October 2015

Regime-Switching Models for Estimating Inflation Uncertainty

Jeremy J. Nalewaik


This paper constructs regime-switching models for estimating the probability of inflation returning to its relatively high levels of variability and persistence in the 1970s and 1980s. Forecasts and probabilities of extreme events from the models are evaluated against comparable estimates from other statistical models, from surveys, and from financial markets. The paper then uses the models to construct prediction intervals around Federal Reserve Board staff forecasts of PCE price inflation, combining the recent non-parametric forecast error distribution with parametric information from the model. The outer tails of the prediction intervals depend importantly on the probability inflation is in its high-variance, high-persistence regime.

Accessible materials (.zip)

Keywords: Inflation, Markov-Switching, Uncertainty

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17016/FEDS.2015.093

PDF: Full Paper

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Last Update: June 19, 2020