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Author:Arias, Jonas E. 

Working Paper
Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs

We present a general framework for Bayesian estimation and causality assessment in epidemiological models. The key to our approach is the use of sequential Monte Carlo methods to evaluate the likelihood of a generic epidemiological model. Once we have the likelihood, we specify priors and rely on a Markov chain Monte Carlo to sample from the posterior distribution. We show how to use the posterior simulation outputs as inputs for exercises in causality assessment. We apply our approach to Belgian data for the COVID-19 epidemic during 2020. Our estimated time-varying-parameters SIRD model ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-18

Working Paper
The Macroeconomic Risks of Undesirably Low Inflation

This paper investigates the macroeconomic risks associated with undesirably low inflation using a medium-sized New Keynesian model. We consider different causes of persistently low inflation, including a downward shift in long-run inflation expectations, a fall in nominal wage growth, and a favorable supply-side shock. We show that the macroeconomic effects of persistently low inflation depend crucially on its underlying cause, as well as on the extent to which monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound. Finally, we discuss policy options to mitigate these effects.
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1162

Working Paper
Inference in Bayesian Proxy-SVARs

Motivated by the increasing use of external instruments to identify structural vector autoregressions SVARs), we develop algorithms for exact finite sample inference in this class of time series models, commonly known as proxy SVARs. Our algorithms make independent draws from the normal-generalized-normal family of conjugate posterior distributions over the structural parameterization of a proxy-SVAR. Importantly, our techniques can handle the case of set identification and hence they can be used to relax the additional exclusion restrictions unrelated to the external instruments often ...
Working Papers , Paper 18-25/R

Working Paper
Inference Based on SVARs Identified with Sign and Zero Restrictions: Theory and Applications

Are optimism shocks an important source of business cycle fluctuations? Are deficit-financed tax cuts better than deficit-financed spending to increase output? These questions have been previously studied using SVARs identified with sign and zero restrictions and the answers have been positive and definite in both cases. While the identification of SVARs with sign and zero restrictions is theoretically attractive because it allows the researcher to remain agnostic with respect to the responses of the key variables of interest, we show that current implementation of these techniques does not ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1100

Working Paper
The Systematic Component of Monetary Policy in SVARs: An Agnostic Identification Procedure

Following Leeper, Sims, and Zha (1996), we identify monetary policy shocks in SVARs by restricting the systematic component of monetary policy. In particular, we impose sign and zero restrictions only on the monetary policy equation. Since we do not restrict the response of output to a monetary policy shock, we are agnostic in Uhlig's (2005) sense. But, in contrast to Uhlig (2005), our results support the conventional view that a monetary policy shock leads to a decline in output. Hence, our results show that the contractionary effects of monetary policy shocks do not hinge on questionable ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1131

Journal Article
Tracking Business Conditions in Delaware

To meet the need for a gauge of current regional conditions at high frequency, we have built a real-time daily index to monitor business conditions in Delaware. What are the current conditions in the First State? How have these conditions evolved since the 1990s?
Economic Insights , Volume 3 , Issue 4 , Pages 1-7

Working Paper
Monetary Policy, Trend Inflation and the Great Moderation: An Alternative Interpretation - Comment

Working with a small-scale calibrated New-Keynesian model, Coibion and Gorodnichenko (2011) find that the reduction in trend inflation during Volcker's mandate was a key factor behind the Great Moderation. We revisit this finding with an estimated New-Keynesian model with trend inflation and no indexation based on Christiano, Eichenbaum and Evans (2005). First, our simulations confirm Coibion and Gorodnichenko's (2011) main finding. Second, we show that a trend inflation-immune Taylor rule based on economic theory can avoid indeterminacy even at high levels of trend inflation such as those ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1127

Working Paper
Uniform Priors for Impulse Responses

There has been a call for caution when using the conventional method for Bayesian inference in set-identified structural vector autoregressions on the grounds that the uniform prior over the set of orthogonal matrices could be nonuniform for key objects of interest. This paper challenges this call. Although the prior distributions of individual impulse responses induced by the conventional method may be nonuniform, they typically do not drive the posteriors if one does not condition on the reduced-form parameters. Importantly, when the focus is on joint inference, the uniform prior over the ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-30

Working Paper
Inference in Bayesian Proxy-SVARs

Motivated by the increasing use of external instruments to identify structural vector autoregressions (SVARs), we develop algorithms for exact finite sample inference in this class of time series models, commonly known as proxy-SVARs. Our algorithms make independent draws from the normal-generalized-normal family of conjugate posterior distributions over the structural parameterization of a proxy-SVAR. Importantly, our techniques can handle the case of set identification and hence they can be used to relax the additional exclusion restrictions unrelated to the external instruments often ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-16

Journal Article
The Economic Effects of Changes in Personal Income Tax Rates

We apply an empirical perspective to understand the macroeconomic consequences of changes in personal income taxes.
Economic Insights , Volume 6 , Issue 3 , Pages 10-17

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