Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments

85 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2003

See all articles by William A. Brock

William A. Brock

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Department of Economics; University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics

Steven N. Durlauf

University of Chicago; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Kenneth D. West

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: October 2003

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Brock, William A. and Durlauf, Steven N. and West, Kenneth D., Policy Evaluation in Uncertain Economic Environments (October 2003). NBER Working Paper No. w10025. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=457547

William A. Brock

University of Wisconsin, Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-6655 (Phone)
608-263-3876 (Fax)

University of Missouri at Columbia - Department of Economics ( email )

118 Professional Building
Columbia, MO 65211
United States

Steven N. Durlauf (Contact Author)

University of Chicago ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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Kenneth D. West

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-262-0033 (Phone)
608-262-2033 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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