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Consistent Expectations, Rational Expectations, Multiple-Solution Indeterminacies, and Least-Squares Learnability

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  • Bennett T. McCallum

Abstract

After some historical discussion of the rational expectations (RE) solution procedures of John Muth, Alan Walters, and Robert Lucas, this paper considers the relevance for actual economies of issues stemming from the existence of multiple RE equilibria. In all linear models, the minimum state variable (MSV) solution as defined by the author (JME, 1983) is unique by construction. While it might be argued that the MSV solution warrants special status as the bubble-free solution, the focus in this paper is on its adaptive, least-squares learnability by individual agents, as discussed extensively in important recent publications by George Evans and Seppo Honkapohja. Although the MSV solution is learnable and the main alternatives are not, in most standard models, Evans and Honkapohja have stressed an example in which the opposite is true. The present paper shows, however, that parameter values yielding that result are such that the model is not well formulated, in a specified sense (one that avoids implausible discontinuities). More generally, analysis of a pair of prominent univariate specifications, featured by Evans and Honkapohja, shows that the MSV solution is invariably learnable in these structures, if they are well formulated.

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  • Bennett T. McCallum, 2002. "Consistent Expectations, Rational Expectations, Multiple-Solution Indeterminacies, and Least-Squares Learnability," NBER Working Papers 9218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9218
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    Cited by:

    1. Eran Guse, 2004. "Learning with Heterogeneous Expectations in an Evolutionary World," Computing in Economics and Finance 2004 99, Society for Computational Economics.
    2. Martin ZUMPE (GREThA UMR CNRS 5113), 2010. "Monetary Policy Rules, Learning and Stability: a Survey of the Recent Literature (In French)," Cahiers du GREThA 2010-01, Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée.
    3. Bennett T. Mccallum, 2003. "Is The Fiscal Theory of the Price Level Learnable?," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 50(5), pages 634-649, November.
    4. Bennett T. McCallum, 2002. "The Unique Minimum State Variable RE Soluiton is E-Stable in All Well Formulated Linear Models," GSIA Working Papers 2003-25, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
    5. Orlando Gomes, . "Volatility, Heterogeneous Agents and Chaos," The Electronic Journal of Evolutionary Modeling and Economic Dynamics, IFReDE - Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • E00 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - General

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