Involuntary Unemployment and the Business Cycle
Review of Economic Dynamics,
Can a model with limited labor market insurance explain standard macro and labor market data jointly? We construct a monetary model in which: i) the unemployed are worse off than the employed, i.e. unemployment is involuntary and ii) the labor force participation rate varies with the business cycle. To illustrate key features of our model, we start with the simplest possible framework. We then integrate the model into a medium-sized DSGE model and show that the resulting model does as well as existing models at accounting for the response of standard macroeconomic variables to monetary policy shocks and two technology shocks. In addition, the model does well at accounting for the response of the labor force and unemployment rate to these three shocks.
Switching to Good Policy? The Case of Central and Eastern European Inflation Targeters
The paper analyzes how actual monetary policy changed following the official adoption of inflation targeting in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland and how it affected the volatilities of important macroeconomic variables in the years thereafter. To disentangle the effects of the policy shift from exogenous changes in the volatilities of these variables, a Markov-switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model is estimated that allows for regime switches in the policy parameters and the volatilities of shocks hitting the economies. Whereas estimation results reveal periods of high and low volatility for all three economies, the presence of different policy regimes is supported by the underlying data for the Czech Republic and Poland, only. In both economies, monetary policy switched from weak and unsystematic to strong and systematic responses to inflation dynamics. Simulation results suggest that the policy shifts of both central banks successfully reduced inflation volatility in the following years. The observed reduction in output volatility, on the other hand, is attributed more to a reduction in the size of external shocks.
Sovereign Default Risk, Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Monetary-Fiscal Stabilisation
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines the role of sovereign default beliefs for macroeconomic fluctuations and stabilisation policy in a small open economy where fiscal solvency is a critical problem. We set up and estimate a DSGE model on Turkish data and show that accounting for sovereign risk significantly improves the fit of the model through an endogenous amplication between default beliefs, exchange rate and inflation movements. We then use the estimated model to study the implications of sovereign risk for stability, fiscal and monetary policy, and their interaction. We find that a relatively strong fiscal feedback from deficits to taxes, some exchange rate targeting, or a monetary response to default premia are more effective and efficient stabilisation tools than hawkish inflation targeting.
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The Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Estimated DSGE Model – The Case of the German Stimulus Packages During the Great Recession
In this paper, we analyze the effects of the stimulus packages adopted by the German government during the Great Recession. We employ a standard medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model extended by non-optimizing households and a detailed fiscal sector. In particular, the dynamics of spending and revenue variables are modeled as feedback rules with respect to the cyclical components of output, hours worked and private investment. Based on the estimated rules, fiscal shocks are identified. According to the results, fiscal policy, in particular public consumption, investment, and transfers prevented a sharper and prolonged decline of German output at the beginning of the Great Recession, suggesting a timely response of fiscal policy. The overall effects, however, are small when compared to other domestic and international shocks that contributed to the economic downturn. Our overall findings are not sensitive to considering fiscal foresight.
Expectation Formation, Financial Frictions, and Forecasting Performance of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models
Historical Social Research,
Special Issue: Governing by Numbers
In this paper, we document the forecasting performance of estimated basic dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models and compare this to extended versions which consider alternative expectation formation assumptions and financial frictions. We also show how standard model features, such as price and wage rigidities, contribute to forecasting performance. It turns out that neither alternative expectation formation behaviour nor financial frictions can systematically increase the forecasting performance of basic DSGE models. Financial frictions improve forecasts only during periods of financial crises. However, traditional price and wage rigidities systematically help to increase the forecasting performance.
On DSGE Models
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
The outcome of any important macroeconomic policy change is the net effect of forces operating on different parts of the economy. A central challenge facing policymakers is how to assess the relative strength of those forces. Economists have a range of tools that can be used to make such assessments. Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are the leading tool for making such assessments in an open and transparent manner. We review the state of mainstream DSGE models before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. We then describe how DSGE models are estimated and evaluated. We address the question of why DSGE modelers—like most other economists and policymakers—failed to predict the financial crisis and the Great Recession, and how DSGE modelers responded to the financial crisis and its aftermath. We discuss how current DSGE models are actually used by policymakers. We then provide a brief response to some criticisms of DSGE models, with special emphasis on criticism by Joseph Stiglitz, and offer some concluding remarks.
The Macroeconomic Risks of Undesirably Low Inflation
European Economic Review,
This paper investigates the macroeconomic risks associated with undesirably low inflation using a medium-sized New Keynesian model. We consider different causes of persistently low inflation, including a downward shift in long-run inflation expectations, a fall in nominal wage growth, and a favorable supply-side shock. We show that the macroeconomic effects of persistently low inflation depend crucially on its underlying cause, as well as on the extent to which monetary policy is constrained by the zero lower bound. Finally, we discuss policy options to mitigate these effects.