Richard Dennis

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We use a micro-founded macroeconometric modeling framework to investigate the design of monetary policy when the central bank faces uncertainty about the true structure of the economy. We apply Bayesian methods to estimate the parameters of the baseline specification using postwar U.S. data and then determine the policy under commitment that maximizes(More)
We estimate a small-scale, structural general equilibrium model of a small open economy using Bayesian methods. Our main focus is the conduct of monetary policy in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the U.K., as measured by nominal interest rate rules. We consider generic Taylor-type rules, where the monetary authority reacts in response to output,(More)
In this paper we model and explain US macroeconomic outcomes subject to the discipline that monetary policy is set optimally. Exploiting the restrictions that come from optimal policymaking, we estimate the parameters in the Federal Reserve’s policy objective function together with the parameters in its optimization constraints. For the period following(More)
We examine the performance and robustness properties of alternative monetary policy rules in the presence of structural change that renders the natural rates of interest and unemployment uncertain. Using a forward-looking quarterly model of the U.S. economy, estimated over the 1969-2002 period, we show that the cost of underestimating the extent of(More)
The Business Cycle Dating Committee (BCDC) of the National Bureau of Economic Research provides a historical chronology of business cycle turning points. This paper investigates three central aspects about this chronology: (1) How skillful is the BCDC in classifying economic activity into expansions and recessions? (2) Which indices of business conditions(More)
This paper presents techniques to solve for optimal simple monetary policy rules in rational expectations models. Both the pre-commitment and the discretionary solutions are considered. The techniques described are notable for the flexibility they provide over the structure of the policy rule being solved for. Specifically, not all state variables need(More)
This paper develops methods to solve for optimal discretionary policies and optimal commitment policies in rational expectations models. These algorithms, which allow the optimization constraints to be conveniently expressed in second-order structural form, are more general than existing methods and are simple to apply. We use several New Keynesian business(More)
In this paper, I evaluate the performance deterioration that occurs when the central bank employs an optimal targeting rule that is based on incorrect parameter values. I focus on two parameters — the degree of inflation inertia and the degree of price stickiness. I explicitly account for the effects of the structural parameters on the objective function(More)
Woodford (1999) develops the notion of a “timelessly optimal” pre-commitment policy. This paper uses a simple business cycle model to illustrate this notion. We show that timelessly optimal policies are not unique and that they are not necessarily better than the time-consistent solution. Further, we describe a method for constructing optimal precommitment(More)
This paper takes the parameters in central bank loss functions as fundamental preferences to be estimated from the data. It is these preferences (along with target values) that define the policy regime in operation and that potentially change with senior central bank appointments. Optimizing central banks apply policy rules whose feedback coefficients are(More)