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Fortune or Virtue: Time-Variant Volatilities Versus Parameter Drifting in U.S. Data

  • Jesús Fernández-Villaverde

    ()

    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

  • Pablo Guerrón-Quintana

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia)

  • Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Duke University)

This paper compares the role of stochastic volatility versus changes in monetary policy rules in accounting for the time-varying volatility of U.S. aggregate data. Of special interest to us is understanding the sources of the great moderation of business cycle fluctuations that the U.S. economy experienced between 1984 and 2007. To explore this issue, we build a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with both stochastic volatility and parameter drifting in the Taylor rule and we estimate it non-linearly using U.S. data and Bayesian methods. Methodologically, we show how to confront such a rich model with the data by exploiting the structure of the high-order approximation to the decision rules that characterize the equilibrium of the economy. Our main empirical findings are: 1) even after controlling for stochastic volatility (and there is a fair amount of it), there is overwhelming evidence of changes in monetary policy during the analyzed period; 2) however, these changes in monetary policy mattered little for the great moderation; 3) most of the great performance of the U.S. economy during the 1990s was a result of good shocks; and 4) the response of monetary policy to inflation under Burns, Miller, and Greenspan was similar, while it was much higher under Volcker.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/10-015.pdf
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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 10-015.

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Length: 73 pages
Date of creation: 15 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:10-015
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  1. Jordi Gali & Luca Gambetti, 2008. "On the Sources of the Great Moderation," NBER Working Papers 14171, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Fermanian, Jean-David & Salani , Bernard, 2004. "A Nonparametric Simulated Maximum Likelihood Estimation Method," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(04), pages 701-734, August.
  3. Giorgio Primiceri & Alejandro Justiniano, 2006. "The Time Varying Volatility of Macroeconomic Fluctuations," 2006 Meeting Papers 353, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. James H. Stock & Mark W. Watson, 2003. "Has the Business Cycle Changed and Why?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2002, Volume 17, pages 159-230 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," NBER Working Papers 11874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Roger E. A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Indeterminacy in a Forward Looking Regime Switching Model," NBER Working Papers 12540, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter J. Klenow & Benjamin A. Malin, 2010. "Microeconomic Evidence on Price-Setting," NBER Working Papers 15826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Koop, Gary & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Potter, Simon M., 1996. "Impulse response analysis in nonlinear multivariate models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 119-147, September.
  9. Jesús Fernández-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez, 2007. "How Structural Are Structural Parameters?," NBER Working Papers 13166, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kim, Sangjoon & Shephard, Neil & Chib, Siddhartha, 1998. "Stochastic Volatility: Likelihood Inference and Comparison with ARCH Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 361-93, July.
  11. Francesco Bianchi, 2012. "Regime Switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Working Papers 12-04, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  12. S. Boragan Aruoba & Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez, 2003. "Comparing Solution Methods for Dynamic Equilibrium Economies," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-003, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  13. Roger E.A. Farmer & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2008. "Minimal state variable solutions to Markov-switching rational expectations models," Working Paper 2008-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  14. Jesus Fernandez-Villaverde & Pablo Guerron-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez & Martin Uribe, 2009. "Risk Matters: The Real Effects of Volatility Shocks," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-013, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  15. Fabio Canova & Luca Gambetti, 2003. "Structural changes in the US economy: is there a role for monetary policy?," Economics Working Papers 918, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2008.
  16. Roger E.A. Farmer & Tao Zha & Daniel F. Waggoner, 2009. "Understanding Markov-Switching Rational Expectations Models," NBER Working Papers 14710, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Jesus Fernández-Villaverde & Pablo Guerrón-Quintana & Juan F. Rubio-Ramírez., 2010. "Reading the recent monetary history of the U.S., 1959-2007," Working Papers 10-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  18. Valerie A. Ramey & Daniel J. Vine, 2005. "Declining Volatility in the U.S. Automobile Industry," NBER Working Papers 11596, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  20. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Jes�s Fern�ndez-Villaverde & Juan F. Rubio-Ram�rez, 2007. "Estimating Macroeconomic Models: A Likelihood Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1059-1087.
  22. Rochelle M. Edge & Michael T. Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2007. "Documentation of the Research and Statistics Division’s estimated DSGE model of the U.S. economy: 2006 version," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2007-53, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  23. Fernandez-Villaverde, Jesus & Rubio-Ramirez, Juan F., 2006. "Solving DSGE models with perturbation methods and a change of variables," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 30(12), pages 2509-2531, December.
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