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Inference in Structural Vector Autoregressions When the Identifying Assumptions are Not Fully Believed: Re-evaluating the Role of Monetary Policy in Economic Fluctuations

Author

Listed:
  • Christiane Baumeister
  • James D. Hamilton

Abstract

Reporting point estimates and error bands for structural vector autoregressions that are only set identified is a very common practice. However, unless the researcher is persuaded on the basis of prior information that some parameter values are more plausible than others, this common practice has no formal justification. When the role and reliability of prior information is defended, Bayesian posterior probabilities can be used to form an inference that incorporates doubts about the identifying assumptions. We illustrate how prior information can be used about both structural coefficients and the impacts of shocks, and propose a new distribution, which we call the asymmetric t distribution, for incorporating prior beliefs about the signs of equilibrium impacts in a nondogmatic way. We apply these methods to a three-variable macroeconomic model and conclude that monetary policy shocks were not the major driver of output, inflation, or interest rates during the Great Moderation.

Suggested Citation

  • Christiane Baumeister & James D. Hamilton, 2018. "Inference in Structural Vector Autoregressions When the Identifying Assumptions are Not Fully Believed: Re-evaluating the Role of Monetary Policy in Economic Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 24597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:24597
    Note: EFG ME
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Knut Are Aastveit & Hilde C. Bjørnland & Jamie L. Cross, 2020. "Inflation expectations and the pass-through of oil prices," CAMA Working Papers 2020-64, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    2. Hristov, Nikolay & Hülsewig, Oliver & Wollmershäuser, Timo, 2020. "Capital flows in the euro area and TARGET2 balances," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 113(C).
    3. Martin Geiger & Jochen Güntner, 2019. "How are oil supply shocks transmitted to the U.S. economy?," Economics working papers 2019-13, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
    4. Michael T. Belongia & Peter N. Ireland, 2016. "A Classical View of the Business Cycle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 921, Boston College Department of Economics.
    5. Baumeister, Christiane & Hamilton, James, 2020. "Advances in Structural Vector Autoregressions with Imperfect Identifying Information," CEPR Discussion Papers 14603, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    6. Christian Grisse, 2020. "The effect of monetary policy on the Swiss franc: an SVAR approach," Working Papers 2020-02, Swiss National Bank.
    7. Geiger, Martin & Scharler, Johann, 2019. "How do consumers assess the macroeconomic effects of oil price fluctuations? Evidence from U.S. survey data," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 62(C).
    8. Atsushi Inoue & Lutz Kilian, 2020. "Joint Bayesian Inference about Impulse Responses in VAR Models," Working Papers 2022, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
    9. Antonio M. Conti & Elisa Guglielminetti & Marianna Riggi, 2019. "Labour productivity and the wageless recovery," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 1257, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    10. Baumeister, Christiane & Hamilton, James, 2020. "Drawing Conclusions from Structural Vector Autoregressions Identified on the Basis of Sign Restrictions," CEPR Discussion Papers 14271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Doga Bilgin & Reinhard Ellwanger, 2019. "The Simple Economics of Global Fuel Consumption," Staff Working Papers 19-35, Bank of Canada.
    12. Rüth, Sebastian K., 2019. "Shifts in Monetary Policy and Exchange Rate Dynamics: Is Dornbusch's Overshooting Hypothesis Intact, After all?," Working Papers 0673, University of Heidelberg, Department of Economics.
    13. Hristov, Nikolay & Hülsewig, Oliver & Scharler, Johann, 2020. "Unconventional monetary policy shocks in the euro area and the sovereign-bank nexus," Discussion Papers 19/2020, Deutsche Bundesbank.
    14. Oliver Morrissey & Lars Spreng, 2020. "Macroeconomic management on becoming an African oil exporter," Discussion Papers 2020-03, University of Nottingham, CREDIT.
    15. Oliver Hülsewig & Johann Scharler, 2020. "The Euro Area Periphery Sovereigns' Fiscal Positions and Unconventional Monetary Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 8041, CESifo.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C11 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Bayesian Analysis: General
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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