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Author:Mertens, Elmar 

Working Paper
Indeterminacy and Imperfect Information

We study equilibrium determination in an environment where two kinds of agents have different information sets: The fully informed agents know the structure of the model and observe histories of all exogenous and endogenous variables. The less informed agents observe only a strict subset of the full information set. All types of agents form expectations rationally, but agents with limited information need to solve a dynamic signal extraction problem to gather information about the variables they do not observe. We show that for parameter values that imply a unique equilibrium under full ...
Working Paper , Paper 19-17

Working Paper
Are spectral estimators useful for implementing long-run restrictions in SVARs?

No, not really, since spectral estimators suffer from small sample and misspecification biases just as VARs do. Spectral estimators are no panacea for implementing long-run restrictions. ; In addition, when combining VAR coefficients with non-parametric estimates of the spectral density, care needs to be taken to consistently account for information embedded in the non-parametric estimates about serial correlation in VAR residuals. This paper uses a spectral factorization to ensure a correct representation of the data's variance. But this cannot overcome the fundamental problems of estimating ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-09

Working Paper
Stock prices, news, and economic fluctuations: comment

Beaudry and Portier (American Economoc Review, 2006) propose an identification scheme to study the effects of news shocks about future productivity in Vector Error Correction Models (VECM). This comment shows that their methodology does not have a unique solution, when applied to their VECMs with more than two variables. The problem arises from the interplay of cointegration assumptions and long-run restrictions imposed by Beaudry and Portier (2006).
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2013-08

Working Paper
Modeling Time-Varying Uncertainty of Multiple-Horizon Forecast Errors

We estimate uncertainty measures for point forecasts obtained from survey data, pooling information embedded in observed forecast errors for different forecast horizons. To track time-varying uncertainty in the associated forecast errors, we derive a multiple-horizon specification of stochastic volatility. We apply our method to forecasts for various macroeconomic variables from the Survey of Professional Forecasters. Compared to constant variance approaches, our stochastic volatility model improves the accuracy of uncertainty measures for survey forecasts. Our method can also be applied to ...
Working Papers , Paper 201715R

Discussion Paper
The Expected Real Interest Rate in the Long Run : Time Series Evidence with the Effective Lower Bound

In response to the global financial crisis, the Federal Open Market Committee lowered the target for the federal funds rate to a range of 0 to 25 basis points in December 2008, and maintained that target range until the end of 2015. Over that same period, longer-term interest rates in the United States were at historically low levels.
FEDS Notes , Paper 2016-02-09

Working Paper
Modeling Time-Varying Uncertainty of Multiple-Horizon Forecast Errors

We develop uncertainty measures for point forecasts from surveys such as the Survey of Professional Forecasters, Blue Chip, or the Federal Open Market Committee?s Summary of Economic Projections. At a given point of time, these surveys provide forecasts for macroeconomic variables at multiple horizons. To track time-varying uncertainty in the associated forecast errors, we derive a multiple-horizon specification of stochastic volatility. Compared to constant-variance approaches, our stochastic-volatility model improves the accuracy of uncertainty measures for survey forecasts.
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1715

Working Paper
A Time Series Model of Interest Rates With the Effective Lower Bound

Modeling interest rates over samples that include the Great Recession requires taking stock of the effective lower bound (ELB) on nominal interest rates. We propose a flexible time? series approach which includes a ?shadow rate??a notional rate that is less than the ELB during the period in which the bound is binding?without imposing no?arbitrage assumptions.{{p}}The approach allows us to estimate the behavior of trend real rates as well as expected future interest rates in recent years.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-033

Working Paper
Managing beliefs about monetary policy under discretion

In models of monetary policy, discretionary policymaking often lacks the ability to manage public beliefs, which explains the theoretical appeal of policy rules and commitment strategies. But as shown in this paper, when a policymaker possesses private information, belief management becomes an integral part of optimal discretion policies and improves their performance. ; Solving for optimal policy in a simple New Keynesian model, this paper shows how discretionary losses are reduced when the policymaker has private information. Furthermore, disinflations are pursued more vigorously, when the ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2010-11

Working Paper
Trend inflation in advanced economies

We derive estimates of trend inflation for fourteen advanced economies from a framework in which trend shocks exhibit stochastic volatility. The estimated specification allows for time-variation in the degree to which longer-term inflation expectations are well anchored in each economy. Our results bring out the effect of changes in monetary regime (such as the adoption of inflation targeting in several countries) on the behavior of trend inflation. Our estimates expand on the previous literature in several dimensions: For each country, we employ a multivariate approach that pools different ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2013-74

Working Paper
Addressing COVID-19 Outliers in BVARs with Stochastic Volatility

Incoming data in 2020 posed sizable challenges for the use of VARs in economic analysis: Enormous movements in a number of series have had strong effects on parameters and forecasts constructed with standard VAR methods. We propose the use of VAR models with time-varying volatility that include a treatment of the COVID extremes as outlier observations. Typical VARs with time-varying volatility assume changes in uncertainty to be highly persistent. Instead, we adopt an outlier-adjusted stochastic volatility (SV) model for VAR residuals that combines transitory and persistent changes in ...
Working Papers , Paper 2021-02

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