Year of publication
- Center for Financial Studies (CFS) (35) (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
- Macroeconomic model comparisons and forecast competition (2012)
- This contribution draws on two recent publications in which the macroeconomic model data base (www.macromodelbase.com) is employed for model comparisons. The comparative approach is used to base policy analysis on a systematic evaluation of the different implications that a certain economic policy can have when submitted to different modeling approaches. In this manner, policy recommendations are more robust to modeling uncertainty. By extending the comparative approach to forecasting, the authors investigate the accuracy of different forecasting models and obtain more reliable mean forecasts.
- Zwei Makroökonomen gewinnen den Nobelpreis (2012)
- In 2011 wurde der Preis für Wirtschaftswissenschaften der schwedischen Reichsbank im Gedenken an Alfred Nobel an die US-Ökonomen Thomas J. Sargent von der New York University und Chistopher A. Sims von Princeton University verliehen. Gerade deutsche Zeitungskommentare kritisierten die Forscher vielfach für die Verwendung „unrealistischer“ Annahmen wie Nutzenmaximierung und rationale Erwartungen. Diese Kritik verkennt den maßgeblichen Beitrag von Sargent und Sims zur Entwicklung der modernen Makroökonomik. Ihre empirischen Methoden sind heute Standardwerkzeuge der akademischen Forschung und werden auch von Ökonomen in Zentralbanken, Finanzministerien und internationalen Organisationen eingesetzt. Sie haben grundlegende neue Erkenntnisse ermöglicht, zum Beispiel über die Wirkungsweise der Geld- und Fiskalpolitik.
- A new comparative approach to macroeconomic modeling and policy analysis (2012)
- In the aftermath of the global financial crisis, the state of macroeconomic modeling and the use of macroeconomic models in policy analysis has come under heavy criticism. Macroeconomists in academia and policy institutions have been blamed for relying too much on a particular class of macroeconomic models. This paper proposes a comparative approach to macroeconomic policy analysis that is open to competing modeling paradigms. Macroeconomic model comparison projects have helped produce some very influential insights such as the Taylor rule. However, they have been infrequent and costly, because they require the input of many teams of researchers and multiple meetings to obtain a limited set of comparative findings. This paper provides a new approach that enables individual researchers to conduct model comparisons easily, frequently, at low cost and on a large scale. Using this approach a model archive is built that includes many well-known empirically estimated models that may be used for quantitative analysis of monetary and fiscal stabilization policies. A computational platform is created that allows straightforward comparisons of models’ implications. Its application is illustrated by comparing different monetary and fiscal policies across selected models. Researchers can easily include new models in the data base and compare the effects of novel extensions to established benchmarks thereby fostering a comparative instead of insular approach to model development.
- Monetary policy and uncertainty about the natural unemployment rate (2003)
- Inflation-targeting central banks have only imperfect knowledge about the effect of policy decisions on inflation. An important source of uncertainty is the relationship between inflation and unemployment. This paper studies the optimal monetary policy in the presence of uncertainty about the natural unemployment rate, the short-run inflation-unemployment tradeoff and the degree of inflation persistence in a simple macroeconomic model, which incorporates rational learning by the central bank as well as private sector agents. Two conflicting motives drive the optimal policy. In the static version of the model, uncertainty provides a motive for the policymaker to move more cautiously than she would if she knew the true parameters. In the dynamic version, uncertainty also motivates an element of experimentation in policy. I find that the optimal policy that balances the cautionary and activist motives typically exhibits gradualism, that is, it still remains less aggressive than a policy that disregards parameter uncertainty. Exceptions occur when uncertainty is very high and in inflation close to target.
- Learning, endogenous indexation and disinflation in the New-Keynesian Model (2008)
- This paper introduces adaptive learning and endogenous indexation in the New-Keynesian Phillips curve and studies disinflation under inflation targeting policies. The analysis is motivated by the disinflation performance of many inflation-targeting countries, in particular the gradual Chilean disinflation with temporary annual targets. At the start of the disinflation episode price-setting firms’ expect inflation to be highly persistent and opt for backward-looking indexation. As the central bank acts to bring inflation under control, price-setting firms revise their estimates of the degree of persistence. Such adaptive learning lowers the cost of disinflation. This reduction can be exploited by a gradual approach to disinflation. Firms that choose the rate for indexation also re-assess the likelihood that announced inflation targets determine steady-state inflation and adjust indexation of contracts accordingly. A strategy of announcing and pursuing short-term targets for inflation is found to influence the likelihood that firms switch from backward-looking indexation to the central bank’s targets. As firms abandon backward-looking indexation the costs of disinflation decline further. We show that an inflation targeting strategy that employs temporary targets can benefit from lower disinflation costs due to the reduction in backward-looking indexation.
- Quantitative easing: a rationale and some evidence from Japan (2009)
- This paper reviews the rationale for quantitative easing when central bank policy rates reach near zero levels in light of recent announcements regarding direct asset purchases by the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, the U.S. Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. Empirical evidence from the previous period of quantitative easing in Japan between 2001 and 2006 is presented. During this earlier period the Bank of Japan was able to expand the monetary base very quickly and significantly. Quantitative easing translated into a greater and more lasting expansion of M1 relative to nominal GDP. Deflation subsided by 2005. As soon as inflation appeared to stabilize near a rate of zero, the Bank of Japan rapidly reduced the monetary base as a share of nominal income as it had announced in 2001. The Bank was able to exit from extensive quantitative easing within less than a year. Some implications for the current situation in Europe and the United States are discussed.
- Fiscal stimulus and the promise of future spending cuts: a comment (2009)
- Recent evaluations of the fiscal stimulus packages recently enacted in the United States and Europe such as Cogan, Cwik, Taylor and Wieland (2009) and Cwik and Wieland (2009) suggest that the GDP effects will be modest due to crowding-out of private consumption and investment. Corsetti, Meier and Mueller (2009a,b) argue that spending shocks are typically followed by consolidations with substantive spending cuts, which enhance the short-run stimulus effect. This note investigates the implications of this argument for the estimated impact of recent stimulus packages and the case for discretionary fiscal policy.
- Dem Druck standhalten (2013)
- Für ein Ende der expansiven Geldpolitik ist es zu früh. Doch wenn die Inflationserwartungen steigen, muss die EZB trotz aller Widerstände den Leitzins erhöhen.
- Stellungnahme zum Antrag der SPD-Fraktion auf Einführung einer Finanztransaktionssteuer in Europa (2011)
- Die Finanztransaktionssteuer ist kein geeignetes Instrument zur Verringerung systemischer Risiken, noch ein Mittel zur Vorbeugung einer Finanzkrise. Da sie zudem nur in Deutschland, Frankreich und einzelnen anderen Staaten eingeführt würde, wäre das Steueraufkommen, aufgrund von Steuerumgehung durch Verlagerung von Finanztransaktionen ins Ausland, gering.