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 ...
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.
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 ...
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 ...
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 ...
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?
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 ...
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 ...
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.
POSITIVE TREND INFLATION AND DETERMINACY IN A MEDIUM-SIZED NEW KEYNESIAN MODEL
This paper studies the challenge that increasing the inflation target poses to equilibrium determinacy in a medium-sized New Keynesian model without indexation fitted to the Great Moderation era. For moderate targets of the inflation rate, such as 2 or 4 percent, the probability of determinacy is near one conditional on the monetary policy rule of the estimated model. However, this probability drops significantly conditional on model-free estimates of the monetary policy rule based on real-time data. The difference is driven by the larger response of the federal funds rate to the output gap ...