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This volume of Advances in Econometrics is devoted to dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models, which have gained popularity in both academic and policy circles as a theoretically and methodologically coherent way of analyzing a variety of issues in empirical macroeconomics. The volume is divided into two parts. The first part covers important topics in DSGE modeling and estimation practice, including the modeling and role of expectations, the study of alternative pricing models, the problem of non-invertibility in structural VARs, the possible weak identification in new open economy macro models, and the modeling of trend inflation. The second part is devoted to innovations in econometric methodology. The papers in this section advance new techniques for addressing key theoretical and inferential problems and include discussion and applications of Laplace-type, frequency domain, empirical likelihood, and method of moments estimators.
This paper surveys the treatment of expectations in estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) macroeconomic models.A recent notable development in the…
This paper surveys the treatment of expectations in estimated Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) macroeconomic models.
A recent notable development in the empirical macroeconomics literature has been the rapid growth of papers that build structural models, which include a number of frictions and shocks, and which are confronted with the data using sophisticated full-information econometric approaches, often using Bayesian methods.
A widespread assumption in these estimated models, as in most of the macroeconomic literature in general, is that economic agents' expectations are formed according to the Rational Expectations Hypothesis (REH). Various alternative ways to model the formation of expectations have, however, emerged: some are simple refinements that maintain the REH, but change the information structure along different dimensions, while others imply more significant departures from rational expectations.
I review here the modeling of the expectation formation process and discuss related econometric issues in current structural macroeconomic models. The discussion includes benchmark models assuming rational expectations, extensions based on allowing for sunspots, news, sticky information, as well as models that abandon the REH to use learning, heuristics, or subjective expectations.
A state space representation of a linearized DSGE model implies a VAR in terms of observable variables. The model is said be non-invertible if there exists no linear rotation of the VAR innovations which can recover the economic shocks. Non-invertibility arises when the observed variables fail to perfectly reveal the state variables of the model. The imperfect observation of the state drives a wedge between the VAR innovations and the deep shocks, potentially invalidating conclusions drawn from structural impulse response analysis in the VAR. The principal contribution of this chapter is to show that non-invertibility should not be thought of as an “either/or” proposition – even when a model has a non-invertibility, the wedge between VAR innovations and economic shocks may be small, and structural VARs may nonetheless perform reliably. As an increasingly popular example, so-called “news shocks” generate foresight about changes in future fundamentals – such as productivity, taxes, or government spending – and lead to an unassailable missing state variable problem and hence non-invertible VAR representations. Simulation evidence from a medium scale DSGE model augmented with news shocks about future productivity reveals that structural VAR methods often perform well in practice, in spite of a known non-invertibility. Impulse responses obtained from VARs closely correspond to the theoretical responses from the model, and the estimated VAR responses are successful in discriminating between alternative, nested specifications of the underlying DSGE model. Since the non-invertibility problem is, at its core, one of missing information, conditioning on more information, for example through factor augmented VARs, is shown to either ameliorate or eliminate invertibility problems altogether.
The Laplace-type estimator (LTE) is a simulation-based alternative to the classical extremum estimator that has gained popularity in applied research. We show that even…
The Laplace-type estimator (LTE) is a simulation-based alternative to the classical extremum estimator that has gained popularity in applied research. We show that even though the estimator has desirable asymptotic properties, in small samples the point estimate provided by LTE may not necessarily converge to the extremum of the sample objective function. Furthermore, we suggest a simple test to verify if the estimator converges. We illustrate these results by estimating a prototype dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model widely used in macroeconomics research.
The role of trend inflation shocks for the U.S. macroeconomic dynamics is investigated by estimating two DSGE models of the business cycle. Policymakers are assumed to be…
The role of trend inflation shocks for the U.S. macroeconomic dynamics is investigated by estimating two DSGE models of the business cycle. Policymakers are assumed to be concerned with a time-varying inflation target, which is modeled as a persistent and stochastic process. The identification of trend inflation shocks (as opposed to a number of alternative innovations) is achieved by exploiting the measure of trend inflation recently proposed by Aruoba and Schorfheide (2011). Our main findings point to a substantial contribution of trend inflation shocks for the volatility of inflation and the policy rate. Such contribution is found to be time dependent and highest during the mid-1970s to mid-1980s.