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Jel Classification:C5 

Working Paper
Bayesian Estimation of Epidemiological Models: Methods, Causality, and Policy Trade-Offs

We present a general framework for Bayesian estimation and causality assessment in epidemiological models. The key to our approach is the use of sequential Monte Carlo methods to evaluate the likelihood of a generic epidemiological model. Once we have the likelihood, we specify priors and rely on a Markov chain Monte Carlo to sample from the posterior distribution. We show how to use the posterior simulation outputs as inputs for exercises in causality assessment. We apply our approach to Belgian data for the COVID-19 epidemic during 2020. Our estimated time-varying-parameters SIRD model ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-18

Working Paper
On the Aggregation of Probability Assessments: Regularized Mixtures of Predictive Densities for Eurozone Inflation and Real Interest Rates

We propose methods for constructing regularized mixtures of density forecasts. We explore a variety of objectives and regularization penalties, and we use them in a substantive exploration of Eurozone inflation and real interest rate density forecasts. All individual inflation forecasters (even the ex post best forecaster) are outperformed by our regularized mixtures. From the Great Recession onward, the optimal regularization tends to move density forecasts’ probability mass from the centers to the tails, correcting for overconfidence.
Working Papers , Paper 21-06

Working Paper
Does Realized Volatility Help Bond Yield Density Prediction?

We suggest using "realized volatility" as a volatility proxy to aid in model-based multivariate bond yield density forecasting. To do so, we develop a general estimation approach to incorporate volatility proxy information into dynamic factor models with stochastic volatility. The resulting model parameter estimates are highly efficient, which one hopes would translate into superior predictive performance. We explore this conjecture in the context of density prediction of U.S. bond yields by incorporating realized volatility into a dynamic Nelson-Siegel (DNS) model with stochastic ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2015-115

Working Paper
Recession forecasting using Bayesian classification

The authors demonstrated the use of a Nave Bayes model as a recession forecasting tool. The approach has a close connection to Markov-switching models and logistic regression but also important differences. In contrast to Markov-switching models, Nave Bayes treats National Bureau of Economic Research business cycle turning points as data rather than hidden states to be inferred by the model. Although Nave Bayes and logistic regression are asymptotically equivalent under certain distributional assumptions, the assumptions do not hold for business cycle data.
Research Working Paper , Paper RWP 16-6

Working Paper
Macroeconomic Dynamics Near the ZLB : A Tale of Two Countries

We compute a sunspot equilibrium in an estimated small-scale New Keynesian model with a zero lower bound (ZLB) constraint on nominal interest rates and a full set of stochastic fundamental shocks. In this equilibrium a sunspot shock can move the economy from a regime in which inflation is close to the central bank's target to a regime in which the central bank misses its target, inflation rates are negative, and interest rates are close to zero with high probability. A nonlinear filter is used to examine whether the U.S. in the aftermath of the Great Recession and Japan in the late 1990s ...
International Finance Discussion Papers , Paper 1163

Working Paper
Term Structure Modeling with Supply Factors and the Federal Reserve's Large Scale Asset Purchase Programs

This paper estimates an arbitrage-free term structure model with both observable yield factors and Treasury and Agency MBS supply factors, and uses it to evaluate the term premium effects of the Federal Reserve's large-scale asset purchase programs. Our estimates show that the first and the second large-scale asset purchase programs and the maturity extension program jointly reduced the 10-year Treasury yield by about 100 basis points.
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2014-07

Working Paper
A Unified Framework to Estimate Macroeconomic Stars

We develop a flexible semi-structural time-series model to estimate jointly several macroeconomic "stars" — i.e., unobserved long-run equilibrium levels of output (and growth rate of output), the unemployment rate, the real rate of interest, productivity growth, the price inflation, and wage inflation. The ingredients of the model are in part motivated by economic theory and in part by the empirical features necessitated by the changing economic environment. Following the recent literature on inflation and interest rate modeling, we explicitly model the links between long-run survey ...
Working Papers , Paper 21-23

Working Paper
Forecasting Energy Commodity Prices: A Large Global Dataset Sparse Approach

This paper focuses on forecasting quarterly energy prices of commodities, such as oil, gas and coal, using the Global VAR dataset proposed by Mohaddes and Raissi (2018). This dataset includes a number of potentially informative quarterly macroeconomic variables for the 33 largest economies, overall accounting for more than 80% of the global GDP. To deal with the information in this large database, we apply a dynamic factor model based on a penalized maximum likelihood approach that allows us to shrink parameters to zero and to estimate sparse factor loadings. The estimated latent factors show ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 376

Working Paper
Revisiting the Great Ratios Hypothesis

The idea that certain economic variables are roughly constant in the long run is an old one. Kaldor described them as stylized facts, whereas Klein and Kosobud labelled them great ratios. While such ratios are widely adopted in theoretical models in economics as conditions for balanced growth, arbitrage or solvency, the empirical literature has tended to find little evidence for them. We argue that this outcome could be due to episodic failure of cointegration, possible two-way causality between the variables in the ratios and cross-country error dependence due to latent factors. We propose a ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 415

Working Paper
Forward Guidance: Communication, Commitment, or Both?

A policy of forward guidance has been suggested either as a form of commitment ("Odyssean") or as a way of conveying information to the public ("Delphic"). I analyze the strategic interaction between households and the central bank as a game in which the central bank can send messages to the public independently of its actions. In the absence of private information, the set of equilibrium payoffs is independent of the announcements of the central bank: forward guidance as a pure commitment mechanism is a redundant policy instrument. When private information is present, central bank ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2019-5

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