Variation in the Phillips Curve Relation across Three Phases of the Business Cycle
We use recently developed econometric tools to demonstrate that the Phillips curve unemployment rate?inflation rate relationship varies in an economically meaningful way across three phases of the business cycle. The first (?bust phase?) relationship is the one highlighted by Stock and Watson (2010): A sharp reduction in inflation occurs as the unemployment rate is rising rapidly. The second (?recovery phase?) relationship occurs as the unemployment rate subsequently begins to fall; during this phase, inflation is unrelated to any conventional unemployment gap. The final (?overheating phase?) ...
Some inflation scenarios for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARP) signed into law on March 11, 2021, authorized approximately $1.9 trillion in federal government spending. ARP is widely expected to boost economic growth over the next two to three years—and significantly so early on. The upswing in growth is likely to increase resource pressures and therefore consumer price inflation as well. The potential for this channel to raise inflation substantially has attracted the attention of economic commentators, including Olivier Blanchard and Lawrence Summers. But the magnitudes and persistence of the possible increases in ...
Combinatorial Growth with Physical Constraints: Evidence from Electronic Miniaturization
In the past sixty years, transistor sizes and weights have decreased by 50 percent every eighteen months, following Moore’s Law. Smaller and lighter electronics have increased productivity in virtually every industry and spurred the creation of entirely new sectors of the economy. However, while the effect of the increasing quality of computers and electronics on GDP has been widely studied, the question of how electronic miniaturization affects economic growth has been unexplored. To quantify the effect of electronic miniaturization on GDP, this paper builds an economic growth model that ...
Common Factors, Trends, and Cycles in Large Datasets
This paper considers a non-stationary dynamic factor model for large datasets to disentangle long-run from short-run co-movements. We first propose a new Quasi Maximum Likelihood estimator of the model based on the Kalman Smoother and the Expectation Maximisation algorithm. The asymptotic properties of the estimator are discussed. Then, we show how to separate trends and cycles in the factors by mean of eigenanalysis of the estimated non-stationary factors. Finally, we employ our methodology on a panel of US quarterly macroeconomic indicators to estimate aggregate real output, or Gross ...
Database of global economic indicators (DGEI): a methodological note
The Database of Global Economic Indicators (DGEI) from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is aimed at standardizing and disseminating world economic indicators for policy analysis and scholarly work on the role of globalization. The purpose of DGEI is to offer a broad perspective on how economic developments around the world influence the U.S. economy with a wide selection of indicators. DGEI is automated within an Excel-VBA and E-views framework for the processing and aggregation of multiple country time series. It includes a core sample of 40 countries with available indicators and broad ...
Bias in Local Projections
Local projections (LPs) are a popular tool in applied macroeconomic research. We survey the related literature and find that LPs are often used with very small samples in the time dimension. With small sample sizes, given the high degree of persistence in most macroeconomic data, impulse responses estimated by LPs can be severely biased. This is true even if the right-hand-side variable in the LP is iid, or if the data set includes a large cross-section (i.e., panel data). We derive a simple expression to elucidate the source of the bias. Our expression highlights the interdependence between ...
The inflation-output trade-off revisited
A rich literature from the 1970s shows that as inflation expectations become more and more ingrained, monetary policy loses its stimulative effect. In the extreme, with perfectly anticipated inflation, there is no trade-off between inflation and output. A recent literature on the interest-rate zero lower bound, however, suggests there may be some benefits from anticipated inflation when he economy is in a liquidity trap. In this paper, we reconcile these two views by showing that while it is true, at positive interest rates, that inflation loses its stimulative effects as it becomes better ...
Dynamic Factor Models, Cointegration, and Error Correction Mechanisms
The paper studies Non-Stationary Dynamic Factor Models such that: (1) the factors Ft are I(1) and singular, i.e. Ft has dimension r and is driven by a q-dimensional white noise, the common shocks, with q < r, and (2) the idiosyncratic components are I(1). We show that Ft is driven by r-c permanent shocks, where c is the cointegration rank of Ft, and q - (r - c) < c transitory shocks, thus the same result as in the non-singular case for the permanent shocks but not for the transitory shocks. Our main result is obtained by combining the classic Granger Representation Theorem with recent ...
Finding a Stable Phillips Curve Relationship: A Persistence-Dependent Regression Mode
We establish that the Phillips curve is persistence-dependent: inflation responds differently to persistent versus moderately persistent (or versus transient) fluctuations in the unemployment gap. Previous work fails to model this dependence, so it finds numerous “inflation puzzles”—such as missing inflation/disinflation—noted in the literature. Our model specification eliminates these puzzles; for example, the Phillips curve has not weakened, and inflation is not “stubbornly low” at present. The model’s coefficients are stable, and it provides accurate conditional recursive ...
On the Structural Interpretation of the Smets-Wouters “Risk Premium” Shock
This article shows that the "risk premium" shock in Smets and Wouters (2007) can be interpreted as a structural shock to the demand for safe and liquid assets such as short-term US Treasury securities. Several implications of this interpretation are discussed.