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Author:Clark, Todd E. 

Working Paper
Small sample properties of estimators of non-linear models of covariance structure

This study examines the small sample properties of GMM and ML estimators of non-linear models of covariance structure. The study focuses on the properties of parameter estimates and the Hansen (1982) and Newey (1985) model specification test. It use Monte Carlo simulations to consider the properties of estimates for some simple factor models, the Hall and Mishkin (1982) model of consumption and income changes, and a simple Bernanke (1986) decomposition model. This analysis establishes and seeks to explain a number of results. Most importantly, optimally weighted GMM estimation yields some ...
Research Working Paper , Paper 95-01

Working Paper
Disaggregate evidence on the persistence of consumer price inflation

This paper uses disaggregate inflation data spanning all of consumption to examine: (i) the persistence of disaggregate inflation relative to aggregate inflation; (ii) the distribution of persistence across consumption sectors; and (iii) whether persistence has changed. Assuming mean inflation to be unchanged within samples, the average persistence of disaggregate inflation is consistently below aggregate persistence. Taking into account an early 1990s shift in mean inflation identified by break tests?including tests applied to systems of disaggregate equations?yields much lower estimates of ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 03-11

Working Paper
Reality checks and nested forecast model comparisons

This paper develops a novel and effective bootstrap method for simulating asymptotic critical values for tests of equal forecast accuracy and encompassing among many nested models. The bootstrap, which combines elements of fixed regressor and wild bootstrap methods, is simple to use. We first derive the asymptotic distributions of tests of equal forecast accuracy and encompassing applied to forecasts from multiple models that nest the benchmark model ? that is, reality check tests applied to nested models. We then prove the validity of the bootstrap for these tests. Monte Carlo experiments ...
Working Papers , Paper 2010-032

Working Paper
Estimating equilibrium real interest rates in real time

We use a range of simple models and 22 years of real-time data vintages for the U.S. to assess the difficulties of estimating the equilibrium real interest rate in real time. Model specifications differ according to whether the time-varying equilibrium real rate is linked to trend growth, and whether potential output and growth are defined by the CBO's estimates or treated as unobserved variables. Our results reveal a high degree of specification uncertainty, an important one-sided filtering problem, and considerable imprecision due to data uncertainty. Also, the link between trend growth and ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 04-08

Working Paper
Approximately normal tests for equal predictive accuracy in nested models

Forecast evaluation often compares a parsimonious null model to a larger model that nests the null model. Under the null that the parsimonious model generates the data, the larger model introduces noise into its forecasts by estimating parameters whose population values are zero. We observe that the mean squared prediction error (MSPE) from the parsimonious model is therefore expected to be smaller than that of the larger model. We describe how to adjust MSPEs to account for this noise. We propose applying standard methods (West (1996)) to test whether the adjusted mean squared error ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 05-05

Working Paper
Constructing Fan Charts from the Ragged Edge of SPF Forecasts

We develop a model that permits the estimation of a term structure of both expectations and forecast uncertainty for application to professional forecasts such as the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). Our approach exactly replicates a given data set of predictions from the SPF (or a similar forecast source) without measurement error. Our model captures fixed horizon and fixed-event forecasts, and can accommodate changes in the maximal forecast horizon available from the SPF. The model casts a decomposition of multi-period forecast errors into a sequence of forecast updates that may be ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-36

Working Paper
Averaging forecasts from VARs with uncertain instabilities

A body of recent work suggests commonly?used VAR models of output, inflation, and interest rates may be prone to instabilities. In the face of such instabilities, a variety of estimation or forecasting methods might be used to improve the accuracy of forecasts from a VAR. These methods include using different approaches to lag selection, different observation windows for estimation, (over-) differencing, intercept correction, stochastically time?varying parameters, break dating, discounted least squares, Bayesian shrinkage, and detrending of inflation and interest rates. Although each ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 06-12

Working Paper
The predictive content of the output gap for inflation : resolving in-sample and out-of-sample evidence

This paper sifts through potential explanations for the weakness of the existing out-of-sample evidence on the Phillips curve relative to the in-sample evidence, focusing on models relating inflation to the output gap. The out-of-sample evidence could be weaker because, even when the models are stable over time, out-of-sample metrics are less powerful than the usual in-sample Granger causality tests. The weakness of the out-of-sample evidence could also be due to model instability?shifts in the coefficients or residual variance of the inflation-output gap model. This paper evaluates these ...
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 03-06

Journal Article
Is the Great Moderation over? an empirical analysis

The economy of the United States was markedly less volatile in the past two to three decades than in prior periods. The nation enjoyed long economic expansions in each of the last three decades, interrupted by recessions in 1990-91 and 2001 that were mild by historical standards. While it has proven difficult to conclusively pinpoint the causes of the reduced volatility, candidates include structural changes in the economy, better monetary policy, and smaller shocks (good luck). Many economists and policymakers came to view lower volatility--the Great Moderation--as likely to be permanent. ; ...
Economic Review , Volume 94 , Issue Q IV , Pages 5-42


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