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Modelling Inflation Volatility

Listed author(s):
  • Eric Eisenstat

    ()

    (University of Bucharest, Romania; RIMIR)

  • Rodney Strachan

    ()

    (School of Economics, and Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, University of Queensland; The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis, Italy)

This paper discusses estimation of US inflation volatility using time varying parameter models, in particular whether it should be modelled as a stationary or random walk stochastic process. Specifying inflation volatility as an unbounded process, as implied by the random walk, conflicts with priors beliefs, yet a stationary process cannot capture the low frequency behaviour commonly observed in estimates of volatility. We therefore propose an alternative model with a change-point process in the volatility that allows for switches between stationary models to capture changes in the level and dynamics over the past forty years. To accommodate the stationarity restriction, we develop a new representation that is equivalent to our model but is computationally more efficient. All models produce effectively identical estimates of volatility, but the change-point model provides more information on the level and persistence of volatility and the probabilities of changes. For example, we find a few well defined switches in the volatility process and, interestingly, these switches line up well with economic slowdowns or changes of the Federal Reserve Chair. Moreover, a decomposition of inflation shocks into permanent and transitory components shows that a spike in volatility in the late 2000s was entirely on the transitory side and a characterized by a rise above its long run mean level during a period of higher persistence.

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File URL: http://www.rcea.org/RePEc/pdf/wp43_14.pdf
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Paper provided by The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis in its series Working Paper Series with number 43_14.

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Date of creation: Dec 2014
Handle: RePEc:rim:rimwps:43_14
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  1. Timothy Cogley & Thomas J. Sargent, 2005. "Drift and Volatilities: Monetary Policies and Outcomes in the Post WWII U.S," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 8(2), pages 262-302, April.
  2. Koop, Gary & Leon-Gonzalez, Roberto & Strachan, Rodney W., 2010. "Dynamic Probabilities of Restrictions in State Space Models: An Application to the Phillips Curve," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(3), pages 370-379.
  3. Grassi Stefano & Proietti Tommaso, 2010. "Has the Volatility of U.S. Inflation Changed and How?," Journal of Time Series Econometrics, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-22, September.
  4. Chan, Joshua C.C., 2013. "Moving average stochastic volatility models with application to inflation forecast," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 176(2), pages 162-172.
  5. Joshua C. C. Chan & Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2013. "A New Model of Trend Inflation," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 94-106, January.
  6. Sangjoon Kim & Neil Shephard & Siddhartha Chib, 1998. "Stochastic Volatility: Likelihood Inference and Comparison with ARCH Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(3), pages 361-393.
  7. Ang, Andrew & Bekaert, Geert & Wei, Min, 2007. "Do macro variables, asset markets, or surveys forecast inflation better?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(4), pages 1163-1212, May.
  8. McCausland, William J. & Miller, Shirley & Pelletier, Denis, 2011. "Simulation smoothing for state-space models: A computational efficiency analysis," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(1), pages 199-212, January.
  9. Chan, Joshua & Strachan, Rodney, 2012. "Estimation in Non-Linear Non-Gaussian State Space Models with Precision-Based Methods," MPRA Paper 39360, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Stern, Steven, 1992. "A Method for Smoothing Simulated Moments of Discrete Probabilities in Multinomial Probit Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(4), pages 943-952, July.
  11. Gary Koop & Simon M. Potter, 2007. "Estimation and Forecasting in Models with Multiple Breaks," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(3), pages 763-789.
  12. Jan J. J. Groen & Richard Paap & Francesco Ravazzolo, 2013. "Real-Time Inflation Forecasting in a Changing World," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 29-44, January.
  13. 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.
  14. Antonello D'Agostino & Luca Gambetti & Domenico Giannone, 2013. "Macroeconomic forecasting and structural change," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 82-101, January.
  15. Berg, Andreas & Meyer, Renate & Yu, Jun, 2004. "Deviance Information Criterion for Comparing Stochastic Volatility Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22(1), pages 107-120, January.
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