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Author:Bianchi, Francesco 

Working Paper
A Generalized Approach to Indeterminacy in Linear Rational Expectations Models
We propose a novel approach to deal with the problem of indeterminacy in Linear Rational Expectations models. The method consists of augmenting the original state space with a set of auxiliary exogenous equations to provide the adequate number of explosive roots in presence of indeterminacy. The solution in this expanded state space, if it exists, is always determinate, and is identical to the indeterminate solution of the original model. The proposed approach accommodates determinacy and any degree of indeterminacy, and it can be implemented even when the boundaries of the determinacy region are unknown. Thus, the researcher can estimate the model using standard packages without restricting the estimates to the determinacy region. We apply our method to estimate the New-Keynesian model with rational bubbles by Gal (2017) over the period 1982:Q4 until 2007:Q3. We find that the data support the presence of two degrees of indeterminacy, implying that the central bank was not reacting strongly enough to the bubble component.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Nicolo, Giovanni
DATE: 2019-05

Working Paper
A Generalized Approach to Indeterminacy in Linear Rational Expectations Models
We propose a novel approach to deal with the problem of indeterminacy in Linear Rational Expectations models. The method consists of augmenting the original state space with a set of auxiliary exogenous equations to provide the adequate number of explosive roots in presence of indeterminacy. The solution in this expanded state space, if it exists, is always determinate, and is identical to the indeterminate solution of the original model. The proposed approach accommodates determinacy and any degree of indeterminacy, and it can be implemented even when the boundaries of the determinacy region are unknown. Thus, the researcher can estimate the model using standard packages without restricting the estimates to the determinacy region. We apply our method to estimate the New-Keynesian model with rational bubbles by Gal (2017) over the period 1982:Q4 until 2007:Q3. We find that the data support the presence of two degrees of indeterminacy, implying that the central bank was not reacting strongly enough to the bubble component.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Nicolo, Giovanni
DATE: 2019-05

Working Paper
The Dire Effects of the Lack of Monetary and Fiscal Coordination
What happens if the government?s willingness to stabilize a large stock of debt is waning, while the central bank is adamant about preventing a rise in inflation? The large fiscal imbalance brings about inflationary pressures, triggering a monetary tightening, further debt accumulation, and additional inflationary pressure. Thus, the economy will go through a spiral of higher inflation, output contraction, and further debt accumulation. A coordinated commitment to inflate away the portion of debt resulting from a large recession leads to better macroeconomic outcomes by separating the issue of long-run fiscal sustainability from the need for short-run fiscal stabilization. This strategy can also be used to rule out episodes in which the central bank becomes constrained by the zero lower bound.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Melosi, Leonardo
DATE: 2017-07-06

Working Paper
Escaping the Great Recession
We show that policy uncertainty about how the rising public debt will be stabilized accounts for the lack of deflation in the US economy at the zero lower bound. We first estimate a Markov-switching VAR to highlight that a zero-lower-bound regime captures most of the comovements during the Great Recession: a deep recession, no deflation, and large fiscal imbalances. We then show that a micro-founded model that features policy uncertainty accounts for these stylized facts. Finally, we highlight that policy uncertainty arises at the zero lower bound because of a trade-off between mitigating the recession and preserving long-run macroeconomic stability.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Melosi, Leonardo
DATE: 2016-09-16

Working Paper
Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency
We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model to quantitatively assess the effects and welfare implications of central bank transparency. Monetary policy can deviate from active inflation stabilization and agents conduct Bayesian learning about the nature of these deviations. Under constrained discretion, only short deviations occur, agents? uncertainty about the macroeconomy remains contained, and welfare is high. However, if a deviation persists, uncertainty accelerates and welfare declines. Announcing the future policy course raises uncertainty in the short run by revealing that active inflation stabilization will be temporarily abandoned. However, this announcement reduces policy uncertainty and anchors inflationary beliefs at the end of the policy. For the U.S., enhancing transparency is found to increase welfare. The same result is found when we relax the assumption of perfectly credible announcements.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Melosi, Leonardo
DATE: 2016-10-16

Working Paper
Escaping the Great Recession
While high uncertainty is an inherent implication of the economy entering the zero lower bound, deflation is not, because agents are likely to be uncertain about the way policymakers will deal with the large stock of debt arising from a severe recession. We draw this conclusion based on a new-Keynesian model in which the monetary/fiscal policy mix can change over time and zero-lower-bound episodes are recurrent. Given that policymakers? behavior is constrained at the zero lower bound, beliefs about the exit strategy play a key role. Announcing a period of austerity is detrimental in the short run, but it preserves macroeconomic stability in the long run. A large recession can be avoided by abandoning fiscal discipline, but this results in a sharp increase in macroeconomic instability once the economy is out of the recession. Contradictory announcements by the fiscal and monetary authorities can lead to high inflation and large output losses. The policy trade-off can be resolved by committing to inflate away only the portion of debt resulting from an unusually large recession.
AUTHORS: Melosi, Leonardo; Bianchi, Francesco
DATE: 2014-08-01

Working Paper
Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency
We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model in which monetary policy can deviate from active inflation stabilization and agents face uncertainty about the nature of these deviations. When observing a deviation, agents conduct Bayesian learning to infer its likely duration. Under constrained discretion, only short deviations occur: Agents are confident about a prompt return to the active regime, macroeconomic uncertainty is low, welfare is high. However, if a deviation persists, agents? beliefs start drifting, uncertainty accelerates, and welfare declines. If the duration of the deviations is announced, uncertainty follows a reverse path. For the U.S. transparency lowers uncertainty and increases welfare.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Melosi, Leonardo
DATE: 2014-07-01

Working Paper
Modeling the Evolution of Expectations and Uncertainty in General Equilibrium
We develop methods to solve general equilibrium models in which forward-looking agents are subject to waves of pessimism, optimism, and uncertainty that turn out to critically affect macroeconomic outcomes. Agents in the model are fully rational, conduct Bayesian learning, and they know that they do not know. Therefore, agents take into account that their beliefs will evolve according to what they will observe. This framework accommodates both gradual and abrupt changes in beliefs and allows for an analytical characterization of uncertainty. Shocks to beliefs affect economic dynamics and uncertainty. We use a prototypical Real Business Cycle to illustrate the methods.
AUTHORS: Melosi, Leonardo; Bianchi, Francesco
DATE: 2013-09-01

Working Paper
Hitting the Elusive Inflation Target
Since the 2001 recession, average core inflation has been below the Federal Reserve?s 2% target. This deflationary bias is a predictable consequence of a low nominal interest rates environment in which the central bank follows a symmetric strategy to stabilize inflation. The deflationary bias increases if macroeconomic uncertainty rises or the natural real interest rate falls. An asymmetric rule according to which the central bank responds less aggressively to above-target inflation corrects the bias and allows inflation to converge to the central bank?s target. We show that adopting this asymmetric rule improves welfare and reduces the risk of self-fulfilling deflationary spirals. This approach does not entail any history dependence in setting the policy rate or any commitment to overshoot inflation after periods in which the lower bound constraint was binding.
AUTHORS: Bianchi, Francesco; Melosi, Leonardo; Rottner, Matthias
DATE: 2019-08-30

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