NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Model Uncertainty and Policy Evaluation: Some Theory and Empirics

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

NBER Working Paper No. 10916
Issued in November 2004
NBER Program(s):   EFG   ME

This paper explores ways to integrate model uncertainty into policy evaluation. We first describe a general framework for the incorporation of model uncertainty into standard econometric calculations. This framework employs Bayesian model averaging methods that have begun to appear in a range of economic studies. Second, we illustrate these general ideas in the context of assessment of simple monetary policy rules for some standard New Keynesian specifications. The specifications vary in their treatment of expectations as well as in the dynamics of output and inflation. We conclude that the Taylor rule has good robustness properties, but may reasonably be challenged in overall quality with respect to stabilization by alternative simple rules that also condition on lagged interest rates, even though these rules employ parameters that are set without accounting for model uncertainty.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10916

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