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La politique monétaire dans les modèles économétriques : primat de la théorie sur l'empirie

Abstract : The purpose of this thesis is to show the primacy of the theory over the empirics and prove that econometrics cannot be decisive to question the theory. For this, we rely on the limits of econometrics highlighted in discussions of monetary policy since the 1960s. We adopt an approach based on epistemological arguments to show that these debates go beyond the cleavage theory/empirics and that they integrate a difference of vision as to the usefulness of an empirical model. The research program of the Cowles Commission was formed around a particular articulation of three fundamental elements: a theoretical repository of Keynes' General Theory, a formal model based on the relative consensus on the IS-LM diagram and econometric techniques to estimate the parameters of this model. It is the nature and the degree of interdependence between these three elements that are contested by the monetarists and supporters of the VAR modeling. While Keynesians make a clear distinction between the theoretical model and the estimated model, this distinction is not clear and does not seem relevant to the monetarists. Sims (1980) criticizes the structural models of the Cowles Commission for including too many theoretical hypotheses empirically untested. He proposes to review the exogeneity assumptions through direct and specific econometric tests. However, the empirical indeterminacy of causality in a VAR, linked to the problem of observational equivalence (Basmann, 1965), requires the adoption of an identification scheme on the basis of a theoretical a priori to identify the monetary policy shocks. This is an extreme case of the problem of under-determination of theory by data raised by the Duhem-Quine thesis (Duhem 1906, Quine, 1951). Furthermore, Hoover (2009) notes that the impulse response analysis in a VAR provides a good example of what Cartwright (2007) calls “counterfactual impostor”. The development of the Error Correction Models and cointegrated VAR models has renewed the analysis of monetarist proposals. However, the links between the proposals for cointégration, the notions of long-term equilibrium and short term disequilibrium are rarely interpreted in the context of a rigorous and fully specified theoretical model. According to Faust and Leeper (1994), the identification of a model by imposing constraints may not be fruitful when economic theory does not clearly distinguish the short-term and long-term dynamics. Faust and Whiteman (1997) note the absence of an arbitration criterion in these approaches apparent in the presence of conflict between the theoretical principle and the adjustment to the data; otherwise subordination of the theory to the econometrics. Alongside the issue of identification, the Lucas critique (1976) is the second fundamental criticism facing the use of econometric models. Lucas (1980, 1986) adopts a new epistemological posture considering the theoretical model as a 'fiction' and not as a set of proposals on the behavior of a real economy. He supports the idea of explaining the cycle in terms of discipline of equilibrium (Lucas, 1977). The DSGE models, that constitute the fundamental models of the New Synthesis theory, are strongly influenced by Lucas' methodology and are a continuity of the RBC models (Taouil, 2011). Benati and Surico (2009) demonstrated the superiority of a DSGE model with respect to a structural VAR (SVAR). This failure is a direct consequence of inter-equation restrictions imposed by the rational expectations hypothesis, initially raised by Sargent's critics (1979).
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Abdelali Attioui. La politique monétaire dans les modèles économétriques : primat de la théorie sur l'empirie. Economies et finances. Université de Grenoble, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014GRENE004⟩. ⟨tel-01160084⟩

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