DSGE forecasts of the lost recovery
The years following the Great Recession were challenging for forecasters. Unlike other deep downturns, this recession was not followed by a swift recovery, but generated a sizable and persistent output gap that was not accompanied by deflation as a traditional Phillips curve relationship would have predicted. Moreover, the zero lower bound and unconventional monetary policy generated an unprecedented policy environment. We document the real real-time forecasting performance of the New York Fed dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model during this period and explain the results using ...
Why Are Interest Rates So Low?
In a recent series of blog posts, the former Chairman of the Federal Reserve System, Ben Bernanke, has asked the question: 'Why are interest rates so low?' (See part 1, part 2, and part 3.) He refers, of course, to the fact that the U.S. government is able to borrow at an annualized rate of around 2 percent for ten years, or around 3 percent for thirty years. If you expect that inflation is going to be on average 2 percent over the next ten or thirty years, this implies that the U.S. government can borrow at real rates of interest between 0 and 1 percent at the ten- and thirty-year ...
Fiscal Implications of the Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet Normalization
The paper surveys the recent literature on the fiscal implications of central bank balance sheets, with a special focus on political economy issues. It then presents the results of simulations that describe the effects of different scenarios for the Federal Reserve's longer-run balance sheet on its earnings remittances to the U.S. Treasury and, more broadly, on the government's overall fiscal position. We find that reducing longer-run reserve balances from $2.3 trillion (roughly the current amount) to $1 trillion reduces the likelihood of posting a quarterly net loss in the future from 30 ...
Central Bank Solvency and Inflation
The monetary base in the United States, defined as currency plus bank reserves, grew from about $800 billion in 2008 to $2 trillion in 2012, and to roughly $4 trillion at the end of 2014 (see chart below). Some commentators have viewed this increase in the monetary base as a sure harbinger of inflation. For example, one economist wrote that this “unprecedented expansion of the money supply could make the ’70s look benign.” These predictions of inflation rest on the monetarist argument that nominal income is proportional to the money supply. The fact that the money supply has expanded ...
Forecasting with the FRBNY DSGE Model
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) has built a DSGE model as part of its efforts to forecast the U.S. economy. On Liberty Street Economics, we are publishing a weeklong series to provide some background on the model and its use for policy analysis and forecasting, as well as its forecasting performance. In this post, we briefly discuss what DSGE models are, explain their usefulness as a forecasting tool, and preview the forthcoming pieces in this series.
Online Estimation of DSGE Models
This paper illustrates the usefulness of sequential Monte Carlo (SMC) methods in approximating DSGE model posterior distributions. We show how the tempering schedule can be chosen adaptively, explore the benefits of an SMC variant we call generalized tempering for ?online? estimation, and provide examples of multimodal posteriors that are well captured by SMC methods. We then use the online estimation of the DSGE model to compute pseudo-out-of-sample density forecasts of DSGE models with and without financial frictions and document the benefits of conditioning DSGE model forecasts on nowcasts ...
The paper studies a fiscal policy instrument that can reduce fiscal distortions without affecting revenues, in a politically viable way. The instrument is a private contract (tax buyout), offered by the government to each citizen, whereby the citizen can choose to pay a fixed price in exchange for a given reduction in her tax rate for a period of time. We introduce the tax buyout in a dynamic overlapping generations economy, calibrated to match several features of the US income, taxes and wealth distribution. Under simple pricing, the introduction of the buyout is revenue neutral but, by ...
Asymmetric shocks among U.S. states
This paper applies a factor model to the study of risk sharing among U.S. states. The factor model makes it possible to disentangle movements in output and consumption due to national, regional, or state-specific business cycles from those due to measurement error. The results of the paper suggest that some findings of the previous literature which indicate a substantial amount of interstate risk sharing may be due to the presence of measurement error in output. When measurement error is properly taken into account, the evidence points towards a lack of interstate smoothing.
DSGE model-based forecasting
Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models use modern macroeconomic theory to explain and predict comovements of aggregate time series over the business cycle and to perform policy analysis. We explain how to use DSGE models for all three purposes?forecasting, story telling, and policy experiments?and review their forecasting record. We also provide our own real-time assessment of the forecasting performance of the Smets and Wouters (2007) model data up to 2011, compare it with Blue Chip and Greenbook forecasts, and show how it changes as we augment the standard set of observables ...
Has monetary policy been so bad that it is better to get rid of it? the case of Mexico
Motivated by the dollarization debate in Mexico, we estimate an identified vector autoregression for the Mexican economy using monthly data from 1976 to 1997, taking into account the changes in the monetary policy regime which occurred during this period. We find that 1) exogenous shocks to monetary policy have had no impact on output and prices, 2) most of the shocks originated in the foreign sector, 3) disturbances originating in the U.S. economy have been a more important source of fluctuations for Mexico than shocks to oil prices. We also study the endogenous response of domestic monetary ...