Assessing U.S. Aggregate Fluctuations Across Time and Frequencies
45 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2019 Last revised: 29 Apr 2020
Date Written: 2019-02-28
We study the behavior of key macroeconomic variables in the time and frequency domain. For this purpose, we decompose U.S. time series into various frequency components. This allows us to identify a set of stylized facts: GDP growth is largely a high-frequency phenomenon whereby inflation and nominal interest rates are characterized largely by low-frequency components. In contrast, unemployment is a medium-term phenomenon. We use these decompositions jointly in a structural VAR where we identify monetary policy shocks using a sign restriction approach. We find that monetary policy shocks affect these key variables in a broadly similar manner across all frequency bands. Finally, we assess the ability of standard DSGE models to replicate these findings. While the models generally capture low-frequency movements via stochastic trends and business-cycle fluctuations through various frictions, they fail at capturing the medium-term cycle.
Keywords: Wavelets, bandpass filter, SVAR, sign restrictions, DSGE model
JEL Classification: C32, C51, E32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation