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Improving Monetary Policy Models

  • Christopher A. Sims

    (Princeton University and NBER)

If macroeconomic models are to be useful in policy-making, where uncertainty is pervasive, the models must be treated as probability models, whether formally or informally. Use of explicit probability models allows us to learn systematically from past mistakes, to integrate model-based uncertainty with uncertain subjective judgment, and to bind data-bassed forecasting together with theory-based projection of policy effects. Yet in the last few decades policy models at central banks have steadily shed any claims to being believable probability models of the data to which they are fit. Here we describe the current state of policy modeling, suggest some reasons why we have reached this state, and assess some promising directions for future progress.

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File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/ceps/workingpapers/128sims.pdf
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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 74.

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Date of creation: May 2006
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Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:128sims
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  1. Christopher A. Sims, 2001. "Fiscal consequences for Mexico of adopting the dollar," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, pages 597-625.
  2. Christopher A. Sims & Daniel F. Waggoner & Tao Zha, 2006. "Methods for inference in large multiple-equation Markov-switching models," Working Paper 2006-22, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Frank Smets & Raf Wouters, 2003. "An Estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Model of the Euro Area," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(5), pages 1123-1175, 09.
  4. Frank Schorfheide, 2000. "Loss function-based evaluation of DSGE models," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(6), pages 645-670.
  5. Sims, Christopher A & Uhlig, Harald, 1991. "Understanding Unit Rooters: A Helicopter Tour," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(6), pages 1591-99, November.
  6. Christopher A. Sims, 2004. "Econometrics for Policy Analysis: Progress and Regress," De Economist, Springer, vol. 152(2), pages 167-175, 06.
  7. Doepke, Matthias & Schneider, Martin, 2005. "Real Effects of Inflation Through the Redistribution of Nominal Wealth," CEPR Discussion Papers 5167, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Christopher A. Sims, 2002. "The Role of Models and Probabilities in the Monetary Policy Process," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 33(2), pages 1-62.
  9. Rochelle Edge & Michael Kiley & Jean-Philippe Laforte, 2005. "An estimated DSGE model of the US economy with an application to natural rate measures," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2004. "Priors from General Equilibrium Models for VARS," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 45(2), pages 643-673, 05.
  11. Pedro Alvarez-Lois & Richard Harrison & Laura Piscitelli & Alasdair Scott, 2005. "Taking DSGE models to the policy environment," Proceedings, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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