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Assessing the Lucas Critique in Monetary Policy Models

Empirical estimates of monetary policy rules suggest that the behavior of U.S. monetary policymakers changed during the past few decades. However, for that same time period, statistical analyses of lagged representations of the economy, such as VARs, often have not rejected the null of structural stability. These two sets of empirical results appear to contradict the Lucas critique. This paper reconciles these results with the Lucas critique by showing that the apparent policy invariance of reduced forms is consistent with the magnitude of historical policy shifts and the relative insensitivity of the reduced forms of plausible forward-looking macroeconomic specifications to policy shifts.