NBER Working Papers by Volker Wieland

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Working Papers

December 2009Quantitative Easing: A Rationale and Some Evidence from Japan
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 ...
April 2009Surprising Comparative Properties of Monetary Models: Results from a New Data Base
with John B. Taylor: w14849
In this paper we investigate the comparative properties of empirically-estimated monetary models of the U.S. economy. We make use of a new data base of models designed for such investigations. We focus on three representative models: the Christiano, Eichenbaum, Evans (2005) model, the Smets and Wouters (2007) model, and the Taylor (1993a) model. Although the three models differ in terms of structure, estimation method, sample period, and data vintage, we find surprisingly similar economic impacts of unanticipated changes in the federal funds rate. However, the optimal monetary policy responses to other sources of economic fluctuations are widely different in the different models. We show that simple optimal policy rules that respond to the growth rate of output and smooth the interest rat...
March 2009New Keynesian versus Old Keynesian Government Spending Multipliers
with John F. Cogan, Tobias Cwik, John B. Taylor: w14782
Renewed interest in fiscal policy has increased the use of quantitative models to evaluate policy. Because of modelling uncertainty, it is essential that policy evaluations be robust to alternative assumptions. We find that models currently being used in practice to evaluate fiscal policy stimulus proposals are not robust. Government spending multipliers in an alternative empirically-estimated and widely-cited new Keynesian model are much smaller than in these old Keynesian models; the estimated stimulus is extremely small just when needed most, and GDP and employment effects are only one-sixth as large, with private sector employment impacts likely to be even smaller.
May 1998Robustness of Simple Monetary Policy Rules under Model Uncertainty
with Andrew Levin, John C. Williams: w6570
In this paper, we investigate the properties of alternative monetary policy rules using four structural macroeconometric models: the Fuhrer-Moore model, Taylor's Multi-Country Model, the MSR model of Orphanides and Wieland, and the FRB staff model. All four models incorporate the assumptions of rational expectations, short-run nominal inertia, and long-run monetary neutrality, but differ in many other respects (e.g., the dynamics of prices and real expenditures). We compute the output-inflation volatility frontier of each model for alternative specifications of the interest rate rule, subject to an upper bound on nominal interest rate volatility. Our analysis provides strong support for rules in which the first-difference of the federal funds rate responds to the current output gap and th...

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