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Modeling the Evolution of Expectations and Uncertainty in General Equilibrium

  • Francesco Bianchi

    ()

    (Department of Economics, Duke University)

  • Leonardo Melosi

    ()

    (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

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.

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File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/13-042.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 13-042.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: 01 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:13-042
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  1. Francesco Bianchi & Leonardo Melosi, 2013. "Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency," Working Papers 13-13, Duke University, Department of Economics.
  2. Troy Davig & Eric M. Leeper, 2005. "Generalizing the Taylor Principle," NBER Working Papers 11874, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Timothy Cogley & Christian Matthes & Argia M. Sbordone, 2011. "Optimal disinflation under learning," Staff Reports 524, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  4. Leonardo Melosi, 2012. "Signaling effects of monetary policy," Working Paper Series WP-2012-05, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  5. Bianchi, Francesco, 2008. "Regime switches, Agents’ Beliefs, and Post-World War II U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics," MPRA Paper 24251, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 19 Jan 2010.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Nimark, Kristoffer, 2008. "Dynamic pricing and imperfect common knowledge," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 365-382, March.
  9. David Andolfatto & Paul Gomme, 1997. "Monetary Policy Regimes and Beliefs," Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers 48, CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal, revised Apr 2001.
  10. Christopher A. Sims & Tao Zha, 2004. "Were there regime switches in U.S. monetary policy?," Working Paper 2004-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Zheng Liu & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2010. "Sources of Macroeconomic Fluctuations: A Regime-switching DSGE Approach," Emory Economics 1002, Department of Economics, Emory University (Atlanta).
  14. Leonardo Melosi, 2014. "Estimating Models with Dispersed Information," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 1-31, January.
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