Forecast evaluation with cross-sectional data: The Blue Chip Surveys
If economic forecasts are to be used for decision making, then being able to evaluate their accuracy is essential. Assessing accuracy using single variables from a forecast is acceptable as a first pass, but this approach has inherent problems. This article addresses some of these problems by evaluating and comparing the general accuracy of a set of multivariate forecasts over time. ; Using the methodology developed in Eisenbeis, Waggoner, and Zha (2002), the authors compare the economic forecasts in the Blue Chip Economic Indicators Survey. The survey, published monthly since 1977, contains ...
Indeterminacy in a forward-looking regime-switching model
This paper is about the properties of Markov-switching rational expectations (MSRE) models. We discuss possible solution concepts for MSRE models, distinguishing between stationary and bounded equilibria. For the case of models with one variable, we provide a necessary and sufficient condition for uniqueness of a bounded equilibrium, and we relate this condition to an alternative, the generalized Taylor principle suggested by Davig and Leeper. We provide examples of models with multiple bounded and multiple stationary equilibria which suggest that it may be more difficult to rule out ...
Evaluating Wall Street Journal survey forecasters: a multivariate approach
This paper proposes a methodology for assessing the joint performance of multivariate forecasts of economic variables. The methodology is illustrated by comparing the rankings of forecasters by the Wall Street Journal with the authors? alternative rankings. The results show that the methodology can provide useful insights as to the certainty of forecasts as well as the extent to which various forecasts are similar or different.
Monetary Stimulus amid the Infrastructure Investment Spree: Evidence from China's Loan-Level Data
We study the impacts of the 2009 monetary stimulus and its interaction with infrastructure spending on credit allocation. We develop a two-stage estimation approach and apply it to China's loan-level data that covers all sectors in the economy. We find that except for the manufacturing sector, monetary stimulus itself did not favor state-owned enterprises (SOEs) over non-SOEs in credit access. Infrastructure investment driven by nonmonetary factors, however, enhanced the monetary transmission to bank credit allocated to local government financing vehicles in infrastructure and at the same ...
Normalization in econometrics
The issue of normalization arises whenever two different values for a vector of unknown parameters imply the identical economic model. A normalization does not just imply a rule for selecting which point, among equivalent ones, to call the maximum likelihood estimator (MLE). It also governs the topography of the set of points that go into a small-sample confidence interval associated with that MLE. A poor normalization can lead to multimodal distributions, disjoint confidence intervals, and very misleading characterizations of the true statistical uncertainty. This paper introduces the ...
Asymmetric expectation effects of regime shifts and the Great Moderation
The possibility of regime shifts in monetary policy can have important effects on rational agents' expectation formation and equilibrium dynamics. In a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model where the monetary policy rule switches between a dovish regime that accommodates inflation and a hawkish regime that stabilizes inflation, the expectation effect is asymmetric across regimes. Such an asymmetric effect makes it difficult but still possible to generate substantial reductions in the volatilities of inflation and output as the monetary policy switches from the dovish regime to the ...
Sources of the Great Moderation: shocks, frictions, or monetary policy?
We study the sources of the Great Moderation by estimating a variety of medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models that incorporate regime switches in shock variances and the inflation target. The best-fit model?the one with two regimes in shock variances?gives quantitatively different dynamics compared with the benchmark constant-parameter model. Our estimates show that three kinds of shocks accounted for most of the Great Moderation and business-cycle fluctuations: capital depreciation shocks, neutral technology shocks, and wage markup shocks. In contrast to the ...
A Gibbs simulator for restricted VAR models
Many economic applications call for simultaneous equations VAR modeling. We show that the existing importance sampler can be prohibitively inefficient for this type of models. We develop a Gibbs simulator that works for both simultaneous and recursive VAR models with a much broader range of linear restrictions than those in the existing literature. We show that the required computation is of an SUR type, and thus our method can be implemented cheaply even for large systems of multiple equations.
Perturbation methods for Markov-switching DSGE models
Markov-switching DSGE (MSDSGE) modeling has become a growing body of literature on economic and policy issues related to structural shifts. This paper develops a general perturbation methodology for constructing high-order approximations to the solutions of MSDSGE models. Our new method, called "the partition perturbation method," partitions the Markov-switching parameter space to keep a maximum number of time-varying parameters from perturbation. For this method to work in practice, we show how to reduce the potentially intractable problem of solving MSDSGE models to the manageable problem ...
Understanding the New Keynesian model when monetary policy switches regimes
This paper studies a New Keynesian model in which monetary policy may switch between regimes. We derive sufficient conditions for indeterminacy that are easy to implement and we show that the necessary and sufficient condition for determinacy, provided by Davig and Leeper, is necessary but not sufficient. More importantly, we use a two-regime model to show that indeterminacy in a passive regime may spill over to an active regime no matter how active the latter regime is. As a result, a passive monetary policy is more damaging than has been previously thought. Our results imply that the ...