. Nelson, Charles R. & Plosser, Charles I., 1982. "Trends and random walks in macroeconmic time series : Some evidence and implications," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 139-162.
  7. Mankiw, N. Gregory, 1987. "The optimal collection of seigniorage : Theory and evidence," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 327-341, September.
  8. Taylor, John B, 1980. "Aggregate Dynamics and Staggered Contracts," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 88(1), pages 1-23, February.
  9. Campbell, John Y & Mankiw, N Gregory, 1987. "Are Output Fluctuations Transitory?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 857-80, November.
  10. Danny Quah, 1987. "What Do We Learn from Unit Roots in Macroeconomic Time Series?," NBER Working Papers 2450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Stock, James H. & Watson, Mark W., 1986. "Does GNP have a unit root?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 22(2-3), pages 147-151.
  12. Fama, Eugene F. & Gibbons, Michael R., 1982. "Inflation, real returns and capital investment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 297-323.
  13. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, 1985. "Is Increased Price Flexibility Stabilizing?," NBER Working Papers 1686, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  15. Robert G. King & Charles I. Plosser & James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 1987. "Stochastic Trends and Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 2229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Clark, Peter K, 1987. "The Cyclical Component of U.S. Economic Activity," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 102(4), pages 797-814, November.
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