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Learning and judgment shocks in U.S. business cycles

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  • Murray, James

Abstract

This paper examines the role of judgment shocks in combination with other structural shocks in explaining post-war economic volatility within the context of a New Keynesian model. Agents form expectations using constant gain learning then augment these forecasts with judgment. These judgments may be interpreted as a reaction to current news stories or policy announcements that would influence people's expectations. I allow for the possibility that these judgments be informatively based on information about structural shocks, but judgment itself may also be subject to its own stochastic shocks. I estimate a standard New Keynesian model that includes these shocks using Bayesian simulation methods. To aid in identifying expectational shocks from other structural shocks I include data on professional forecasts along with data on output gap, inflation, and interest rates. I find judgment is largely not informed by macroeconomic fundamentals; most of the variability in judgment is explained by its own stochastic shocks. Impulse response functions from the estimated model illustrate how shocks to judgment destabilize the economy and explain business cycle fluctuations.

Suggested Citation

  • Murray, James, 2011. "Learning and judgment shocks in U.S. business cycles," MPRA Paper 29257, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:29257
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Learning; judgment; add-factors; New Keynesian model; Metropolis-Hastings;

    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • E50 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit - - - General

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