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Modeling the Evolution of Expectations and Uncertainty in General Equilibrium

Author

Listed:
  • Francesco Bianchi

    () (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Leonardo Melosi

    () (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Abstract

This paper develops methods to study the evolution of agents’ expectations and uncertainty in general equilibrium models. A central insight consists of recognizing that the evolution of agents' beliefs can be captured by defining a set of regimes that are characterized by the degree of agents' pessimism, optimism, and uncertainty about future equilibrium outcomes. Once this kind of structure is imposed, it is possible to create a mapping between the evolution of agents' beliefs and observable outcomes. Agents in the model are fully rational, conduct Bayesian learning, and they know that they do not know. Therefore, agents form expectations taking into account that their beliefs will evolve according to what they observe in the future. The new modeling framework accommodates both gradual and abrupt changes in agents' beliefs and allows an analytical characterization of uncertainty. Shocks to beliefs are shown to have both first-order and second-order effects. To illustrate how to apply the methods, we use a prototypical Real Business Cycle model in which households form beliefs about the likely duration of high-growth and low-growth regimes.

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Modeling the Evolution of Expectations and Uncertainty in General Equilibrium," PIER Working Paper Archive 13-042, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:13-042
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
    2. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 2003. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(1), pages 1-30, February.
    3. Troy Davig & Taeyoung Doh, 2014. "Monetary Policy Regime Shifts and Inflation Persistence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 862-875, December.
    4. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2018. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 187-202, March.
    5. Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone & Timothy Cogley, 2011. "Optimal Disinflation Under Learning," 2011 Meeting Papers 74, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2011. "Sources of macroeconomic fluctuations: A regime‐switching DSGE approach," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 2(2), pages 251-301, July.
    7. Frank Schorfheide, 2005. "Learning and Monetary Policy Shifts," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 392-419, April.
    8. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2006. "Were There Regime Switches in U.S. Monetary Policy?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 54-81, March.
    9. Francesco Bianchi, 2013. "Regime Switches, Agents' Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(2), pages 463-490.
    10. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2007. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 607-635, June.
    11. repec:oup:restud:v:84:y:2017:i:2:p:853-884. is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Leonardo Melosi, 2017. "Signalling Effects of Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(2), pages 853-884.
    13. Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Estimating Models with Dispersed Information," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 1-31, January.
    14. Farmer, Roger E.A. & Waggoner, Daniel F. & Zha, Tao, 2009. "Understanding Markov-switching rational expectations models," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(5), pages 1849-1867, September.
    15. Giorgio E. Primiceri, 2005. "Time Varying Structural Vector Autoregressions and Monetary Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(3), pages 821-852.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tao Zha & Juan F. Rubio-Ramirez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Andrew T. Foerster, 2010. "Perturbation Methods for Markov-Switching Models," 2010 Meeting Papers 239, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. repec:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:1:p:187-202 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Andrew Foerster & Juan F. Rubio‐Ramírez & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2016. "Perturbation methods for Markov‐switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 7(2), pages 637-669, July.
    4. Harrison, Richard, 2015. "Estimating the effects of forward guidance in rational expectations models," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 79(C), pages 196-213.
    5. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2018. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(1), pages 187-202, March.
    6. repec:eee:macchp:v2-1641 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Dormant Shocks and Fiscal Virtue," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(1), pages 1-46.
    8. Borovicka, J. & Hansen, L.P., 2016. "Term Structure of Uncertainty in the Macroeconomy," Handbook of Macroeconomics, Elsevier.
    9. Yu-Fu Chen & Michael Funke & Richhild Moessner, 2017. "Informal one-sided target zone model and the Swiss franc," BIS Working Papers 660, Bank for International Settlements.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Markov switching DSGE model; Bayesian econometrics; beliefs; uncertainty; Bayesian learning; rational expectations;

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy
    • E52 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - Monetary Policy

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