NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments

William A. Brock, Steven N. Durlauf, Kenneth D. West

NBER Working Paper No. 10025
Issued in October 2003
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ME

This paper develops a decision-theoretic approach to policy analysis. We argue that policy evaluation should be conducted on the basis of two factors: the policymaker's preferences, and the conditional distribution of the outcomes of interest given a policy and available information. From this perspective, the common practice of conditioning on a particular model is often inappropriate, since model uncertainty is an important element of policy evaluation. We advocate the use of model averaging to account for model uncertainty and show how it may be applied to policy evaluation exercises. We illustrate our approach with applications to monetary policy and to growth policy.

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Published: Brock, William A., Steven N. Durlauf and Kenneth D. West. "Policy Evaluation In Uncertain Economic Environments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, 2003, v2003(1), 235-322.

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