Macroeconomic Forecasting in Times of Crises
We propose a parsimonious semiparametric method for macroeconomic forecasting during episodes of sudden changes. Based on the notion of clustering and similarity, we partition the time series into blocks, search for the closest blocks to the most recent block of observations, and with the matched blocks we proceed to forecast. One possibility is to compare local means across blocks, which captures the idea of matching directional movements of a series. We show that our approach does particularly well during the Great Recession and for variables such as inflation, unemployment, and real ...
Estimating dynamic equilibrium models with stochastic volatility
We propose a novel method to estimate dynamic equilibrium models with stochastic volatility. First, we characterize the properties of the solution to this class of models. Second, we take advantage of the results about the structure of the solution to build a sequential Monte Carlo algorithm to evaluate the likelihood function of the model. The approach, which exploits the profusion of shocks in stochastic volatility models, is versatile and computationally tractable even in large-scale models, such as those often employed by policy-making institutions. As an application, we use our algorithm ...
Dynamics of investment, debt, and default
How does physical capital accumulation affect the decision to default in developing small open economies? We find that, conditional on a level of foreign indebtedness, more capital improves the sovereign?s ability to meet its obligations, reducing the likelihood of default and the risk premium. This effect, however, is diminishing in the stock of capital because capital also tames the severity of the contraction following default, making autarky more appealing. Access to long-term debt and costly capital adjustment are crucial for matching business cycles. Our quantitative model delivers ...
Fiscal volatility shocks and economic activity
The authors study the effects of changes in uncertainty about future fiscal policy on aggregate economic activity. Fiscal deficits and public debt have risen sharply in the wake of the financial crisis. While these developments make fiscal consolidation inevitable, there is considerable uncertainty about the policy mix and timing of such budgetary adjustment. To evaluate the consequences of this increased uncertainty, the authors first estimate tax and spending processes for the U.S. that allow for time-varying volatility. They then feed these processes into an otherwise standard New ...
Common factors in small open economies: inference and consequences
Inference about common international stochastic trends and interest rates is gained using a small open economy model, data from seven developed countries, and Bayesian methods. Shocks to these common factors explain up to 17 percent of the variability of output in several economies. Country-specific preference and premium disturbances account for the bulk of the volatility observed in the data. There is substantial heterogeneity in the estimated structural parameters as well as stochastic processes for the countries in the sample. This diversity translates into a rich array of impulse ...
Common and idiosyncratic disturbances in developed small open economies
Using an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model, I show that shocks to a common international stochastic trend explain on average about 10% of the variability of output in several small developed economies. These shocks explain roughly twice as much of the volatility of consumption growth as the volatility of output growth. Country-speci c disturbances account for the bulk of the volatility in the data. Substantial heterogeneity in the estimated parameters and stochastic processes translates into a rich array of impulse responses across countries.
The implications of inflation in an estimated New-Keynesian model
This paper studies the steady state and dynamic consequences of inflation in an estimated dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy. It is found that 10 percentage points of inflation entails a steady state welfare cost as high as 13 percent of annual consumption. This large cost is mainly driven by staggered price contracts and price indexation. The transition from high to low inflation inflicts a welfare loss equivalent to 0.53 percent. The role of nominal/real frictions as well as that of parameter uncertainty is also addressed.
Bargaining Shocks and Aggregate Fluctuations
We argue that social and political risk causes signiﬁcant aggregate ﬂuctuations by changing bargaining power. To that end, we document signiﬁcant changes in the capital share after large political events, such as political realignments, modiﬁcations in collective bargaining rules, or the end of dictatorships, in a sample of developed and emerging economies. These policy changes are associated with signiﬁcant ﬂuctuations in output. Using a Bayesian proxy-VAR estimated with U.S. data, we show how distribution shocks cause movements in output and unemployment. To quantify the ...
Fortune or virtue: time-variant volatilities versus parameter drifting
This paper compares the role of stochastic volatility versus changes in monetary policy rules in accounting for the time-varying volatility of U.S. aggregate data. Of special interest to the authors is understanding the sources of the great moderation of business cycle fluctuations that the U.S. economy experienced between 1984 and 2007. To explore this issue, the authors build a medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with both stochastic volatility and parameter drifting in the Taylor rule and they estimate it non-linearly using U.S. data and Bayesian methods. ...
Reading the recent monetary history of the U.S., 1959-2007
The authors report the results of the estimation of a rich dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of the U.S. economy with both stochastic volatility and parameter drifting in the Taylor rule. They use the results of this estimation to examine the recent monetary history of the U.S. and to interpret, through this lens, the sources of the rise and fall of the great American inflation from the late 1960s to the early 1980s and of the great moderation of business cycle fluctuations between 1984 and 2007.