The Effects of the saving and banking glut on the U.S. economy
We use a quantitative equilibrium model with houses, collateralized debt, and foreign borrowing to study the impact of global imbalances on the U.S. economy in the 2000s. Our results suggest that the dynamics of foreign capital flows account for between one-fourth and one-third of the increase in U.S. house prices and household debt that preceded the financial crisis. The key to these findings is that the model generates the sustained low level of interest rates observed over that period.
The 2008 U.S. Auto Market Collapse
New vehicle sales in the U.S. fell nearly 40 percent during the past recession, causing significant job losses and unprecedented government interventions in the auto industry. This paper explores three potential explanations for this decline: increasing oil prices, falling home values, and falling household income expectations. First, we use the historical macroeconomic relationship between oil prices and vehicle sales to show that the oil price spike explains roughly 15 percent of the auto sales decline between 2007 and 2009. Second, we establish that declining home values explain only a ...
Forecasting Consumption Spending Using Credit Bureau Data
This paper considers whether the inclusion of information contained in consumer credit reports might improve the predictive accuracy of forecasting models for consumption spending. To investigate the usefulness of aggregate consumer credit information in forecasting consumption spending, this paper sets up a baseline forecasting model. Based on this model, a simulated real-time, out-of-sample exercise is conducted to forecast one-quarter ahead consumption spending. The exercise is run again after the addition of credit bureau variables to the model. Finally, a comparison is made to test ...
Analyzing data revisions with a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model
We use a structural dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model to investigate how initial data releases of key macroeconomic aggregates are related to final revised versions and how identified aggregate shocks influence data revisions. The analysis sheds light on how well preliminary data approximate final data and on how policy makers might condition their view of the preliminary data when formulating policy actions. The results suggest that monetary policy shocks and multifactor productivity shocks lead to predictable revisions to the initial release data on output growth and inflation.
A Composite Likelihood Approach for Dynamic Structural Models
We describe how to use the composite likelihood to ameliorate estimation, computational, and inferential problems in dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. We present a number of situations where the methodology has the potential to resolve well-known problems. In each case we consider, we provide an example to illustrate how the approach works and its properties in practice.
Approximating Time Varying Structural Models With Time Invariant Structures
The paper studies how parameter variation affects the decision rules of a DSGE model and structural inference. We provide diagnostics to detect parameter variations and to ascertain whether they are exogenous or endogenous. Identifi cation and inferential distortions when a constant parameter model is incorrectly assumed are examined. Likelihood and VAR-based estimates of the structural dynamics when parameter variations are neglected are compared. Time variations in the financial frictions of Gertler and Karadi's (2010) model are studied.
The Michigan Surveys of Consumers and consumer spending
We provide summary measures for a broad set of questions from the Michigan Surveys of Consumers. These measures summarize consumers' attitudes and expectations with respect to income, wealth, prices, and interest rates. They contain information that goes beyond the information captured by the Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment, which is constructed from five questions in the same survey. We show that the summary measures have some explanatory power for aggregate consumption behavior over the period from 1987 to the present, even when controlling for economic fundamentals. The explanatory ...
Selecting Primal Innovations in DSGE models
DSGE models are typically estimated assuming the existence of certain primal shocks that drive macroeconomic fluctuations. We analyze the consequences of estimating shocks that are "non-existent" and propose a method to select the primal shocks driving macroeconomic uncertainty. Forcing these non-existing shocks in estimation produces a downward bias in the estimated internal persistence of the model. We show how these distortions can be reduced by using priors for standard deviations whose support includes zero. The method allows us to accurately select primal shocks and estimate model ...
Computing Equilibria of Stochastic Heterogeneous Agent Models Using Decision Rule Histories
This paper introduces a general method for computing equilibria with heterogeneous agents and aggregate shocks that is particularly suitable for economies with private information. Instead of the cross-sectional distribution of agents across individual states, the method uses as a state variable a vector of spline coefficients describing a long history of past individual decision rules. Applying the computational method to a Mirrlees RBC economy with known analytical solution recovers the solution perfectly well. This test provides considerable confidence on the accuracy of the method.
A Theory of Housing Demand Shocks
Aggregate housing demand shocks are an important source of house price fluctuations in the standard macroeconomic models, and through the collateral channel, they drive macroeconomic fluctuations. These reduced-form shocks, however, fail to generate a highly volatile price-to-rent ratio that comoves with the house price observed in the data (the ?price-rent puzzle?). We build a tractable heterogeneous-agent model that provides a microeconomic foundation for housing demand shocks. The model predicts that a credit supply shock can generate large comovements between the house price and the ...