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On the reduced macroeconomic volatility of the Australian economy: Good policy or good luck?

Jamie Cross ()

Economic Modelling, 2019, vol. 77, issue C, 174-186

Abstract: The Australian economy has experienced various changes in macroeconomic conditions over the past four decades. These changes have been associated with reduced volatility in key macroeconomic variables: CPI inflation, real GDP and the TWI measured real exchange rate. In light of this fact, my objective in this paper is to determine whether this reduction is associated with good policy or good luck. To this end, I estimate a time varying structural VAR model that is identified with theoretically consistent sign restrictions from a small open economy dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. The primary result is that both non-systematic and systematic monetary policy have changed over the past four decades. In particular, non-systematic responses of inflation, real GDP and the exchange rate have increased since the adoption of a flexible exchange rate in 1983, while systematic responses of the cash rate to inflation have experienced various changes in intensities, exhibiting a trend towards a more passive behaviour since the 2007/08 financial crisis. Taken together, these results suggest that the reduction in macroeconomic volatility is associated with good policy.

Date: 2019
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