Assessing the Transmission of Monetary Policy Shocks Using Dynamic Factor Models

Korobilis, Dimitris (2009) Assessing the Transmission of Monetary Policy Shocks Using Dynamic Factor Models. Discussion paper. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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    The evolution of monetary policy in the U.S. is examined based on structural dynamic factor models. I extend the current literature which questions the stability of the monetary transmission mechanism, by proposing and studying time-varying parameters factor-augmented vector autoregressions (TVP-FAVAR), which allow for fast and efficient inference based on hundreds of explanatory variables. Different specifications are compared where the factor loadings, VAR coefficients and error covariances, or combinations of those, may change gradually in every period or be subject to small breaks. The model is applied to 157 post-World War II U.S. quarterly macroeconomic variables. The results clearly suggest that the propagation of the monetary and non-monetary (exogenous) shocks has altered its behavior, and specifically in a fashion which supports smooth evolution rather than abrupt change. The most notable changes were in the responses of real activity measures, prices and monetary aggregates, while other key indicators of the economy remained relatively unaffected.