Year of publication
- 2010 (2) (remove)
- The diversity of forecasts from macroeconomic models of the U.S. economy (2010)
- This paper investigates the accuracy and heterogeneity of output growth and inflation forecasts during the current and the four preceding NBER-dated U.S. recessions. We generate forecasts from six different models of the U.S. economy and compare them to professional forecasts from the Federal Reserve’s Greenbook and the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The model parameters and model forecasts are derived from historical data vintages so as to ensure comparability to historical forecasts by professionals. The mean model forecast comes surprisingly close to the mean SPF and Greenbook forecasts in terms of accuracy even though the models only make use of a small number of data series. Model forecasts compare particularly well to professional forecasts at a horizon of three to four quarters and during recoveries. The extent of forecast heterogeneity is similar for model and professional forecasts but varies substantially over time. Thus, forecast heterogeneity constitutes a potentially important source of economic fluctuations. While the particular reasons for diversity in professional forecasts are not observable, the diversity in model forecasts can be traced to different modeling assumptions, information sets and parameter estimates. JEL Classification: C53, D84, E31, E32, E37 Keywords: Forecasting, Business Cycles, Heterogeneous Beliefs, Forecast Distribution, Model Uncertainty, Bayesian Estimation
- Essays on business cycle models, forecasting and monetary policy (2010)
- This dissertation introduces in chapter 1 a new comparative approach to model-based research and policy analysis by constructing an archive of business cycle models. It includes many well-known models used in academia and at policy institutions. A computational platform is created that allows straightforward comparisons of models’ implications for monetary and fiscal stabilization policies. Chapter 2 applies business cycle models to forecasting. Several New Keynesian models are estimated on historical U.S. data vintages and forecasts are computed for the five most recent recessions. The extent of forecast heterogeneity for models and professional forecasts is analysed. Chapter 3 extends the forecasting analysis to a long sample and to the evaluation of density forecasts. Weighted forecasts are computed using a variety of weighting schemes. The accuracy of forecasts is evaluated and compared to professional forecasts and forecasts from nonstructural time series methods. Chapter 4 adds a new feature to existing business cycle models. Specifically, a medium-scale New Keynesian model is constructed that allows for strategic complementarities in price-setting. The role of trade integration for monetary policy transmission is explored. A new dimension of the exchange rate channel is highlighted by which monetary policy directly impacts domestic inflation. Chapter 5 tests whether simple symmetric monetary policy rules used in most business cycle models are a sufficient description of reality. I use quantile regressions to estimate policy parameters and find asymmetric reactions to inflation, the output gap and past interest rates.