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Keywords:impulse responses 

Working Paper
The Role of the Prior in Estimating VAR Models with Sign Restrictions

Several recent studies have expressed concern that the Haar prior typically imposed in estimating sign-identified VAR models may be unintentionally informative about the implied prior for the structural impulse responses. This question is indeed important, but we show that the tools that have been used in the literature to illustrate this potential problem are invalid. Specifically, we show that it does not make sense from a Bayesian point of view to characterize the impulse response prior based on the distribution of the impulse responses conditional on the maximum likelihood estimator of ...
Working Papers , Paper 2030

Working Paper
Significance Bands for Local Projections

An impulse response function describes the dynamic evolution of an outcome variable following a stimulus or treatment. A common hypothesis of interest is whether the treatment affects the outcome. We show that this hypothesis is best assessed using significance bands rather than relying on commonly displayed confidence bands. Under the null hypothesis, we show that significance bands are trivial to construct with standard statistical software using the LM principle, and should be reported as a matter of routine when displaying impulse responses graphically.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2023-15

Working Paper
Uniform Priors for Impulse Responses

There has been a call for caution when using the conventional method for Bayesian inference in set-identified structural vector autoregressions on the grounds that the uniform prior over the set of orthogonal matrices could be nonuniform for key objects of interest. This paper challenges this call. Although the prior distributions of individual impulse responses induced by the conventional method may be nonuniform, they typically do not drive the posteriors if one does not condition on the reduced-form parameters. Importantly, when the focus is on joint inference, the uniform prior over the ...
Working Papers , Paper 22-30

Working Paper
Measurement Errors and Monetary Policy: Then and Now

Should policymakers and applied macroeconomists worry about the difference between real-time and final data? We tackle this question by using a VAR with time-varying parameters and stochastic volatility to show that the distinctionbetween real-time data and final data matters for the impact of monetary policy shocks: The impact on final data is substantially and systematically different (in particular, larger in magnitude for different measures of real activity) from theimpact on real-time data. These differences have persisted over the last 40 years and should be taken into account when ...
Working Paper , Paper 15-13

Working Paper
Constrained Discretion and Central Bank Transparency

We develop and estimate a general equilibrium model in which monetary policy can deviate from active inflation stabilization and agents face uncertainty about the nature of these deviations. When observing a deviation, agents conduct Bayesian learning to infer its likely duration. Under constrained discretion, only short deviations occur: Agents are confident about a prompt return to the active regime, macroeconomic uncertainty is low, welfare is high. However, if a deviation persists, agents? beliefs start drifting, uncertainty accelerates, and welfare declines. If the duration of the ...
Working Paper Series , Paper WP-2014-16

Working Paper
Averaging Impulse Responses Using Prediction Pools

Macroeconomists construct impulse responses using many competing time series models and different statistical paradigms (Bayesian or frequentist). We adapt optimal linear prediction pools to efficiently combine impulse response estimators for the effects of the same economic shock from this vast class of possible models. We thus alleviate the need to choose one specific model, obtaining weights that are typically positive for more than one model. Three Monte Carlo simulations and two monetary shock empirical applications illustrate how the weights leverage the strengths of each model by (i) ...
Working Paper , Paper 23-04

Working Paper
A Sufficient Statistics Approach for Macro Policy Evaluation

The evaluation of macroeconomic policy decisions has traditionally relied on the formulation of a specific economic model. In this work, we show that two statistics are sufficient to detect, often even correct, non-optimal policies, i.e., policies that do not minimize the loss function. The two sufficient statistics are (i) the effects of policy shocks on the policy objectives, and (ii) forecasts for the policy objectives conditional on the policy decision. Both statistics can be estimated without relying on a specific model. We illustrate the method by studying US monetary policy decisions.
Working Paper Series , Paper 2022

Working Paper
Affine term structure pricing with bond supply as factors

This paper presents a theoretical model for analyzing the effect of the maturity structure of government debt on the yield curve. It is an ATSM (affine term structure model) in which the factors for the yield curve include, in addition to the short rate, the government bond supply for each maturity. The supply shock is not restricted to be perfectly correlated across maturities. The effect on the yield curve of a bond supply shock that is local to a maturity is largest at the maturity. This hump-shaped response of the yield curve persists in spite of the absence of preferred-habitat investors.
FRB Atlanta CQER Working Paper , Paper 2016-1

Working Paper
Comment on Giacomini, Kitagawa and Read's 'Narrative Restrictions and Proxies'

In a series of recent studies, Raffaella Giacomini and Toru Kitagawa have developed an innovative new methodological approach to estimating sign-identified structural VAR models that seeks to build a bridge between Bayesian and frequentist approaches in the literature. Their latest paper with Matthew Read contains thought-provoking new insights about modeling narrative restrictions in sign-identified structural VAR models. My discussion puts their contribution into the context of Giacomini and Kitagawa’s broader research agenda and relates it to the larger literature on estimating ...
Working Papers , Paper 2117

Report
Micro Responses to Macro Shocks

We study estimation and inference in panel data regression models when the regressors of interest are macro shocks, which speaks to a large empirical literature that targets impulse responses via local projections. Our results hold under general dynamics and are uniformly valid over the degree of signal-to-noise of aggregate shocks. We show that the regression scores feature strong cross-sectional dependence and a known autocorrelation structure induced only by leads of the regressor. In general, including lags as controls and then clustering over the cross-section leads to simple, robust ...
Staff Reports , Paper 1090

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