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Keywords:Stochastic analysis 

Working Paper
Dynamic estimation of volatility risk premia and investor risk aversion from option-implied and realized volatilities

This paper proposes a method for constructing a volatility risk premium, or investor risk aversion, index. The method is intuitive and simple to implement, relying on the sample moments of the recently popularized model-free realized and option-implied volatility measures. A small-scale Monte Carlo experiment suggests that the procedure works well in practice. Implementing the procedure with actual S&P 500 option-implied volatilities and high-frequency five-minute-based realized volatilities results in significant temporal dependencies in the estimated stochastic volatility risk premium, ...
Finance and Economics Discussion Series , Paper 2004-56

DSGE model-based forecasting

Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models use modern macroeconomic theory to explain and predict comovements of aggregate time series over the business cycle and to perform policy analysis. We explain how to use DSGE models for all three purposes?forecasting, story telling, and policy experiments?and review their forecasting record. We also provide our own real-time assessment of the forecasting performance of the Smets and Wouters (2007) model data up to 2011, compare it with Blue Chip and Greenbook forecasts, and show how it changes as we augment the standard set of observables ...
Staff Reports , Paper 554

Working Paper
Bayesian semiparametric stochastic volatility modeling

This paper extends the existing fully parametric Bayesian literature on stochastic volatility to allow for more general return distributions. Instead of specifying a particular distribution for the return innovation, we use nonparametric Bayesian methods to flexibly model the skewness and kurtosis of the distribution while continuing to model the dynamics of volatility with a parametric structure. Our semiparametric Bayesian approach provides a full characterization of parametric and distributional uncertainty. We present a Markov chain Monte Carlo sampling approach to estimation with ...
FRB Atlanta Working Paper , Paper 2008-15

Working Paper
Business cycles and remittances: can the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition provide new evidence?

In this paper, I analyze the business cycle properties of remittances and output series for three pairs of countries: United States-Mexico, United States-El Salvador, and Germany-Turkey. Using an unobserved components state-space model (via the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition), I decompose the remittances and output series into stochastic permanent and cyclical components. I then use the resulting stationary cyclical components to estimate co-movements between remittances and output series. Empirical results indicate that remittances are countercyclical with all the home countries: Mexico, El ...
Globalization Institute Working Papers , Paper 40

The macroeconomic effects of large-scale asset purchase programs

The effects of asset purchase programs on macroeconomic variables are likely to be moderate. We reach this conclusion after simulating the impact of the Federal Reserve?s second large-scale asset purchase program (LSAP II) in a DSGE model enriched with a preferred habitat framework and estimated on U.S. data. Our simulations suggest that such a program increases GDP growth by less than half a percentage point, although the effect on the level of GDP is very persistent. The program?s marginal contribution to inflation is very small. One key reason for our findings is that we estimate a small ...
Staff Reports , Paper 527

Working Paper
Predictive density construction and accuracy testing with multiple possibly misspecified diffusion models

This paper develops tests for comparing the accuracy of predictive densities derived from (possibly misspecified) diffusion models. In particular, the authors first outline a simple simulation-based framework for constructing predictive densities for one-factor and stochastic volatility models. Then, they construct accuracy assessment tests that are in the spirit of Diebold and Mariano (1995) and White (2000). In order to establish the asymptotic properties of their tests, the authors also develop a recursive variant of the nonparametric simulated maximum likelihood estimator of Fermanian and ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-29

Working Paper
Social networks and vaccination decisions

We combine information on social networks with medical records and survey data in order to examine how friends affect one's decision to get vaccinated against the flu. The random assignment of undergraduates to residential halls at a large private university allows us to estimate how peer effects influence health beliefs and vaccination choices. Our results indicate that social exposure to medical information raises people's perceptions of the benefits of immunization. The average student's belief about the vaccine's health value increases by $5.00 when an additional 10 percent of her friends ...
Working Papers , Paper 07-12

Working Paper
Stochastic volatility

Given the importance of return volatility on a number of practical financial management decisions, the efforts to provide good real- time estimates and forecasts of current and future volatility have been extensive. The main framework used in this context involves stochastic volatility models. In a broad sense, this model class includes GARCH, but we focus on a narrower set of specifications in which volatility follows its own random process, as is common in models originating within financial economics. The distinguishing feature of these specifications is that volatility, being inherently ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-09-04

Working Paper
Frequentist inference in weakly identified DSGE models

The authors show that in weakly identified models (1) the posterior mode will not be a consistent estimator of the true parameter vector, (2) the posterior distribution will not be Gaussian even asymptotically, and (3) Bayesian credible sets and frequentist confidence sets will not coincide asymptotically. This means that Bayesian DSGE estimation should not be interpreted merely as a convenient device for obtaining asymptotically valid point estimates and confidence sets from the posterior distribution. As an alternative, the authors develop a new class of frequentist confidence sets for ...
Working Papers , Paper 09-13

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 ...
Staff Reports , Paper 510


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