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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. William Branch & John Carlson & George W. Evans & Bruce McGough, 2006. "Monetary Policy, Endogenous Inattention, and the Volatility Trade-off," 2006 Meeting Papers 106, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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  19. Wieland, Volker, 2000. "Monetary policy, parameter uncertainty and optimal learning," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 199-228, August.
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  25. Bruce Preston, 2003. "Learning about monetary policy rules when long-horizon expectations matter," Working Paper 2003-18, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  26. Marco Del Negro & Frank Schorfheide, 2002. "Priors from general equilibrium models for VARs," Working Paper 2002-14, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
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  29. Wieland Volker, 2006. "Monetary Policy and Uncertainty about the Natural Unemployment Rate: Brainard-Style Conservatism versus Experimental Activism," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 6(1), pages 1-34, March.
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  38. Fabio Milani, 2005. "Expectations, Learning and Macroeconomic Persistence," Working Papers 050608, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
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