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Author:Arias, Jonas E. 

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

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
Alternative Strategies: How Do They Work? How Might They Help?

Several structural developments in the U.S. economy—including lower neutral interest rates and a flatter Phillips curve—have challenged the ability of the current monetary policy framework to deliver on the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) dual-mandate goals. This paper explores whether makeup strategies, in which policymakers seek to stabilize average inflation around the inflation target over some horizon, could strengthen the FOMC’s ability to fulfill its dual mandate. The quantitative analysis discussed here suggests that credible makeup strategies may provide some moderate ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-068

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

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

Journal Article
Tracking U.S. Real GDP Growth During the Pandemic

During this fast-moving pandemic, it's vital that policymakers can rely on real-time estimates of real GDP growth. Jonas Arias and Minchul Shin show us how it's done.
Economic Insights , Volume 5 , Issue 3 , Pages 9-14

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 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
Inference in Bayesian Proxy-SVARs

Motivated by the increasing use of external instruments to identify structural vector autoregressions (SVARs), we develop an algorithm for exact finite sample inference in this class of time series models, commonly known as Proxy-SVARs. Our algorithm makes independent draws from any posterior distribution over the structural parameterization of a Proxy-SVAR. Our approach allows researchers to simultaneously use proxies and traditional zero and sign restrictions to identify structural shocks. We illustrate our methods with two applications. In particular, we show how to generalize the ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2018-16a

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

In this paper, we develop algorithms to independently draw from a family of conjugate posterior distributions over the structural parameterization when sign and zero restrictions are used to identify SVARs. We call this family of conjugate posterior distributions normal-generalized-normal. Our algorithms draw from a conjugate uniform-normal-inverse-Wishart posterior over the orthogonal reduced-form parameterization and transform the draws into the structural parameterization; this transformation induces a normal-generalized-normal posterior distribution over the structural parameterization. ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2014-1

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