Real business cycles
FDR's big government legacy
Deficits, public debt dynamics, and tax and spending multipliers
Cutting government spending on goods and services increases the budget deficit if the nominal interest rate is close to zero. This is the message of a simple but standard New Keynesian DSGE model calibrated with Bayesian methods. The cut in spending reduces output and thus?holding rates for labor and sales taxes constant?reduces revenues by even more than what is saved by the spending cut. Similarly, increasing sales taxes can increase the budget deficit rather than reduce it. Both results suggest limitations of ?austerity measures? in low interest rate economies to cut budget deficits. ...
Evaluating interest rate rules in an estimated DSGE model
The empirical DSGE (dynamic stochastic general equilibrium) literature pays surprisingly little attention to the behavior of the monetary authority. Alternative policy rule specifications abound, but their relative merit is rarely discussed. We contribute to filling this gap by comparing the fit of a large set of interest rate rules (fifty-five in total), which we estimate within a simple New Keynesian model. We find that specifications in which monetary policy responds to inflation and to deviations of output from its efficient level?the one that would prevail in the absence of ...
A search for a structural Phillips curve
The foundation of the New Keynesian Phillips curve (NKPC) is a model of price setting with nominal rigidities that implies that the dynamics of inflation are well explained by the evolution of real marginal costs. In this paper, we analyze whether this is a structurally invariant relationship. We first estimate an unrestricted time-series model for inflation, unit labor costs, and other variables, and present evidence that their joint dynamics are well represented by a vector autoregression (VAR) with drifting coefficients and volatilities. We then apply a two-step minimum distance estimator ...
Keynesian conundrum: multiplicity and time consistent stabilization
This paper identifies a novel form of dynamic inconsistency of stabilization policy in increasing returns models that generate multiple equilibria. We present a two-period version of the Benhabib-Farmer (1994) externalities model and derive closed-form solutions for all endogenous variables in every perfect foresight equilibrium. We provide conditions under which the stabilization policy that maximizes time zero consumer welfare is not time consistent. Furthermore, we characterize the time consistent stabilization policy. Our results cast doubts on the usefulness of government coordination of ...
Worldwide macroeconomic stability and monetary policy rules
We study the interaction of multiple large economies in dynamic stochastic general equilibrium. Each economy has a monetary policymaker that attempts to control the economy through the use of a linear nominal interest rate feedback rule. We show how the determinacy of worldwide equilibrium depends on the joint behavior of policymakers worldwide. We also show how indeterminacy exposes all economies to endogenous volatility, even ones where monetary policy may be judged appropriate from a closed economy perspective. We construct and discuss two quantitative cases. In the 1970s, worldwide ...
Sentiments and aggregate demand fluctuations
We formalize the Keynesian insight that aggregate demand driven by sentiments can generate output fluctuations under rational expectations. When production decisions must be made un- der imperfect information about aggregate demand, optimal decisions based on sentiments can generate stochastic self-fulfilling rational expectations equilibria in standard economies without aggregate shocks, externalities, persistent informational frictions, or even any strategic comple- mentarity. Our general equilibrium model is deliberately simple, but could serve as a benchmark for more complicated ...
The impact of Milton Friedman on modern monetary economics: setting the record straight on Paul Krugman’s 'Who Was Milton Friedman?
Paul Krugman?s essay ?Who Was Milton Friedman?? seriously mischaracterizes Friedman?s economics and his legacy. In this paper we provide a rejoinder to Krugman on these issues. In the course of setting the record straight, we provide a self-contained guide to Milton Friedman?s impact on modern monetary economics and on today?s central banks. We also refute the conclusions that Krugman draws about monetary policy from the experiences of the United States in the 1930s and of Japan in the 1990s.
The Chicago Fed DSGE model
The Chicago Fed dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model is used for policy analysis and forecasting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. This article describes its specification and estimation, its dynamic characteristics and how it is used to forecast the US economy. In many respects the model resembles other medium scale New Keynesian frameworks, but there are several features which distinguish it: the monetary policy rule includes forward guidance, productivity is driven by neutral and investment specific technical change, multiple price indices identify inflation and there ...