Some Implications of Uncertainty and Misperception for Monetary Policy
When choosing a strategy for monetary policy, policymakers must grapple with mismeasurement of labor market slack, and of the responsiveness of price inflation to that slack. Using stochastic simulations of a small-scale version of the Federal Reserve Board?s principal New Keynesian macroeconomic model, we evaluate representative rule-based policy strategies, paying particular attention to how those strategies interact with initial conditions in the U.S. as they are seen today and with the current outlook. To do this, we construct a current relevant baseline forecast, one that is loosely ...
Hysteresis via Endogenous Rigidity in Wages and Participation
We document that the past three ?jobless? recoveries also featured asymmetries in labor force participation and labor compensation, with each falling to new lows during each cycle. We model these asymmetries as resulting from a strategic complementarity in firms' wage setting and workers' job search strategies. Strategic complementarity results in a continuum of possible equilibria with higher-wage equilibria welfare dominating lower-wage equilibria. Assuming that no economic agent deviates from an existing strategy unless deviation is a unilateral best response, the model exhibits (1) ...
Monetary Policy, Incomplete Information, and the Zero Lower Bound
In the context of a stylized New Keynesian model, we explore the interaction between imperfect knowledge about the state of the economy and the zero lower bound. We show that optimal policy under discretion near the zero lower bound responds to signals about an increase in the equilibrium real interest rate by less than it would when far from the zero lower bound. In addition, we show that Taylor-type rules that either include a time-varying intercept that moves with perceived changes in the equilibrium real rate or that respond aggressively to deviations of inflation and output from their ...
Short-term Planning, Monetary Policy, and Macroeconomic Persistence
This paper uses aggregate data to estimate and evaluate a behavioral New Keynesian (NK) model in which households and firms plan over a finite horizon. The finite-horizon (FH) model outperforms rational expectations versions of the NK model commonly used in empirical applications as well as other behavioral NK models. The better fit of the FH model reflects that it can induce slow-moving trends in key endogenous variables which deliver substantial persistence in output and inflation dynamics. In the FH model, households and firms are forward-looking in thinking about events over their ...
Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest: The Role of Inflation Expectations
The "natural" or equilibrium real rate of interest is an important concept in macroeconomics. On the one hand, the natural (real) rate provides a description of the real interest rate path consistent with the eventual full capacity of utilization of available resources in the context of low and stable inflation.
Sticky-price models and the natural rate hypothesis
A major criticism of standard specifications of price adjustment in models for monetary policy analysis is that they violate the natural rate hypothesis by allowing output to differ from potential in steady state. In this paper we estimate a dynamic optimizing business cycle model whose price-setting behavior satisfies the natural rate hypothesis. The price-adjustment specifications we consider are the sticky-information specification of Mankiw and Reis (2002) and the indexed contracts of Christiano, Eichenbaum, and Evans (2005). Our empirical estimates of the real side of the economy are ...
Supply-Side Effects of Pandemic Mortality: Insights from an Overlapping-Generations Model
We use an overlapping generation model to explore the implications of mortality during pandemics for the economy's productive capacity. Under current epidemiological projections for the progression of COVID-19, our model suggests that mortality will have, in itself, at most small effects on output and factor prices. The reason is that projected mortality is small in proportion to the population and skewed toward individuals who are retired from the labor force. That said, we show that if the spread of COVID-19 is not contained, or if the ongoing pandemic were to follow a mortality pattern ...
Money and the natural rate of interest: structural estimates for the United States and the Euro area
We examine the role of money, allowing for three competing environments: the New Keynesian model with separable utility and static money demand; a non-separable utility variant with habit formation; and a version with adjustment costs for holding real balances. The last two variants imply forward-looking behavior of real money balances, as it is optimal for agents to allow their forecast of future interest rates to affect current portfolio decisions. We distinguish between these specifications by conducting a structural econometric analysis for the U.S. and the euro area. FIML estimates ...
Small Price Responses to Large Demand Shocks
We study the pricing response of U.S. supermarkets to large demand shocks triggered by labor conflicts, mass population relocation, and shopping sprees around major snowstorms and hurricanes. Our focus on demand shocks is novel in the empirical literature that uses large datasets of individual data to bridge micro price behavior and aggregate price dynamics. We find that large swings in demand have, at best, modest effects on the level of retail prices, consistent with flat short- to medium-term supply curves. This finding holds even when shocks are highly persistent and even though stores ...
The Money View Versus the Credit View
We argue that Schularick and Taylor?s (2012) comparison of credit growth and monetary growth as financial-crisis predictors does not necessarily provide a valid basis for achieving one of their stated intentions: evaluating the relative merits of the ?money view? and ?credit view? as accounts of macroeconomic outcomes. Our own analysis of the postwar evidence suggests that money outperforms credit in predicting economic downturns in the 14 countries in Schularick and Taylor?s dataset. This contrasts with Schularick and Taylor?s (2012) highly negative verdict on the money view. In accounting ...