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 ...
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 ...
Tobin's imperfect asset substitution in optimizing general equilibrium
In this paper, we present a dynamic optimizing model that allows explicitly for imperfect substitutability between different financial assets. This is specified in a manner which captures Tobin's (1969) view that an expansion of one asset's supply affects both the yield on that asset and the spread or "risk premium" between returns on that asset and alternative assets. Our estimates of this model on U.S. data confirm that some of the observed deviations of long-term rates from the expectations theory of the term structure can be traced to movements in the relative stocks of financial assets. ...
Macroeconometric equivalence, microeconomic dissonance, and the design of monetary policy
Many recent studies in macroeconomics have focused on the estimation of DSGE models using a system of loglinear approximations to the models' nonlinear equilibrium conditions. The term macroeconometric equivalence encapsulates the idea that estimates using aggregate data based on first-order approximations to the equilibrium conditions of a DSGE model will not be able to distinguish between alternative underlying preferences and technologies. The concept of microeconomic dissonance refers to the fact that the underlying microeconomic differences become important when optimal monetary policy ...
Mass Population Displacement and Retail Activities in the Wake of Hurricane Katrina
This week marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina's tragic landfall near New Orleans, Louisiana, and the forced relocation of hundreds of thousands of families who lost their homes in the disaster. This mass population displacement boosted, for an extended period, population density and store frequentation in areas that were relatively spared by the storm. This note argues that supermarkets that weathered the hurricane raised prices little despite facing markedly higher store traffic and likely disruptions to their supply chains.
Understanding the effects of government spending on consumption
Recent evidence on the effect of government spending shocks on consumption cannot be easily reconciled with existing optimizing business cycle models. We extend the standard New Keynesian model to allow for the presence of rule-of-thumb (non-Ricardian) consumers. We show how the interaction of the latter with sticky prices and deficit financing can account for the existing evidence on the effects of government spending.
Monetary policy and the cyclicality of risk
We use a DSGE model that generates endogenous movements in risk premia to examine the positive and normative implications of alternative monetary policy rules. As emphasized by the microfinance literature, variation in risk arises because households face fixed costs of transferring cash across financial accounts, implying that some households rebalance their portfolios infrequently. We show that the model can account for the mean returns on equity and the risk-free rate, and in line with empirical evidence generates a decline in the equity premium following an unanticipated easing of monetary ...
Individual price adjustment along the extensive margin
Firms employ a rich variety of pricing strategies whose implications for aggregate price dynamics often diverge. This situation poses a challenge for macroeconomists interested in bridging micro and macro price stickiness. In responding to this challenge, we note that differences in macro price stickiness across pricing mechanisms can often be traced back to price changes that are either triggered or cancelled by shocks. We exploit observed micro price behavior to quantify the importance of this margin of adjustment for the response of inflation to shocks. Across a range of empirical ...
The transmission of domestic shocks in the open economy
This paper uses an open economy DSGE model to explore how trade openness affects the transmission of domestic shocks. For some calibrations, closed and open economies appear dramatically different, reminiscent of the implications of Mundell-Fleming style models. However, we argue such stark differences hinge on calibrations that impose an implausibly high trade price elasticity and Frisch elasticity of labor supply. Overall, our results suggest that the main effects of openness are on the composition of expenditure, and on the wedge between consumer and domestic prices, rather than on the ...
Forward Guidance with Bayesian Learning and Estimation
Considerable attention has been devoted to evaluating the macroeconomic effectiveness of the Federal Reserve's communications about future policy rates (forward guidance) in light of the U.S. economy's long spell at the zero lower bound (ZLB). In this paper, we study whether forward guidance represented a shift in the systematic description of monetary policy by estimating a New Keynesian model using Bayesian techniques. In doing so, we take into account the uncertainty that agents have about policy regimes using an incomplete information setup in which they update their beliefs using Bayes ...