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Jel Classification:C52 

Working Paper
When Can Trend-Cycle Decompositions Be Trusted?

In this paper, we examine the results of GDP trend-cycle decompositions from the estimation of bivariate unobserved components models that allow for correlated trend and cycle innovations. Three competing variables are considered in the bivariate setup along with GDP: the unemployment rate, the inflation rate, and gross domestic income. We find that the unemployment rate is the best variable to accompany GDP in the bivariate setup to obtain accurate estimates of its trend-cycle correlation coefficient and the cycle. We show that the key feature of unemployment that allows for precise ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2016-099

Working Paper
Tests of Conditional Predictive Ability: Some Simulation Evidence

In this note we provide simulation evidence on the size and power of tests of predictive ability described in Giacomini and White (2006). Our goals are modest but non-trivial. First, we establish that there exist data generating processes that satisfy the null hypotheses of equal finite-sample (un)conditional predictive ability. We then consider various parameterizations of these DGPs as a means of evaluating the size and power properties of the proposed tests. While some of our results reinforce those in Giacomini and White (2006), others do not. We recommend against using the fixed scheme ...
Working Papers , Paper 2019-11

Working Paper
Signaling Effects of Monetary Policy

We develop a dynamic general equilibrium model in which the policy rate signals the central bank?s view about macroeconomic developments to price setters. The model is estimated with likelihood methods on a U.S. data set that includes the Survey of Professional Forecasters as a measure of price setters? inflation expectations. This model improves upon existing perfect information models in explaining why, in the data, inflation expectations respond with delays to monetary impulses and remain disanchored for years. In the 1970s, U.S. monetary policy is found to signal persistent inflationary ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2016-14

Working Paper
Monetary Policy, Self-Fulfilling Expectations and the U.S. Business Cycle

I estimate a medium-scale New-Keynesian model and relax the conventional assumption that the central bank adopted an active monetary policy by pursuing inflation and output stability over the entire post-war period. Even after accounting for a rich structure, I find that monetary policy was passive prior to the Volcker disinflation. Sunspot shocks did not represent quantitatively relevant sources of volatility. By contrast, such passive interest rate policy accommodated fundamental productivity and cost shocks that de-anchored inflation expectations, propagated via self-fulfilling inflation ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2020-035

Working Paper
Facts and Fiction in Oil Market Modeling

A series of recent articles has called into question the validity of VAR models of the global market for crude oil. These studies seek to replace existing oil market models by structural VAR models of their own based on different data, different identifying assumptions, and a different econometric approach. Their main aim has been to revise the consensus in the literature that oil demand shocks are a more important determinant of oil price fluctuations than oil supply shocks. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in sorting out the pros and cons of the underlying econometric ...
Working Papers , Paper 1907

Working Paper
An Output Gap Measure for the Euro Area : Exploiting Country-Level and Cross-Sectional Data Heterogeneity

This paper proposes a methodology to estimate the euro-area output gap by taking advantage of two types of data heterogeneity. On the one hand, the method uses information on real GDP, inflation, and the unemployment rate for each member state; on the other hand, it jointly considers this information for all the euro-area countries to extract an area-wide output gap measure. The setup is an unobserved components model that theorizes a common cycle across euro-area economies in addition to country-specific cyclical components. I estimate the model with Bayesian methods using data for the 19 ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-040

Working Paper
The Econometrics of Oil Market VAR Models

Oil market VAR models have become the standard tool for understanding the evolution of the real price of oil and its impact in the macro economy. As this literature has expanded at a rapid pace, it has become increasingly difficult for mainstream economists to understand the differences between alternative oil market models, let alone the basis for the sometimes divergent conclusions reached in the literature. The purpose of this survey is to provide a guide to this literature. Our focus is on the econometric foundations of the analysis of oil market models with special attention to the ...
Working Papers , Paper 2006

Working Paper
Evaluating Conditional Forecasts from Vector Autoregressions

Many forecasts are conditional in nature. For example, a number of central banks routinely report forecasts conditional on particular paths of policy instruments. Even though conditional forecasting is common, there has been little work on methods for evaluating conditional forecasts. This paper provides analytical,Monte Carlo, and empirical evidence on tests of predictive ability for conditional forecasts from estimated models. In the empirical analysis, we consider forecasts of growth, unemployment, and inflation from a VAR, based on conditions on the short-term interest rate. Throughout ...
Working Papers (Old Series) , Paper 1413

Working Paper
Can Spanned Term Structure Factors Drive Stochastic Yield Volatility?

The ability of the usual factors from empirical arbitrage-free representations of the term structure?that is, spanned factors?to account for interest rate volatility dynamics has been much debated. We examine this issue with a comprehensive set of new arbitrage-free term structure specifications that allow for spanned stochastic volatility to be linked to one or more of the yield curve factors. Using U.S. Treasury yields, we find that much realized stochastic volatility cannot be associated with spanned term structure factors. However, a simulation study reveals that the usual realized ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2014-3

Working Paper
Spectral Backtests of Forecast Distributions with Application to Risk Management

We study a class of backtests for forecast distributions in which the test statistic is a spectral transformation that weights exceedance events by a function of the modeled probability level. The choice of the kernel function makes explicit the user's priorities for model performance. The class of spectral backtests includes tests of unconditional coverage and tests of conditional coverage. We show how the class embeds a wide variety of backtests in the existing literature, and propose novel variants as well. In an empirical application, we backtest forecast distributions for the overnight ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2018-021

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