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Measuring the NAIRU with Reduced Uncertainty: A Multiple Indicator-Common Component Approach

  • Arabinda Basistha
  • Richard Startz

Standard estimates of the NAIRU or natural rate of unemployment are subject to considerable uncertainty. We show in this paper that using multiple indicators to extract an estimated NAIRU cuts in half uncertainty as measured by variance. The inclusion of an Okun’s Law relation is particularly valuable. We estimate the NAIRU as an unobserved component in a state-space model and show that using multiple indicators reduces both parametric uncertainty and filtering uncertainty. Additionally, our multivariate approach overcomes the “pile-up” problem observed by other investigators.

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Paper provided by University of Washington, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number UWEC-2004-22.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:udb:wpaper:uwec-2004-22
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  1. repec:cup:macdyn:v:6:y:2002:i:1:p:85-110 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Charles Nelson & Eric Zivot, 2000. "Why are Beveridge-Nelson and Unobserved-Component Decompositions of GDP so Different?," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 0692, Econometric Society.
  3. Laurence Ball & N Gregory Mankiw, 2002. "The NAIRU in Theory and Practice," Economics Working Paper Archive 475, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics.
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  8. Alexei Onatski & James H. Stock, 1999. "Robust monetary policy under model uncertainty in a small model of the U.S. economy," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  9. Athanasios Orphanides & Richard D. Porter & David Reifschneider & Robert Tetlow & Frederico Finan, 1999. "Errors in the measurement of the output gap and the design of monetary policy," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-45, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
  10. Chang-Jin Kim & Charles R. Nelson, 1999. "State-Space Models with Regime Switching: Classical and Gibbs-Sampling Approaches with Applications," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262112388, June.
  11. Lawrence H. Summers, 1986. "Why is the Unemployment Rate So Very High near Full Employment," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 17(2), pages 339-396.
  12. Robert J. Gordon, 1996. "The Time-Varying NAIRU and its Implications for Economic Policy," NBER Working Papers 5735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Kuttner, Kenneth N, 1994. "Estimating Potential Output as a Latent Variable," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 12(3), pages 361-68, July.
  14. Arturo Estrella & Frederic Mishkin, 1998. "Rethinking the role of NAIRU in monetary policy: implications of model formulation and uncertainty," Research Paper 9806, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1063-1070, November.
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  17. Apel, Mikael & Jansson, Per, 1999. "A theory-consistent system approach for estimating potential output and the NAIRU," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 64(3), pages 271-275, September.
  18. Glenn D. Rudebusch, 2001. "Is The Fed Too Timid? Monetary Policy In An Uncertain World," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 203-217, May.
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  24. Clark, Peter K., 1989. "Trend reversion in real output and unemployment," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 15-32, January.
  25. Salemi, Michael K, 1999. "Estimating the Natural Rate of Unemployment and Testing the Natural Rate Hypothesis," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 14(1), pages 1-25, Jan.-Feb..
  26. Hamilton, James D., 1986. "A standard error for the estimated state vector of a state-space model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 387-397, December.
  27. Giannoni, Marc P., 2002. "Does Model Uncertainty Justify Caution? Robust Optimal Monetary Policy In A Forward-Looking Model," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 6(01), pages 111-144, February.
  28. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1973. "Some International Evidence on Output-Inflation Tradeoffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(3), pages 326-34, June.
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  31. Thomas Laubach, 2001. "Measuring The NAIRU: Evidence From Seven Economies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 83(2), pages 218-231, May.
  32. Avery, Robert B., 1979. "Modeling monetary policy as an unobserved variable," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 291-311, August.
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