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Learning, Monetary Policy Rules, and Macroeconomic Stability

  • Fabio Milani

    (Princeton University)

This paper estimates a DSGE model with learning to re-examine the evidence on time variation in post-war U.S. monetary policy. Several papers document a regime switch, by showing that policy changed from `passive' and destabilizing in the pre-1979 period to `active' and stabilizing in the following decades. These papers typically work with DSGE models with rational expectations. This paper relaxes the assumption of rational expectations and it allows for learning instead. Economic agents form expectations from simple models and update the parameters through constant-gain learning. I estimate the model by Bayesian methods. The constant gain coefficient is jointly estimated with the structural and policy parameters of the system. I find that the feedback coefficient to inflation was well above 1 also in the 1960s and 1970s and therefore policy was not leading to macroeconomic instability. The results reconcile the evidence from DSGE models with what obtained by time-varying VAR studies, which typically find only modest changes in policy coefficients over the post-war sample.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/mac/papers/0508/0508019.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0508019.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 17 Aug 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0508019
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 43
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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  1. Giorgio Primiceri, 2005. "Why Inflation Rose and Fell: Policymakers' Beliefs and US Postwar Stabilization Policy," NBER Working Papers 11147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Volker Wieland, 1999. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 1999-48, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
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  18. Thomas Lubik & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Testing for Indeterminacy:An Application to U.S. Monetary Policy," Economics Working Paper Archive 480, The Johns Hopkins University,Department of Economics, revised Jun 2003.
  19. Bennett T. McCallum, 2000. "Role of the Minimal State Variable Criterion," NBER Working Papers 7087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Evans, George W. & Honkapohja, Seppo, 2002. "Monetary policy, expectations and commitment," Working Paper Series 0124, European Central Bank.
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  28. 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.
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  34. Bennett T. McCallum, . "Role of the minimal state variable criterion in rational expectations models," GSIA Working Papers 1999-13, Carnegie Mellon University, Tepper School of Business.
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