Globalization Institute Working Papers
The Distributional Effects of COVID-19 and Mitigation Policies
Abstract: This paper develops a quantitative life cycle model in which economic decisions impact the spread of COVID-19 and, conversely, the virus affects economic decisions. The calibrated model is used to measure the welfare costs of the pandemic across the age, income and wealth distribution and to study the effectiveness of various mitigation policies. In the absence of mitigation, young workers engage in too much economic activity relative to the social optimum, leading to higher rates of infection and death in the aggregate. The paper considers a subsidy-and-tax policy that imposes a tax on consumption and subsidizes reduced work compared to a lockdown policy that caps work hours. Both policies are welfare improving and lead to less infections and deaths. Notably, almost all agents favor the subsidy-and-tax policy, suggesting that there need not be a tradeoff between saving lives and economic welfare.
Monetary Policy and Economic Performance Since the Financial Crisis
Dario Caldara, Etienne Gagnon, Enrique Martínez-García and Christopher J. Neely
Abstract: We review the macroeconomic performance over the period since the Global Financial Crisis and the challenges in the pursuit of the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate. We characterize the use of forward guidance and balance sheet policies after the federal funds rate reached the effective lower bound. We also review the evidence on the efficacy of these tools and consider whether policymakers might have used them more forcefully. Finally, we examine the post-crisis experience of other major central banks with these policy tools.
How Do Housing Markets Affect Local Consumer Prices? – Evidence from U.S. Cities
Chi-Young Choi and Soojin Jo
Abstract: Analyzing city-level retail price data for a variety of consumer products, we find that house price changes lead local consumer price changes, but not vice versa. The transmission of the house price changes differs substantially across locations and products. It also hinges on the nature of housing market shocks; housing supply shocks propagate through the cost-push channel via local cost and markup effects, while housing demand shocks transmit through conventional wealth and collateral effects. Our findings suggest that housing may exert greater impacts on the local cost-of-living and consumer welfare than what is reflected in its share in CPI.
Liquidity Traps in a Monetary Union
Abstract: The closed economy macro literature has shown that a liquidity trap can result from the self-fulfilling expectation that future inflation and output will be low (Benhabib et al. (2001)). This paper investigates expectations-driven liquidity traps in a two-country New Keynesian model of a monetary union. In the model here, country-specific productivity shocks induce synchronized responses of domestic and foreign output, while country-specific aggregate demand shocks trigger asymmetric domestic and foreign responses. A rise in government purchases in an individual country lowers GDP in the rest of the union. The results here cast doubt on the view that, in the current era of ultra-low interest rates, a rise in fiscal spending by Euro Area (EA) core countries would significantly boost GDP in the EA periphery (e.g., Blanchard et al. (2016)).
A Generalized Time Iteration Method for Solving Dynamic Optimization Problems with Occasionally Binding Constraints
Ayşe Kabukçuoğlu and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: We study a generalized version of Coleman (1990)’s time iteration method (GTI) for solving dynamic optimization problems. Our benchmark framework is an irreversible investment model with labor-leisure choice. The GTI algorithm is simple to implement and provides advantages in terms of speed relative to Howard (1960)’s improvement algorithm. A second application on a heterogeneous-agents incomplete-markets model further explores the performance of GTI.
BGVAR: Bayesian Global Vector Autoregressions with Shrinkage Priors in R
Maximilian Böck, Martin Feldkircher and Florian Huber
Abstract: This document introduces the R library BGVAR to estimate Bayesian global vector autoregressions (GVAR) with shrinkage priors and stochastic volatility. The Bayesian treatment of GVARs allows us to include large information sets by mitigating issues related to overfitting. This improves inference and often leads to better out-of-sample forecasts. Computational efficiency is achieved by using C++ to considerably speed up time-consuming functions. To maximize usability, the package includes numerous functions for carrying out structural inference and forecasting. These include generalized and structural impulse response functions, forecast error variance and historical decompositions as well as conditional forecasts.
Variable Selection and Forecasting in High Dimensional Linear Regressions with Structural Breaks
Alexander Chudik, M. Hashem Pesaran and Mahrad Sharifvaghefi
Abstract: This paper is concerned with the problem of variable selection and forecasting in the presence of parameter instability. There are a number of approaches proposed for forecasting in the presence of breaks, including the use of rolling windows or exponential down-weighting. However, these studies start with a given model specification and do not consider the problem of variable selection. It is clear that, in the absence of breaks, researchers should weigh the observations equally at both the variable selection and forecasting stages. In this study, we investigate whether or not we should use weighted observations at the variable selection stage in the presence of structural breaks, particularly when the number of potential covariates is large. Amongst the extant variable selection approaches we focus on the recently developed One Covariate at a time Multiple Testing (OCMT) method that allows a natural distinction between the selection and forecasting stages, and provide theoretical justification for using the full (not down-weighted) sample in the selection stage of OCMT and down-weighting of observations only at the forecasting stage (if needed). The benefits of the proposed method are illustrated by empirical applications to forecasting output growths and stock market returns.
Supplement DOI: https://doi.org/10.24149/gwp394supp
Exporting and Pollution Abatement Expenditure: Evidence from Firm-Level Data
Soumendra N. Banerjee, Jayjit Roy and Mahmut Yasar
Abstract: The relevance of analyzing whether exporting firms engage in greater pollution abatement cannot be overemphasized. For instance, the question relates to the possibility of export promotion policies being environmentally beneficial. In fact, the issue is especially relevant for developing countries typically characterized by ineffective environmental regulation. However, despite the significance of the topic, the extant literature examining the environmental consequences of firm-level trade is skewed toward developed countries. Moreover, the existing contributions rarely attend to concerns over non-random selection into exporting. Accordingly, we employ cross-sectional data across Indonesian firms as well as a number of novel identification strategies to assess the causal effect of exporting on abatement behavior. Two of the approaches are proposed by Millimet and Tchernis (2013), and entail either minimizing or correcting for endogeneity bias. The remaining methods, attributable to Lewbel (2012) and Klein and Vella (2009), rely on higher moments of the data to obtain exclusion restrictions. While we largely find exporting to encourage pollution abatement, the estimated impacts are more pronounced after accounting for selection into exporting.
Mind the Gap!—A Monetarist View of the Open-Economy Phillips Curve
Ayşe Dur and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: In many countries, inflation has become less responsive to domestic factors and more responsive to global factors over the past decades. We introduce money and credit into the workhorse open-economy New Keynesian model. With this framework, we show that: (i) an efficient forecast of domestic inflation is based solely on domestic and foreign slack, and (ii) global liquidity (global money as well as global credit) is tied to global slack in equilibrium. Then, motivated by the theory, we evaluate empirically the performance of open-economy Phillips-curve-based forecasts constructed using global liquidity measures (such as G7 credit growth and G7 money supply growth) instead of global slack as predictive regressors. Using 50 years of quarterly U.S. data, we document that these global liquidity variables perform significantly better than their domestic counterparts and outperform in practice the poorly-measured indicators of global slack that global liquidity proxies for.
Appendix DOI: https://doi.org/10.24149/gwp392app
Macroeconomic Effects of Capital Tax Rate Changes
Saroj Bhattarai, Jae Won Lee, Woong Yong Park and Choongryul Yang
Abstract: We study aggregate, distributional and welfare effects of a permanent reduction in the capital tax rate in a quantitative equilibrium model with capital-skill complementarity. Such a tax reform leads to expansionary long-run aggregate effects, but is coupled with an increase in wage and income inequality. Moreover, the expansionary aggregate effects are smaller when distortionary labor or consumption tax rates have to increase to finance the capital tax rate cut, driven by effects on labor supply decisions. An extension to a model with heterogeneous households shows that consumption inequality also increases in the long run, which leads to a further rise in wage inequality. We study transition dynamics and show that joint modeling of monetary and fiscal policy response is important for analyzing short-run effects. Finally, we contrast the long-term aggregate welfare gains with short-term losses, regardless of how the tax cut is financed. In the model with heterogeneous households, we additionally show that welfare gains for the skilled go together with welfare losses for the unskilled.
Forecast Performance in Times of Terrorism
Jonathan Benchimol and Makram El-Shagi
Abstract: Governments, central banks and private companies make extensive use of expert and market-based forecasts in their decision-making processes. These forecasts can be affected by terrorism, a factor that should be considered by decision-makers. We focus on terrorism as a mostly endogenously driven form of political uncertainty and assess the forecasting performance of market-based and professional inflation and exchange rate forecasts in Israel. We show that expert forecasts are better than market-based forecasts, particularly during periods of terrorism. However, the performance of both market-based and expert forecasts is significantly worse during such periods. Thus, policymakers should be particularly attentive to terrorism when considering inflation and exchange rate forecasts.
A Matter of Perspective: Mapping Linear Rational Expectations Models into Finite-Order VAR Form
Abstract: This paper considers the characterization of the reduced-form solution of a large class of linear rational expectations models. I show that under certain conditions, if a solution exists and is unique, it can be cast in finite-order VAR form. I also investigate the conditions for the VAR form to be stationary with a well-defined residual variance-covariance matrix in equilibrium, for the shocks to be recoverable, and for local identification of the structural parameters for estimation from the sample likelihood. An application to the workhorse New Keynesian model with accompanying Matlab codes illustrates the practical use of the finite-order VAR representation. In particular, I argue that the identification of monetary policy shocks based on structural VARs can be more closely aligned with theory using the finite-order VAR form of the model solution characterized in this paper.
Markus Brueckner, Ngo Van Long and Joaquin Vespignani
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between countries’ bilateral trade with the United States that is not due to gravity (non-gravity trade) and the distribution of income within countries. In countries where only a small share of the population is educated, an increase in non-gravity trade is associated with a significant increase in income inequality. As education of the population increases, the correlation between non-gravity trade and income inequality becomes smaller. Non-gravity trade has no significant effect on income inequality in countries that are world leaders in education.
Reserves and Risk: Evidence from China
Rasmus Fatum, Takahiro Hattori and Yohei Yamamoto
Abstract: We consider if the Chinese accumulation of reserves is associated with unintended consequences in the form of increased private sector risk taking. Using sovereign credit default swap spreads and stock index prices as indicators of risk taking, we provide evidence to suggest that as reserve holdings increase, so does the willingness of the private sector to take on more risk. This is an important finding that adds credence to the suggestion that insurance through costly reserves, to be used in the event of a crisis, may lead to private sector actions that in and of themselves make it more likely that this insurance will be used.
Switching Volatility in a Nonlinear Open Economy
Jonathan Benchimol and Sergey Ivashchenko
Abstract: Uncertainty about an economy’s regime can change drastically around a crisis. An imported crisis such as the global financial crisis in the euro area highlights the effect of foreign shocks. Estimating an open-economy nonlinear dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model for the euro area and the United States including Markov-switching volatility shocks, we show that these shocks were significant during the global financial crisis compared with periods of calm. We describe how U.S. shocks from both the real economy and financial markets affected the euro area economy and how bond reallocation occurred between short- and long-term maturities during the global financial crisis. Importantly, the estimated nonlinearities when domestic and foreign financial markets influence the economy should not be neglected. The nonlinear behavior of market-related variables highlights the importance of higher-order estimation for providing additional interpretations to policymakers.
The Moderating Role of Green Energy and Energy-Innovation in Environmental Kuznets: Insights from Quantile-Quantile Analysis
Hammed Oluwaseyi Musibau, Rabindra Nepal, Joaquin Vespignani and Maria Yanotti
Abstract: The recent environmental challenges in Africa that emanated from global warming, human activity, limited access to electricity and overexploitation of natural resources have contributed to the growth of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the region. This paper empirically investigates the moderating role of green energy consumption and energy innovation in the environmental Kuznets curve for the Sub-Saharan African (SSA) region using data spanning from 1980 to 2018. Our threshold model found that at least 54 percent of the population needs access to energy innovation before the region could be safe from environmental degradation. We conclude that investment in green energy, energy innovation and conservation of natural resources will help to mitigate environmental degradation in SSA in the long run. Policies should be targeted towards encouraging the consumption of green energy, and more investment in energy innovation beyond the estimated threshold will save the region from pollution and its implications.
Checking the Path Towards Recovery from the COVID-19 Isolation Response
Finn E. Kydland and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: This paper examines the impact of the behavioral changes and governments' responses to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic using a unique dataset of daily private forecasters' expectations on a sample of 32 emerging and advanced economies from January 1 till April 13, 2020. We document three important lessons from the data: First, there is evidence of a relation between the stringency of the policy interventions and the health outcomes consistent with slowing down the spread of the pandemic. Second, we find robust evidence that private forecasters have come to anticipate a sizeable contraction in economic activity followed by a check mark recovery as a result of the governments' increasingly stringent response. The evidence suggests also that workplace restrictions have further contributed to the downturn and to the subsequent sluggish recovery—opening up the question about the costs of tighter work restrictions. Finally, we argue inflation expectations have not changed significantly so far. Through the lens of the neoclassical growth model, these changes in macro expectations can result from the resulting work disruptions and the potential productivity slowdown from the gradual de-escalation of the confinement.
exuber: Recursive Right-Tailed Unit Root Testing with R
Kostas Vasilopoulos, Efthymios Pavlidis and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: This paper introduces the R package exuber for testing and date-stamping periods of mildly explosive dynamics (exuberance) in time series. The package computes test statistics for the supremum ADF test (SADF) of Phillips, Wu and Yu (2011), the generalized SADF (GSADF) of Phillips, Shi and Yu (2015a,b), and the panel GSADF proposed by Pavlidis, Yusupova, Paya, Peel, Martínez-García, Mack and Grossman (2016); generates finite-sample critical values based on Monte Carlo and bootstrap methods; and implements the corresponding date-stamping procedures. The recursive least-squares algorithm that we introduce in our implementation of these techniques utilizes the matrix inversion lemma and in that way achieves significant speed improvements. We illustrate the speed gains in a simulation experiment, and provide illustrations of the package using artificial series and a panel on international house prices.
Voluntary and Mandatory Social Distancing: Evidence on COVID-19 Exposure Rates from Chinese Provinces and Selected Countries
Alexander Chudik, M. Hashem Pesaran and Alessandro Rebucci
Abstract: This paper considers a modification of the standard Susceptible-Infected-Recovered (SIR) model of epidemics that allows for different degrees of compulsory as well as voluntary social distancing. It is shown that the fraction of the population that self-isolates varies with the perceived probability of contracting the disease. Implications of social distancing both on the epidemic and recession curves are investigated and their trade off is simulated under a number of different social distancing and economic participation scenarios. We show that mandating social distancing is very effective at flattening the epidemic curve, but is costly in terms of employment loss. However, if targeted towards individuals most likely to spread the infection, the employment loss can be somewhat reduced. We also show that voluntary self-isolation driven by individuals’ perceived risk of becoming infected kicks in only towards the peak of the epidemic and has little or no impact on flattening the epidemic curve. Using available statistics and correcting for measurement errors, we estimate the rate of exposure to COVID-19 for 21 Chinese provinces and a selected number of countries. The exposure rates are generally small, but vary considerably between Hubei and other Chinese provinces as well as across countries. Strikingly, the exposure rate in Hubei province is around 40 times larger than the rates for other Chinese provinces, with the exposure rates for some European countries being 3-5 times larger than Hubei (the epicenter of the epidemic). The paper also provides country-specific estimates of the recovery rate, showing it to be about 21 days (a week longer than the 14 days typically assumed), and relatively homogeneous across Chinese provinces and for a selected number of countries.
Cryptocurrency Market Reactions to Regulatory News
Raphael Auer and Stijn Claessens
Abstract: Cryptocurrencies are often thought to operate out of the reach of national regulation, but in fact their valuations, transaction volumes and user bases react substantially to news about regulatory actions. The impact depends on the specific regulatory category to which the news relates: events related to general bans on cryptocurrencies or to their treatment under securities law have the greatest adverse effect, followed by news on combating money laundering and the financing of terrorism, and on restricting the interoperability of cryptocurrencies with regulated markets. News pointing to the establishment of specific legal frameworks tailored to cryptocurrencies and initial coin offerings coincides with strong market gains. These results suggest that cryptocurrency markets rely on regulated financial institutions to operate and that these markets are segmented across jurisdictions.
Why is the Hong Kong Housing Market Unaffordable? Some Stylized Facts and Estimations
Charles Ka Yui Leung, Joe Cho Yiu Ng and Edward Chi Ho Tang
Abstract: The house price in Hong Kong is well-known to be "unaffordable." This paper argues that the commonly used house price-to-income ratio may be misleading in an economy with almost half of the population living in either public rental housing or subsidized ownership. Moreover, we re-focus on the relationships between economic fundamentals and the housing market of Hong Kong. While the aggregate GDP, population and longevity continue to grow, the real wage and household income fall behind. The trend component of the real GDP growth suffers a permanent downward shift after the first quarter of 1989 (a “political scar”). The trend component of real wage growth is close to zero, and the counterpart of real consumption and real investment decline steadily. Meanwhile, the trend component of the real housing rent and price display patterns that decouple from the macroeconomic variables. We also discuss the directions for future research.
Shock-Dependent Exchange Rate Pass-Through: Evidence Based on a Narrative Sign Approach
Lian An, Mark A. Wynne and Ren Zhang
Abstract: This paper studies shock-dependent exchange rate pass-through for Japan with a Bayesian structural vector autoregression model. We identify the shocks by complementing the traditional sign and zero restrictions with narrative sign restrictions related to the Plaza Accord. We find that the narrative sign restrictions are highly informative, and substantially sharpen and even change the inferences of the structural vector autoregression model originally identified with only the traditional sign and zero restrictions. We show that there is a significant variation in the exchange rate pass-through across different shocks. Nevertheless, the exogenous exchange rate shock remains the most important driver of exchange rate fluctuations. Finally, we apply our model to “forecast” the dynamics of the exchange rate and prices conditional on certain foreign exchange interventions in 2018, which provides important policy implications for our shock-identification exercise.
Rational Bubbles in Non-Linear Business Cycle Models: Closed and Open Economies
Abstract: This paper studies rational bubbles in non-linear dynamic general equilibrium models of the macroeconomy. The term ‘rational bubble’ refers to multiple equilibria due to the absence of a transversality condition (TVC) for capital. The lack of TVC can be due to an OLG population structure. If a TVC is imposed, the macro models considered here have a unique solution. Bubbles reflect self-fulfilling fluctuations in agents’ expectations about future investment. In contrast to explosive rational bubbles in linearized models (Blanchard (1979)), the rational bubbles in non-linear models here are bounded. Bounded rational bubbles provide a novel perspective on the drivers and mechanisms of business cycles. I construct bubbles (in non-linear models) that feature recurrent boom-bust cycles characterized by persistent investment and output expansions which are followed by abrupt contractions in real activity. Both closed and open economies are analyzed. In a non-linear two-country model with integrated financial markets, bubbles must be perfectly correlated across countries. Global bubbles may, thus, help to explain the synchronization of international business cycles.
Quantifying Risks to Sovereign Market Access: Methods and Challenges
Diana Zigraiova, Aitor Erce and Xu Jiang
Abstract: In this paper we use data from the euro area to study episodes when sovereigns lose market access. We construct a detailed dataset with potential indicators of market access tensions, and evaluate their ability to forecast episodes when market access is lost, using various econometric approaches. We find that factors associated with high market access tensions are not limited to financial markets, but also encompass developments in global demand, macroeconomic conditions and the fiscal stance. Using the top-performing indicators, we construct a number of market tension indices and use them as single predictors of market access tensions. While such indices are helpful in capturing worsening conditions, they do not yield satisfactory out-of-sample results. On the other hand, using the same top-performing indicators in various multivariate models generates good forecasts of upcoming difficulties in accessing sovereign bond markets. Our results thus point to a trade-off between communicability and accuracy that policymakers face in the search for tools to evaluate risks to market access.
Forecasting Energy Commodity Prices: A Large Global Dataset Sparse Approach
Davide Ferrari, Francesco Ravazzolo and Joaquin Vespignani
Abstract: This paper focuses on forecasting quarterly energy prices of commodities, such as oil, gas and coal, using the Global VAR dataset proposed by Mohaddes and Raissi (2018). This dataset includes a number of potentially informative quarterly macroeconomic variables for the 33 largest economies, overall accounting for more than 80% of the global GDP. To deal with the information in this large database, we apply a dynamic factor model based on a penalized maximum likelihood approach that allows us to shrink parameters to zero and to estimate sparse factor loadings. The estimated latent factors show considerable sparsity and heterogeneity in the selected loadings across variables. When the model is extended to predict energy commodity prices up to four periods ahead, results indicate larger predictability relative to the benchmark random walk model for 1-quarter ahead for all energy commodities. In our application, the largest improvement in terms of prediction accuracy is observed when predicting gas prices from 1 to 4 quarters ahead.
The Effect of Central Bank Credibility on Forward Guidance in an Estimated New Keynesian Model (Revised May 2020)
Stephen J. Cole and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: This paper examines the effectiveness of forward guidance in an estimated New Keynesian model with imperfect central bank credibility. We estimate credibility for the U.S. Federal Reserve with Bayesian methods exploiting survey data on interest rate expectations from the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF). The results provide important takeaways: (1) The estimate of Federal Reserve credibility in terms of forward guidance announcements is relatively high, which indicates a degree of forward guidance effectiveness, but still one that is below the fully credible case. Hence, anticipation effects are attenuated and, accordingly, output and inflation do not respond as favorably to forward guidance announcements. (2) Imperfect central bank credibility is an important feature to resolve the so-called “forward guidance puzzle,” which the literature shows arises from the unrealistically large responses of macroeconomic variables to forward guidance statements in structural models with perfect credibility. (3) Imperfect monetary authority credibility can also explain the evidence of forecasting error predictability based on forecasting disagreement found in the SPF data. Thus, accounting for imperfect credibility is important to model the formation of expectations in the economy and to understand the transmission mechanism of forward guidance announcements.
The Growth Effects of El Niño and La Niña: Local Weather Conditions Matter
Cécile Couharde, Olivier Damette, Rémi Generoso and Kamiar Mohaddes
Abstract: This paper contributes to the climate-economy literature by analyzing the role of weather patterns in influencing the transmission of global climate cycles to economic growth. More specifically, we focus on El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) events and their interactions with local weather conditions, taking into account the heterogeneous and cumulative effects of weather patterns on economic growth and the asymmetry and nonlinearity in the global influence of ENSO on economic activity. Using data on 75 countries over the period 1975-2014, we provide evidence for the negative growth effects of ENSO events and show that there are substantial differences between its warm (El Niño) and cold (La Niña) phases and between climate zones. These differences are due to the heterogeneity in weather responses to ENSO events, known as teleconnections, which has so far not been taken into account by economists, and which will become more important in the climate-economy relationship given that climate change may substantially strengthen long-distance relationships between weather patterns around the world. We also show that the negative growth effects associated with these teleconnections are robust to the definition of ENSO events and more important over shorter meteorological onsets.
Technology Choice and the Long- and Short-Run Armington Elasticity
Abstract: This paper studies the international transmission of productivity shocks when the Armington elasticity is endogenized through firms' technology choice. With costly adjustment, technology choice allows for a low short-run elasticity and a high long-run elasticity. I provide analytical results which demonstrate how technology choice provides a solution to the Backus-Smith puzzle - the observed negative correlation between relative consumption and the real exchange rate. I then embed technology choice in a quantitative model of international trade with heterogeneous firms and endogenous producer entry. When the cost of adjustment is parameterized to match the correlation between relative consumption and the real exchange rate, the cross-correlation of GDP is higher than the cross-correlation of consumption, thereby providing a solution to the quantity anomaly.
Generational War on Inflation: Optimal Inflation Rates for the Young and the Old
Ippei Fujiwara, Shunsuke Hori and Yuichiro Waki
Abstract: How does a grayer society affect the political decision-making regarding inflation rates? Is deflation preferred as a society ages? In order to answer these questions, we compute the optimal inflation rates for the young and the old respectively, and explore how they change with demographic factors, by using a New Keynesian model with overlapping generations. According to our simulation results, there indeed exists a tension between the young and the old on the optimal inflation rates, with the optimal inflation rates differing between generations. The rates can be significantly different from zero, particularly, when heterogeneous impacts from inflation via nominal asset holdings are considered. The optimal inflation rates for the old can be largely negative, reflecting their positive nominal asset holdings as well as lower effective discount factor. Societal aging may exert downward pressure on inflation rates through a politico-economic mechanism.
Embedded Supervision: How to Build Regulation into Blockchain Finance
Abstract: The spread of distributed ledger technology (DLT) in finance could help to improve the efficiency and quality of supervision. This paper makes the case for embedded supervision, i.e., a regulatory framework that provides for compliance in tokenized markets to be automatically monitored by reading the market’s ledger, thus reducing the need for firms to actively collect, verify and deliver data. After sketching out a design for such schemes, the paper explores the conditions under which distributed ledger data might be used to monitor compliance. To this end, a decentralized market is modelled that replaces today’s intermediary-based verification of legal data with blockchain-enabled data credibility based on economic consensus. The key results set out the conditions under which the market’s economic consensus would be strong enough to guarantee that transactions are economically final, so that supervisors can trust the distributed ledger’s data. The paper concludes with a discussion of the legislative and operational requirements that would promote low-cost supervision and a level playing field for small and large firms.
Oil Curse, Economic Growth and Trade Openness
Joaquin Vespignani, Mala Raghavan and Monoj Kumar Majumder
Abstract: An important economic paradox that frequently arises in the economic literature is that countries with abundant natural resources are poor in terms of real gross domestic product per capita. This paradox, known as the “resource curse,” is contrary to the conventional intuition that natural resources help to improve economic growth and prosperity. Using panel data for 95 countries, this study revisits the resource curse paradox in terms of oil resource abundance for the period 1980–2017. In addition, the study examines the role of trade openness in influencing the relationship between oil abundance and economic growth. The study finds that trade openness is a possible avenue to reduce the resource curse. Trade openness allows countries to obtain competitive prices for their resources in the international market and access advanced technologies to extract resources more efficiently. Therefore, natural resource–rich economies can reduce the resource curse by opening themselves to international trade.
Drilling Down: The Impact of Oil Price Shocks on Housing Prices
Valerie Grossman, Enrique Martínez-García, Luis Bernardo Torres and Yongzhi Sun
Abstract: This paper investigates the impact of oil price shocks on house prices in the largest urban centers in Texas. We model their dynamic relationship taking into account demand- and supply-side housing fundamentals (personal disposable income per capita, long-term interest rates and rural land prices) as well as their varying dependence on oil activity. We show the following: 1) Oil price shocks have limited pass-through to house prices—the highest pass-through is found among the most oil-dependent cities where, after 20 quarters, the cumulative response of house prices is 21 percent of the cumulative effect on oil prices. Still, among less oil-dependent urban areas, the house price response to a one standard deviation oil price shock is economically significant and comparable in magnitude to the response to a one standard deviation income shock. 2) Omitting oil prices when looking at housing markets in oil-producing areas biases empirical inferences by substantially overestimating the effect of income shocks on house prices. 3) The empirical relationship linking oil price fluctuations to house prices has remained largely stable over time, in spite of the significant changes in Texas’ oil sector with the onset of the shale revolution in the 2000s.
Dominant-Currency Pricing and the Global Output Spillovers from U.S. Dollar Appreciation
Georgios Georgiadis and Ben Schumann
Abstract: Different export-pricing currency paradigms have different implications for a host of issues that are critical for policymakers such as business cycle co-movement, optimal monetary policy, optimum currency areas and international monetary policy coordination. Unfortunately, the literature has not reached a consensus on which pricing paradigm best describes the data. Against this background, we test for the empirical relevance of dominant-currency pricing (DCP). Specifically, we first set up a structural three-country New Keynesian dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model which nests DCP, producer-currency pricing (PCP) and local-currency pricing (LCP). In the model, under DCP the output spillovers from shocks that appreciate the U.S. dollar multilaterally decline with an economy's export-import U.S. dollar pricing share differential, i.e., the difference between the share of an economy's exports and imports that are priced in the dominant currency. Underlying this prediction is a change in an economy's net exports in response to multilateral changes in the U.S. dollar exchange rate that arises because of differences in the extent to which exports and imports are priced in the dominant currency. We then confront this prediction of DCP with the data in a sample of up to 46 advanced and emerging-market economies for the time period from 1995 to 2018. Specifically, controlling for other cross-border transmission channels, we document that consistent with the prediction from DCP the output spillovers from U.S. dollar appreciation correlate negatively with recipient economies' export-import U.S. dollar invoicing share differentials. We document that these findings are robust to considering U.S. demand, U.S. monetary policy and exogenous exchange rate shocks as a trigger of U.S. dollar appreciation, as well as to accounting for the role of commodity trade in U.S. dollar invoicing.
Risk Management for Sovereign Debt Financing with Sustainability Conditions
Stavros A. Zenios, Andrea Consiglio, Marialena Athanasopoulou, Edmund Moshammer, Angel Gavilan and Aitor Erce
Abstract: We develop a model of debt sustainability analysis with optimal financing decisions in the presence of macroeconomic, financial and fiscal uncertainty. We define a coherent measure of refinancing risk, and trade off the risks of debt stock and flow dynamics, subject to debt sustainability constraints and endogenous risk and term premia. We optimize both static and dynamic financing strategies, compare them with several simple rules and consol financing to demonstrate economically significant effects of optimal financing, and show that the stock-flow tradeoff can be critical for sustainability. We quantify the minimum refinancing risk and the maximum rate of debt reduction that a sovereign can achieve given its economic fundamentals, and extend the model to identify optimal timing for debt flow adjustments that allow the sovereign to go beyond these limits. We put the model to the data on three real-world cases: a representative euro zone crisis country, a low-debt country (Netherlands) and a high-debt country (Italy). These applications illustrate the use of the model in informing diverse policy decisions on sustainable public finance. The model is part of the European Stability Mechanism toolkit to assess debt sustainability and repayment capacity of member states in the context of financial assistance.
Identifying News Shocks with Forecast Data
Yasuo Hirose and Takushi Kurozumi
Abstract: The empirical importance of news shocks—anticipated future shocks—in business cycle fluctuations has been explored by using only actual data when estimating models augmented with news shocks. This paper additionally exploits forecast data to identify news shocks in a canonical dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. The estimated model shows new empirical evidence that technology news shocks are a major source of fluctuations in U.S. output growth. Exploiting the forecast data not only generates more precise estimates of news shocks and other parameters in the model, but also increases the contribution of technology news shocks to the fluctuations.
Supplement DOI: https://doi.org/10.24149/gwp366supp
Long-Term Macroeconomic Effects of Climate Change: A Cross-Country Analysis
Matthew E. Kahn, Kamiar Mohaddes, Ryan N. C. Ng, M. Hashem Pesaran, Mehdi Raissi and Jui-Chung Yang
Abstract: We study the long-term impact of climate change on economic activity across countries, using a stochastic growth model where labor productivity is affected by country-specific climate variables—defined as deviations of temperature and precipitation from their historical norms. Using a panel data set of 174 countries over the years 1960 to 2014, we find that per-capita real output growth is adversely affected by persistent changes in the temperature above or below its historical norm, but we do not obtain any statistically significant effects for changes in precipitation. Our counterfactual analysis suggests that a persistent increase in average global temperature by 0.04°C per year, in the absence of mitigation policies, reduces world real GDP per capita by 7.22 percent by 2100. On the other hand, abiding by the Paris Agreement, thereby limiting the temperature increase to 0.01°C per annum, reduces the loss substantially to 1.07 percent. These effects vary significantly across countries. We also provide supplementary evidence using data on a sample of 48 U.S. states between 1963 and 2016, and show that climate change has a long-lasting adverse impact on real output in various states and economic sectors, and on labor productivity and employment.
Time-Varying Money Demand and Real Balance Effects
Jonathan Benchimol and Irfan Qureshi
Abstract: This paper presents an analysis of the stimulants and consequences of money demand dynamics. By assuming that households’ money holdings and consumption preferences are not separable, we demonstrate that the interest-elasticity of demand for money is a function of the households’ preference to hold real balances, the extent to which these preferences are not separable in consumption and real balances, and trend inflation. An empirical study of U.S. data revealed that there was a gradual fall in the interest-elasticity of money demand of approximately one-third during the 1970s due to high trend inflation. A further decline in the interest-elasticity of the demand for money was observed in the 1980s due to the changing household preferences that emerged in response to financial innovation. These developments led to a reduction in the welfare cost of inflation that subsequently explains the rise in monetary neutrality observed in the data.
Monetary Policy Spillovers, Capital Controls and Exchange Rate Flexibility, and the Financial Channel of Exchange Rates
Georgios Georgiadis and Feng Zhu
Abstract: We assess the empirical validity of the trilemma (or impossible trinity) in the 2000s for a large sample of advanced and emerging market economies. To do so, we estimate Taylor-rule type monetary policy reaction functions, relating the local policy rate to real-time forecasts of domestic fundamentals, global variables, as well as the base-country policy rate. In the regressions, we explore variations in the sensitivity of local to base-country policy rates across different degrees of exchange rate flexibility and capital controls. We find that the data are in general consistent with the predictions from the trilemma: Both exchange rate flexibility and capital controls reduce the sensitivity of local to base-country policy rates. However, we also find evidence that is consistent with the notion that the financial channel of exchange rates highlighted in recent work reduces the extent to which local policymakers decide to exploit the monetary autonomy in principle granted by flexible exchange rates in specific circumstances: The sensitivity of local to base-country policy rates for an economy with a flexible exchange rate is stronger when it exhibits negative foreign-currency exposures which stem from portfolio debt and bank liabilities on its external balance sheet and when base-country monetary policy is tightened. The intuition underlying this finding is that it may be optimal for local monetary policy to mimic the tightening of base-country monetary policy and thereby mute exchange rate variation because a depreciation of the local currency would raise the cost of servicing and rolling over foreign-currency debt and bank loans, possibly up to a point at which financial stability is put at risk.
Equilibrium Real Exchange Rate Estimates Across Time and Space
Abstract: Equilibrium real exchange rate and corresponding misalignment estimates differ tremendously depending on the panel estimation method used to derive them. Essentially, these methods differ in their treatment of the time-series (time) and the cross-section (space) variation in the panel. The study shows that conventional panel estimation methods (pooled OLS, fixed, random and between effects) can be interpreted as restricted versions of a correlated random effects (CRE) model. It formally derives the distortion that arises if these restrictions are violated and uses two empirical applications from the literature to show that the distortion is generally very large. This suggests the use of the CRE model for the panel estimation of equilibrium real exchange rates and misalignments.
Adverse Selection, Lemons Shocks and Business Cycles
Abstract: Asymmetric information is crucial for understanding the disruption of the supply of credit. This paper studies a dynamic economy featuring asymmetric information and resulting adverse selection in credit markets. Entrepreneurs seek loans from banks for projects, but asymmetric information about entrepreneurs' riskiness causes a lemons problem: relatively safe entrepreneurs do not get funded. An increase in the riskiness of some entrepreneurs raises interest rate spreads, aggravates adverse selection and shrinks the supply of bank credit. The model calibrated to the U.S. economy generates significant business fluctuations including severe recessions comparable to the Great Recession of 2007-09.
Supplement DOI: https://doi.org/10.24149/gwp361supp
Upstream, Downstream & Common Firm Shocks
Everett Grant and Julieta Yung
Abstract: We develop a multi-sector DSGE model to calculate upstream and downstream industry exposure networks from U.S. input-output tables and test the relative importance of shocks from each direction by comparing these with estimated networks of firms’ equity return responses to one another. The correlations between the upstream exposure and equity return networks are large and statistically significant, while the downstream exposure networks have lower — but still positive — correlations that are not statistically significant. These results suggest a low short-term elasticity of substitution across inputs transmitting shocks from suppliers, but more flexible ties with downstream firms. Additionally, both the DSGE model and simulations of our empirical approach highlight the importance of accounting for common factors in network estimation, which become more important over our 1989-2017 sample period, explaining 11.7% of equity return variation over the first ten years and 35.0% over the final ten.
Ties That Bind: Estimating the Natural Rate of Interest for Small Open Economies
Valerie Grossman, Enrique Martínez-García, Mark A. Wynne and Ren Zhang
Abstract: This paper estimates the natural interest rate for six small open economies (Australia, Canada, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland and the U.K.) with a structural New Keynesian model using Bayesian techniques. Our empirical analysis establishes the following four novel findings: First, we show that the open-economy framework provides a better fit of the data than its closed-economy counterpart for the six countries we investigate. Second, we also show that, in all six countries, a monetary policy rule in which the domestic real policy rate tracks the Wicksellian domestic short-term natural rate fits the data better than an otherwise standard Taylor (1993) rule. Third, we show that over the past 35 years, the natural interest rates in all six countries have shifted downwards and strongly comoved with each other. Fourth, our findings illustrate that foreign output shocks (spillovers from the rest of the world) are a major contributor to the dynamics of the natural rate in these six small open economies, and that natural rates comove strongly with estimated U.S. natural rates.
Capital Controls as Macro-prudential Policy in a Large Open Economy
J. Scott Davis and Michael B. Devereux
Abstract: The literature on optimal capital controls for macro-prudential policy has focused on capital controls in a small open economy. This ignores the spillover effects to the rest of the world. This paper re-examines the case for capital controls in a large open economy, where domestic financial constraints may bind following a large negative shock. There is a tension between the desire to tax inflows to manipulate the terms of trade and tax outflows for macro-prudential purposes. Non-cooperative capital controls are ineffective as macro-prudential policy. Cooperative policy will ignore terms-of-trade manipulation and thus cooperative capital controls yield more effective macro-prudential policy.
Global Drivers of Gross and Net Capital Flows
J. Scott Davis, Giorgio Valente and Eric van Wincoop
Abstract: While prior to the global financial crisis, the empirical international capital flow literature has focused on net capital flows (the current account), since the crisis there has been an increased focus on gross flows. In this paper we jointly analyze global drivers of gross flows (outflows plus inflows) and net flows (outflows minus inflows) by estimating a latent factor model. We find evidence of two global factors, which we call the GFC (global financial cycle) factor and a commodity price factor as they closely track respectively the Miranda-Agrippino and Rey asset price factor and an average of oil and gas prices. These factors together account for half the variance of gross flows in advanced countries and forty percent of the variance of gross flows in emerging markets. But remarkably, they also account for forty percent of the variance of net capital flows in both groups of countries. We also analyze the heterogeneity across countries in the impact of the two factors. One of the key findings is that the impact of the GFC factor on both gross and net capital flows is stronger in countries that have larger net debt liabilities. Other asset classes (FDI and portfolio equity) do not significantly impact the exposure to the GFC factor.
Estimation of Impulse Response Functions When Shocks are Observed at a Higher Frequency than Outcome Variables
Alexander Chudik and Georgios Georgiadis
Abstract: This paper proposes mixed-frequency distributed-lag (MFDL) estimators of impulse response functions (IRFs) in a setup where (i) the shock of interest is observed, (ii) the impact variable of interest is observed at a lower frequency (as a temporally aggregated or sequentially sampled variable), (iii) the data-generating process (DGP) is given by a VAR model at the frequency of the shock, and (iv) the full set of relevant endogenous variables entering the DGP is unknown or unobserved. Consistency and asymptotic normality of the proposed MFDL estimators is established, and their small-sample performance is documented by a set of Monte Carlo experiments. The proposed approach is then applied to estimate the daily pass-through of changes in crude oil prices observed at a daily frequency to U.S. gasoline consumer prices observed at a weekly frequency. We find that the pass-through is fast, with about 28% of the crude oil price changes passed through to retail gasoline prices within five working days, and that the speed of the pass-through has increased over time.
Beyond the Doomsday Economics of “Proof-of-Work” in Cryptocurrencies
Abstract: This paper discusses the economics of how Bitcoin achieves data immutability, and thus payment finality, via costly computations, i.e., “proof-of-work.” Further, it explores what the future might hold for cryptocurrencies modelled on this type of consensus algorithm. The conclusions are, first, that Bitcoin counterfeiting via “double-spending” attacks is inherently profitable, making payment finality based on proof-of-work extremely expensive. Second, the transaction market cannot generate an adequate level of “mining” income via fees as users free-ride on the fees of other transactions in a block and in the subsequent blockchain. Instead, newly minted bitcoins, known as block rewards, have made up the bulk of mining income to date. Looking ahead, these two limitations imply that liquidity is set to fall dramatically as these block rewards are phased out. Simple calculations suggest that once block rewards are zero, it could take months before a Bitcoin payment is final, unless new technologies are deployed to speed up payment finality. Second-layer solutions such as the Lightning Network might help, but the only fundamental remedy would be to depart from proof-of-work, which would probably require some form of social coordination or institutionalisation.
Negative Interest Rate Policy and the Influence of Macroeconomic News on Yields
Rasmus Fatum, Naoko Hara and Yohei Yamamoto
Abstract: We consider the influence of domestic and U.S. macroeconomic news surprises on daily bond yields over the January 1999 to January 2018 period for four advanced Negative Interest Rate Policy (NIRP) economies – Germany, Japan, Sweden and Switzerland. Our results suggest that the influence of macroeconomic news surprises is for all four countries under study during the NIRP period non-existent or noticeably weaker than during the preceding Zero Interest Rate Policy (ZIRP) period. Our results are consistent with the suggestion that NIRP is characterized by a lower bound that is no less constraining than the zero lower bound that characterizes ZIRP.
Estimating Impulse Response Functions When the Shock Series Is Observed
Chi-Young Choi and Alexander Chudik
Abstract: We compare the finite sample performance of a variety of consistent approaches to estimating Impulse Response Functions (IRFs) in a linear setup when the shock of interest is observed. Although there is no uniformly superior approach, iterated approaches turn out to perform well in terms of root mean-squared error (RMSE) in diverse environments and sample sizes. For smaller sample sizes, parsimonious specifications are preferred over full specifications with all ‘relevant’ variables.
Foreign Exchange Reserves as a Tool for Capital Account Management
J. Scott Davis, Ippei Fujiwara, Kevin X.D. Huang and Jiao Wang
Abstract: Many recent theoretical papers have argued that countries can insulate themselves from volatile world capital flows by using a variable tax on foreign capital as an instrument of monetary policy. But at the same time many empirical papers have argued that only rarely do we observe these cyclical capital taxes used in practice. In this paper we construct a small open economy model where the central bank can engage in sterilized foreign exchange intervention. When private agents can freely buy and sell foreign bonds, sterilized foreign exchange intervention has no effect. But we analytically prove that when private agents cannot freely buy and sell foreign bonds, that is, under acyclical capital controls, optimal sterilized foreign exchange intervention is equivalent to an optimally chosen tax on foreign capital. Numerical simulations of the model show that a variable capital tax is a reasonable approximation for sterilized foreign exchange intervention under the levels of capital controls observed in many emerging markets.
Identifying Global and National Output and Fiscal Policy Shocks Using a GVAR
Alexander Chudik, M. Hashem Pesaran and Kamiar Mohaddes
Abstract: The paper contributes to the growing Global VAR (GVAR) literature by showing how global and national shocks can be identified within a GVAR framework. The usefulness of the proposed approach is illustrated in an application to the analysis of the interactions between public debt and real output growth in a multi-country setting, and the results are compared to those obtained from standard single-country VAR analysis. We find that on average (across countries) global shocks explain about one-third of the long-horizon forecast error variance of output growth, and about one-fifth of the long-run variance of the rate of change of debt-to-GDP. Evidence on the degree of cross-sectional dependence in these variables and their innovations is exploited to identify the global shocks, and priors are used to identify the national shocks within a Bayesian framework. It is found that posterior median debt elasticity with respect to output is much larger when the rise in output is due to a fiscal policy shock, as compared to when the rise in output is due to a positive technology shock. The cross-country average of the median debt elasticity is 1.58 when the rise in output is due to a fiscal expansion as compared to 0.75 when the rise in output follows from a favorable output shock.
Supplement DOI: https://doi.org/10.24149/gwp351supp
Does a Big Bazooka Matter? Central Bank Balance-Sheet Policies and Exchange Rates
Luca Dedola, Georgios Georgiadis, Johannes Gräb and Arnaud Mehl
Abstract: We estimate the effects of quantitative easing (QE) measures by the ECB and the Federal Reserve on the US dollar-euro exchange rate at frequencies and horizons relevant for policymakers. To do so, we derive a theoretically-consistent local projection regression equation from the standard asset pricing formulation of exchange rate determination. We then proxy unobserved QE shocks by future changes in the relative size of central banks’ balance sheets, which we instrument with QE announcements in two-stage least squares regressions in order to account for their endogeneity. We find that QE measures have large and persistent effects on the exchange rate. For example, our estimates imply that the ECB’s APP program which raised the ECB’s balance sheet relative to that of the Federal Reserve by 35 percentage points between September 2014 and the end of 2016 depreciated the euro vis-á-vis the US dollar by 12%. Regarding transmission channels, we find that a relative QE shock that expands the ECB’s balance sheet relative to that of the Federal Reserve depreciates the US dollar-euro exchange rate by reducing euro-dollar short-term money market rate differentials, by widening the cross-currency basis and by eliciting adjustments in currency risk premia. Changes in the expectations about the future monetary policy stance, reflecting the “signalling” channel of QE, also contribute to the exchange rate response to QE shocks.
Mean Group Estimation in Presence of Weakly Cross-Correlated Estimators
Alexander Chudik and M. Hashem Pesaran
Abstract: This paper extends the mean group (MG) estimator for random coefficient panel data models by allowing the underlying individual estimators to be weakly cross-correlated. Weak cross-sectional dependence of the individual estimators can arise, for example, in panels with spatially correlated errors. We establish that the MG estimator is asymptotically correctly centered, and its asymptotic covariance matrix can be consistently estimated. The random coefficient specification allows for correct inference even when nothing is known about the weak cross-sectional dependence of the errors. This is in contrast to the well-known homogeneous case, where cross-sectional dependence of errors results in incorrect inference unless the nature of the cross-sectional error dependence is known and can be taken into account. Evidence on small sample performance of the MG estimators is provided using Monte Carlo experiments with both strictly and weakly exogenous regressors and cross-sectionally correlated innovations.
Modeling Time-Variation Over the Business Cycle (1960-2017): An International Perspective
Abstract: In this paper, I explore the changes in international business cycles with quarterly data for the eight largest advanced economies (U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, and Canada) since the 1960s. Using a time-varying parameter model with stochastic volatility for real GDP growth and inflation allows their dynamics to change over time, approximating nonlinearities in the data that otherwise would not be adequately accounted for with linear models (Granger et al. (1991), Granger (2008)). With that empirical model, I document a period of declining macro volatility since the 1980s, followed by increasing (and diverging) inflation volatility since the mid-1990s. I also find significant shifts in inflation persistence and cyclicality, as well as in macro synchronization and even forecastability. The 2008 global recession appears to have had an impact on some of this. I ground my empirical strategy on the reduced-form solution of the workhorse New Keynesian model and, motivated by theory, explore the relationship between greater trade openness (globalization) and the reported shifts in international business cycles. I show that globalization has sizeable (yet nonlinear) effects in the data consistent with the implications of the model—yet globalization’s contribution is not a foregone conclusion, depending crucially on more than the degree of openness of the international economy.
Slow Post-Financial Crisis Recovery and Monetary Policy
Daisuke Ikeda and Takushi Kurozumi
Abstract: Post-financial crisis recoveries tend to be slow and be accompanied by slowdowns in TFP and permanent losses in GDP. To prevent them, how should monetary policy be conducted? We address this issue by developing a model with endogenous TFP growth in which an adverse financial shock can induce a slow recovery. In the model, a welfare-maximizing monetary policy rule features a strong response to output, and the welfare gain from output stabilization is much larger than when TFP expands exogenously. Moreover, inflation stabilization results in a sizable welfare loss, while nominal GDP stabilization works well, albeit causing high interest-rate volatility.
Reforming Fiscal Institutions in Resource-Rich Arab Economies: Policy Proposals
Kamiar Mohaddes, Jeffrey B. Nugent and Hoda Selim
Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of fiscal institutions of Resource-Rich Arab Economies (RRAEs) over time since their pre-oil days, through the discovery of oil to their build-up of oil exports. It then identifies challenges faced by RRAEs and variations in their severity among the different countries over time. Finally, it articulates specific policy reforms, which, if implemented successfully, could help to overcome these challenges. In some cases, however, these policy proposals may give rise to important trade-offs that will have to be evaluated carefully in individual cases.
Current Account Adjustment and Retained Earnings
Andreas M. Fischer, Henrike Groeger, Philip Sauré and Pinar Yeşin
Abstract: This paper develops a formal strategy to calculate current accounts with retained earnings (RE) on equity investment and analyzes their adjustment during the global financial crisis. RE are the part of companies' profits which are reinvested and not distributed to shareholders as dividends. International statistical standards treat RE on foreign direct investment and RE on portfolio investment differently: while the former enter the current and financial account, the latter do not. We show that this differential treatment strongly affects current accounts of several advanced economies, frequently referred to as financial centers, with large positions in equity (portfolio) investment. Our empirical analysis finds that the differential treatment of RE alters the interpretation of current account adjustment for the global financial crisis.
Euro Area and U.S. External Adjustment: The Role of Commodity Prices and Emerging Market Shocks
Massimo Giovannini, Stefan Hohberger, Robert Kollmann, Marco Ratto, Werner Roeger and Lukas Vogel
Abstract: The trade balances of the Euro Area (EA) and of the U.S. have improved markedly after the Global Financial Crisis. This paper quantifies the drivers of EA and U.S. economic fluctuations and external adjustment, using an estimated (1999-2017) three-region (U.S., EA, rest of world) DSGE model with trade in manufactured goods and in commodities. In the model, commodity prices reflect global demand and supply conditions. The paper highlights the key contribution of the post-crisis collapse in commodity prices for the EA and U.S. trade balance reversal. Aggregate demand shocks originating in Emerging Markets too had a significant impact on EA and U.S. trade balances. The broader lesson of this paper is that Emerging Markets and commodity shocks are major drivers of advanced countries’ trade balances and terms of trade.
The Heterogeneous Effects of Global and National Business Cycles on Employment in U.S. States and Metropolitan Areas
Alexander Chudik, Janet Koech and Mark A. Wynne
Abstract: The growth of globalization in recent decades has increased the importance of external factors as drivers of the business cycle in many countries. Globalization affects countries not just at the macro level but at the level of states and metro areas as well. This paper isolates the relative importance of global, national and region-specific shocks as drivers of the business cycle in individual U.S. states and metro areas. We document significant heterogeneity in the sensitivity of states and metro areas to global shocks, and show that direct trade linkages are not the only channel through which the global business cycle impacts regional economies.
Explosive Dynamics in House Prices? An Exploration of Financial Market Spillovers in Housing Markets Around the World (Revised September 2018)
Enrique Martínez-García and Valerie Grossman
Abstract: Asset prices in general, and real house prices in particular, are often characterized by a nonlinear data-generating process which displays mildly explosive behavior in some periods. Here, we investigate the emergence of explosiveness in the dynamics of real house prices and the role played by asset market spillovers. We establish a timeline of periodically-collapsing episodes of explosiveness for a panel of 23 countries from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’ International House Price Database (Mack and Martínez-García (2011)) between first quarter 1975 and fourth quarter 2015 using the recursive unit root test methodology proposed by Phillips et al. (2015a,b). Motivated by the theory of financial arbitrage, we examine within a dynamic panel logit/probit framework whether macro fundamentals—and, more specifically, financial variables—help predict episodes of explosiveness in real house prices. We find that interest rate spreads and real stock market growth together with standard macro variables (growth in personal disposable income per capita and inflation) are amongst the best predictors. We, therefore, argue that financial developments in other asset markets play a significant role in the emergence of explosiveness in housing markets.
Gains from Trade: Does Sectoral Heterogeneity Matter?
Rahul Giri, Kei-Mu Yi and Hakan Yilmazkuday
Abstract: This paper assesses the quantitative importance of including sectoral heterogeneity in computing the gains from trade. Our framework draws from Caliendo and Parro (2015) and Alvarez and Lucas (2007) and has sectoral heterogeneity along five dimensions, including the elasticity of trade to trade costs, the value-added share, and the input-output structure. The key parameter we estimate is the sectoral trade elasticity, and we use the Simonovska and Waugh (2014) simulated method of moments estimator with micro price data. Our estimates range from 2.97 to 8.94, considerably lower than those obtained with the Eaton and Kortum (2002) price-based method. Our benchmark model is calibrated to 21 OECD countries and 20 sectors. We compute the gains from trade in our benchmark model, and in several re-calibrated versions of the model in which we eliminate one or more sources of sectoral heterogeneity. Our main result is that sectoral heterogeneity does not always lead to an increase in the gains from trade. There are two reasons for this. First, the magnitudes of our estimated sectoral trade elasticities are relatively high, while the magnitude of our estimated aggregate trade elasticity is low. All else equal, this will lead to higher gains for the aggregate, one-sector model. Second, the sectors with low trade elasticities (hence, implying high gains from trade) are not the sectors with low value-added shares and with high initial trade shares (which would magnify the gains). Hence, the sectoral heterogeneity in our calibrated model does not exert complementary gains from trade effects.
Macro Aspects of Housing
Charles Ka Yui Leung and Joe Cho Yiu Ng
Abstract: This paper aims to achieve two objectives. First, we demonstrate that with respect to business cycle frequency (Burns and Mitchell, 1946), there was a general decrease in the association between macroeconomic variables (MV) and housing market variables (HMV) following the global financial crisis (GFC). However, there are macro-finance variables that exhibited a strong association with the HMV following the GFC. For the medium-term business cycle frequency (Comin and Gertler, 2006), we find that while some correlations exhibit the same change as the business cycle counterparts, others do not. These “new stylized facts” suggest that a reconsideration and refinement of existing “macro-housing” theories would be appropriate. We also provide a review of the recent literature, which may enhance our understanding of the evolving macro-housing-finance linkage.
Official Debt Restructurings and Development
Gong Cheng, Javier Díaz-Cassou and Aitor Erce
Abstract: Despite the frequency of official debt restructurings, little systematic evidence has been produced on their characteristics and implications. Using a dataset covering more than 400 Paris Club agreements, this paper fills that gap. It provides a comprehensive description of the evolving characteristics of these operations and studies their impact on debtors. The progressive introduction of new terms of treatment gradually turned the Paris Club from an institution primarily concerned with preserving creditors’ claims into an instrument to foster development in the world’s poorer nations, among other objectives. Our study finds that more generous restructuring conditions involving nominal relief are associated with an acceleration of per capita GDP growth, a reduction of poverty and inequality, and an increase in public health budgets. We also find that countries receiving nominal relief tend to receive lower aid flows subsequently, the opposite being the case for countries receiving high reductions in the net present value of their obligations, but no nominal haircuts.
New Perspectives on Forecasting Inflation in Emerging Market Economies: An Empirical Assessment
Roberto Duncan and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: We use a broad-range set of inflation models and pseudo out-of-sample forecasts to assess their predictive ability among 14 emerging market economies (EMEs) at different horizons (1 to 12 quarters ahead) with quarterly data over the period 1980Q1-2016Q4. We find, in general, that a simple arithmetic average of the current and three previous observations (the RW-AO model) consistently outperforms its standard competitors - based on the root mean squared prediction error (RMSPE) and on the accuracy in predicting the direction of change. These include conventional models based on domestic factors, existing open-economy Phillips curve-based specifications, factor-augmented models, and time-varying parameter models. Often, the RMSPE and directional accuracy gains of the RW-AO model are shown to be statistically significant. Our results are robust to forecast combinations, intercept corrections, alternative transformations of the target variable, different lag structures, and additional tests of (conditional) predictability. We argue that the RW-AO model is successful among EMEs because it is a straightforward method to downweight later data, which is a useful strategy when there are unknown structural breaks and model misspecification.
Product Turnover and the Cost of Living Index:
Quality vs. Fashion Effects
Kozo Ueda, Kota Watanabe and Tsutomu Watanabe
Abstract: This paper evaluates the effects of product turnover on a welfare-based cost-of-living index. We first present some facts about price and quantity changes over the product cycle employing scanner data for Japan for the years 1988-2013, which cover the deflationary period that started in the mid-1990s. We then develop a new methodology to decompose price changes at the time of product turnover into those due to the quality effect and those due to the fashion effect (i.e., the higher demand for products that are new). Our main findings are as follows: (1) the price and quantity of a new product tend to be higher than those of its predecessor at its exit from the market, implying that firms use new products as an opportunity to take back the price decline that occurred during the life of its predecessor under deflation; (2) a considerable fashion effect exists for the entire sample period, while the quality effect is declining over time; and (3) the discrepancy between the cost-of-living index estimated based on our methodology and the price index constructed only from a matched sample is not large.
Optimal Monetary Policy Under Bounded Rationality
Jonathan Benchimol and Lahcen Bounader
Abstract: Optimal monetary policy under discretion, commitment, and optimal simple rules regimes is analyzed through a behavioral New Keynesian model. Flexible price level targeting dominates under discretion; flexible inflation targeting dominates under commitment; and strict price level targeting dominates when using optimal simple rules. Stabilizing properties and bounded rationality-independence generally affect the regime's optimality. The policymaker's knowledge of an agent's myopia is decisive, whereas bounded rationality is not necessarily associated with decreased welfare. Several forms of economic inattention can be welfare increasing.
Current Account Dynamics under Information Rigidity
and Imperfect Capital Mobility
Akihisa Shibata, Mototsugu Shintani and Takayuki Tsuruga
Abstract: The current account in developed countries is highly persistent and volatile in comparison to output growth. The standard intertemporal current account model with rational expectations (RE) fails to account for the observed current account dynamics together with persistent changes in consumption. The RE model extended with imperfect capital mobility by Shibata and Shintani (1998) can account for persistent changes in consumption, but only at the cost of the explanatory power for the volatility of the current account. This paper replaces RE in the intertemporal current account model with sticky information (SI) in which consumers are inattentive to shocks to their income and infrequently adjust their consumption. The SI model can better explain a persistent and volatile current account than the RE model but it overpredicts the persistence of changes in consumption. The SI model extended with imperfect capital mobility almost fully explains current account dynamics and the persistence of changes in consumption, if high degrees of information rigidity and imperfect capital mobility are taken into account.
Can Trend Inflation Solve the Delayed Overshooting Puzzle?
Dudley Cooke and Engin Kara
Abstract: We develop an open economy New Keynesian model with heterogeneity in price stickiness and positive trend inflation. The main insight of our analysis is that, in the presence of heterogeneity in price stickiness, there is a strong link between trend inflation and the timing of the peak response of the real exchange rate to a monetary policy shock. Without trend inflation, the real exchange rate peaks almost immediately. With trend inflation set at historical values, the peak occurs at around 2 years. Delayed overshooting is a consequence of the interaction between heterogeneity in price stickiness and trend inflation.
Structural Change and Global Trade (Revised July 2019)
Logan T. Lewis, Ryan Monarch, Michael Sposi and Jing Zhang
Abstract: Services, which are less traded than goods, rose from 58 percent of world expenditure in 1970 to 79 percent in 2015. In a trade model featuring nonhomothetic preferences and input-output linkages, we find that such structural change has restrained the growth of world trade to GDP by 15 percentage points over this period. This is about half the magnitude that declining trade costs have boosted openness. Even absent rising protectionism, structural change dampens openness as well as the measured gains from trade through endogenous responses of expenditure shares to the trade regime. In the long run, policies that liberalize services trade complement structural change, boosting openness and welfare. In the face of continued structural change, high-income countries stand to gain more from trade liberalization in services than in goods, and low-income countries, the opposite.
Demographics and the Evolution of Global Imbalances (Revised April 2019)
Abstract: The age distribution evolves asymmetrically across countries, influencing relative saving rates and labor supply. Emerging economies experienced faster increases in working age shares than advanced economies did. Using a dynamic, multicountry model I quantify the effect of demographic changes on trade imbalances across 28 countries since 1970. Counterfactually holding demographics constant reduces net exports in emerging economies and boosts them in advanced economies. On average, a one percentage point increase in a country’s working age share, relative to the world, increases its ratio of net exports to GDP by one-third of a percentage point. These findings alleviate the allocation puzzle.
Global Spillover Effects of US Uncertainty
Saroj Bhattarai, Arpita Chatterjee and Woong Yong Park
Abstract: We study spillover effects of US uncertainty fluctuations using panel data from fifteen emerging market economies (EMEs). A US uncertainty shock negatively affects EME stock prices and exchange rates, raises EME country spreads, and leads to capital outflows from them. Moreover, it decreases EME output, while increasing their consumer prices and net exports. The negative effects on output, exchange rates, and stock prices are weaker, but the effects on capital and trade flows stronger, for South American countries compared to other EMEs. We present a model of a small open economy that faces an external shock to interpret our findings.
Geographic Inequality of Economic Well-being among U.S. Cities: Evidence from Micro Panel Data
Chi-Young Choi and Alexander Chudik
Abstract: We analyze the geographic inequality of economic well-being among U.S. cities by utilizing a novel measure of quantity based product-level economic well-being, i.e., the number of goods and services that can be purchased by consumers with an average city wage. We find a considerable cross-city dispersion in the economic well-being and the geographic dispersion has been on the steady rise since the mid-1990s for most goods and services under study. Strong geographic correlations exist in the local economic well-being and our empirical analysis based on a Global VAR (GVAR) model suggests that national shocks are an important source behind it. On average, about 30-35% of the variance of local well-being is explained by common national shocks, but the impact of common national shocks varies considerably across products, albeit to a lesser extent across cities. Nationwide unemployment shock, for example, has a stronger effect in the products whose prices are adjusted more frequently and in the cities that have a larger fraction of high-skill workers. Taken together, our results indicate that the geographic inequality of economic well-being observed in the U.S. has proceeded over time mainly through the products with more flexible price adjustments and in the cities with higher concentration of skilled workers.
Monetary Rule, Central Bank Loss and Household’s Welfare: an Empirical Investigation
Jonathan Benchimol and André Fourçans
Abstract: Which monetary policy rule best fits the historical data? Which rule is most effective to reach the central bank’s objectives? Is minimizing a central bank loss equivalent to maximizing households’ welfare? Are NGDP growth or level targeting good options, and if so, when? Do they perform better than Taylor-type rules? In order to answer these questions, we use Bayesian estimations to evaluate the Smets and Wouters (2007) model under nine monetary policy rules with US data ranging from 1955 to 2017 and over three different sub-periods (among them the zero lower bound period where a shadow rate is introduced). We find that when considering the minimization of the central bank’s loss function, the estimates generally indicate the superiority of NGDP level targeting rules. If the behavior of the Fed is expressed in terms of households-welfare, the implications are not necessarily the same.
Monetary Policy Divergence, Net Capital Flows, and Exchange Rates: Accounting for Endogenous Policy Responses
Scott Davis and Andrei Zlate
Abstract: This paper measures the effect of monetary tightening in key advanced economies on net capital flows and exchange rates around the world. Measuring this effect is complicated by the fact that the domestic monetary policies of affected economies respond endogenously to the foreign tightening shock. Using a structural VAR framework with quarterly panel data we estimate the impulse responses of domestic policy variables and net capital flows to a foreign monetary tightening shock. We find that the endogenous responses of domestic monetary policy depends on each economy’s capital account openness and exchange rate regime. We develop a method to plot counter-factual impulse responses for net capital outflows under the assumption that domestic interest rates are held constant despite foreign monetary tightening. Our results suggests that failing to account for the endogenous response of domestic monetary policy biases down the estimated elasticity of net capital flows to foreign interest rates by as much as ¼ for floaters and ½ for peggers with open capital accounts.
An Augmented Anderson-Hsiao Estimator for Dynamic Short-T Panels (Revised March 2020, new title)
Alexander Chudik and M. Hashem Pesaran
Abstract: This paper introduces the idea of self-instrumenting endogenous regressors in settings when the correlation between these regressors and the errors can be derived and used to bias-correct the moment conditions. The resulting bias-corrected moment conditions are less likely to be subject to the weak instrument problem and can be used on their own and/or augmented with other available moment conditions (if any) to obtain more efficient estimators. This approach can be applied to estimation of a variety of models such as spatial and dynamic panel data models. This paper focuses on the latter, and proposes a new estimator for short-T dynamic panels by augmenting Anderson and Hsiao (AAH) estimator with bias-corrected quadratic moment conditions in first differences which substantially improve the small sample performance of the AH estimator without sacrificing on the generality of its underlying assumptions regarding the fixed effects, initial values, and heteroskedasticity of error terms. Using Monte Carlo experiments it is shown that the AAH estimator represents a substantial improvement over the AH estimator and more importantly it performs well even when compared to Arellano and Bond and Blundell and Bond (BB) estimators that are based on more restrictive assumptions, and continues to have satisfactory performance in cases where the standard GMM estimators are inconsistent. Finally, to decide between AAH and BB estimators, we also propose a Hausman type test which is shown to work well when T is small and n sufficiently large.
Credit and the Labor Share: Evidence from U.S. States
Asli Leblebicioğlu and Ariel Weinberger
Abstract: We analyze the role of credit markets in explaining the changes in the U.S. labor share by evaluating the effects of state-level banking deregulation, which resulted in improved access to cheaper credit. Utilizing a difference-in-differences strategy, we provide causal evidence showing labor share declined following the interstate banking deregulation. We show that the lower cost of credit, increase in the availability of credit, and greater bank competition in each state are mechanisms that led to the decline in the labor share. We use this evidence to obtain the elasticity of labor share with respect to borrowing costs, which itself is informative about the aggregate elasticity of substitution between capital and labor. Finally, we focus on manufacturing and services to show that the impact of banking deregulation is particularly important in capital intensive and external finance dependent industries.
Detecting Periods of Exuberance:
A Look at the Role of Aggregation with an Application to House Prices (Revised July 2018)
Efthymios Pavlidis, Enrique Martinez-Garcia and Valerie Grossman
Abstract: The recently developed SADF and GSADF unit root tests of Phillips and Yu (2011) and Phillips et al. (2015a,b) have become popular in the literature for detecting exuberance in asset prices. In this paper, we examine through simulation experiments the effect of cross-sectional aggregation on the power properties of these tests. The simulation design considered is based on simulated data and actual housing data for both U.S. metropolitan areas and international housing markets and thus allows us to draw conclusions for different levels of aggregation. Our findings suggest that aggregation lowers the power of both the SADF and GSADF tests. The effect, however, is much larger for the SADF test. We also provide evidence that tests based on panel data techniques, namely the panel GSADF test recently proposed by Pavlidis et al. (2016), can perform substantially better than univariate tests applied to aggregated series. Furthermore, we also illustrate the date-stamping procedure under the univariate/panel GSADF procedure uncovering novel evidence on the role of interest rates and policy uncertainty as factors explaining episodes of widespread mildly explosive dynamics in housing markets.
Mildly Explosive Dynamics in U.S. Fixed Income Markets (Revised February 2019)
Silvio Contessi, Pierangelo De Pace and Massimo Guidolin
Abstract: We use a recently developed right-tail variation of the Augmented Dickey-Fuller unit root test to identify and date-stamp periods of mildly explosive behavior in the weekly time series of eight U.S. fixed income yield spreads between September 2002 and April 2018. We find statistically significant evidence of mildly explosive dynamics in six of these spreads, two of which are short/medium-term mortgage-related spreads. We show that the time intervals characterized by instability that we estimate from these yield spreads capture known episodes of financial and economic distress in the U.S. economy. Mild explosiveness migrates from short-term funding markets to medium- and long-term markets during the Great Financial Crisis of 2007-09. Furthermore, we statistically validate the conjecture, originally suggested by Gorton (2009a,b), that the initial panic of 2007 migrated from segments of the ABX market to other U.S. fixed income markets in the early phases of the financial crisis.
Globalization and the Increasing Correlation between Capital Inflows and Outflows
J. Scott Davis and Eric van Wincoop
Abstract: The correlation between capital inflows and outflows has increased substantially over time in a sample of 128 advanced and developing countries. We provide evidence that this is a result of an increase in financial globalization (stock of external assets and liabilities). This dominates the effect of an increase in trade globalization (exports plus imports), which reduces the correlation between capital inflows and outflows. In the context of a two-country model with 14 shocks we show that the theoretical impact of financial and trade globalization on the correlation between capital inflows and outflows is consistent with the data.
Portfolio Rebalancing in Times of Stress
Andreas M. Fischer, Rafael Greminger and Christian Grisse
Abstract: This paper investigates time variation in the dynamics of international portfolio equity flows. We extend the empirical model of Hau and Rey (2004) by embedding a two-state Markov regime-switching model into the structural VAR. The model is estimated using monthly data, 1995-2015, on equity returns, exchange rate returns and equity flows between the United States and advanced and emerging economies. We find that the data are consistent with portfolio rebalancing. The estimated states match periods of low and high financial stress. Our main result is that for equity flows between the United States and emerging markets, the rebalancing dynamics differ between episodes of high and low levels of financial stress. A switch from the low to the high-stress regime is associated with capital outflows from emerging markets. Once in the high stress regime, the response of capital flows to exchange rate shocks is smaller than in normal (low stress) periods.
Good Policies or Good Luck? New Insights on Globalization and the International Monetary Policy Transmission Mechanism
Abstract: The open-economy dimension is central to the discussion of the trade-offs that monetary policy faces in an increasingly integrated world. I investigate the monetary policy transmission mechanism in a two-country workhorse New Keynesian model where policy is set according to Taylor (1993) rules. I find that a common monetary policy isolates the effects of trade openness on the cross-country dispersion alone, and that the establishment of a currency union as a means of deepening economic integration may lead to indeterminacy. I argue that the common (coordinated) monetary policy equilibrium is the relevant benchmark for policy analysis showing that in that case open economies tend to experience lower macro volatility, a flatter Phillips curve, and more accentuated trade-offs between inflation and slack. Moreover, the trade elasticity often magnifies the effects of trade integration (globalization) beyond what conventional measures of trade openness would imply. I also discuss how other features such as the impact of a common and stronger anti-inflation bias, technological diffusion across countries, and the sensitivity of labor supply to real wages influence the quantitative effects of policy and openness in this context. Finally, I conclude that these theoretical predictions are largely consistent with the stylized facts of the Great Moderation.
The Optimal Degree of Monetary-Discretion in a New Keynesian Model with Private Information
Yuichiro Waki, Richard Dennis and Ippei Fujiwara
Abstract: This paper considers the optimal degree of monetary-discretion when the central bank conducts policy based on its private information about the state of the economy and is unable to commit. Society seeks to maximize social welfare by imposing restrictions on the central bank's actions over time, and the central bank takes these restrictions and the New Keynesian Phillips curve as constraints. By solving a dynamic mechanism design problem we find that it is optimal to grant "constrained discretion" to the central bank by imposing both upper and lower bounds on permissible inflation, and that these bounds should be set in a history-dependent way. The optimal degree of discretion varies over time with the severity of the time-inconsistency problem, and, although no discretion is optimal when the time-inconsistency problem is very severe, it is a transient phenomenon and some discretion is granted eventually.
The Second Era of Globalization is Not Yet Over:An Historical Perspective
Michael D. Bordo
Abstract: The recent rise of populist anti-globalization political movements has led to concerns that the current wave of globalization that goes back to the 1870s may end in turmoil just like the first wave which ended after World War I. It is too soon to tell. The decline and then levelling off of trade and capital flows in recent years reflects the drastic decline in global real income during the Great Recession. Other factors at work include the slowdown in the growth rate of China and the reversal of the extended international supply chains developed in the 1990s, as well as increased financial regulation across the world after the crisis. This suggests either a pause in the pace of integration or more likely a slowing down, rather than a reversal.
Fiscal Forward Guidance: A Case for Selective Transparency
Ippei Fujiwara and Yuichiro Waki
Abstract: Should the fiscal authority use forward guidance to reduce future policy uncertainty perceived by private agents? Using dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models, we examine the welfare effects of announcing future fiscal policy shocks. Analytical as well as numerical experiments show that selective transparency is desirable—announcing future fiscal policy shocks that are distortionary can be detrimental to ex ante social welfare, whereas announcing non-distortionary shocks generally improves welfare. Sizable welfare gains are found with constructive ambiguity regarding the timing of a consumption tax increase in the fiscal consolidation scenario in Japan recommended by Hansen and Imrohoroglu (2016). However, being secretive about distortionary tax shocks is time inconsistent, and welfare loss from communication may be unavoidable without commitment.
Understanding the Aggregate Effects of Credit Frictions and Uncertainty (Revised October 2019)
Nathan S. Balke, Enrique Martínez-García and Zheng Zeng
Abstract: We examine the interaction of uncertainty and credit frictions in a New Keynesian framework. To do so, uncertainty is modeled as time-varying stochastic volatility – the product of monetary policy uncertainty, financial risk (micro-uncertainty), and macro-uncertainty. The model is solved using a pruned third-order approximation and estimated by the Simulated Method of Moments. We find that: 1) Micro-uncertainty aggravates the information asymmetry between lenders and borrowers, worsens credit conditions, and has first-order effects on real economic activity. 2) When credit conditions are poor, as indicated by elevated credit spreads, additional micro-uncertainty shocks produce even larger real effects. 3) Poor credit conditions notably affect the transmission mechanism of monetary policy amplifying the real effects of monetary shocks while mitigating the economic boost from TFP shocks. 4) While macro-uncertainty and policy uncertainty exert relatively little direct impact on aggregate economic activity, policy uncertainty accounts for around 40% of the business cycle volatility by affecting the size of monetary policy shocks in the presence of nominal rigidities.
Supplement DOI: https://doi.org/10.24149/gwp317suppr1
Estimating the Natural Rate of Interest in an Open Economy
Supplement | Codes
Mark A. Wynne and Ren Zhang
Abstract: The concept of the natural or equilibrium rate of interest has attracted a lot of attention from monetary policymakers in recent years. Most attempts to estimate the natural rate use a closed economy framework. We argue that in the face of greater integration of global product and capital markets, an open economy framework is more appropriate. We provide some initial estimates of the natural rate for the United States and Japan in a two-country framework. Our identifying assumptions include a close relationship between the time-varying natural rate of interest and the low-frequency fluctuations of potential output growth in both the home country and the foreign country. Our results suggest that the natural rates in both countries are mainly determined by their own trend growth rates of potential output. Nevertheless, the other country's trend growth plays an important role in several specific periods. The gap between the actual real interest rate and our estimated natural rate offers valuable insights into the recent stance of monetary policy in both of these two countries.
Measuring the World Natural Rate of Interest
Supplement | Codes
Mark A. Wynne and Ren Zhang
Abstract: This paper makes the first attempt to estimate the time-varying natural rate jointly with the output gap and trend potential output growth for the world as a whole using a simple unobserved components model broadly following the methodology developed by Laubach and Williams (2003). We find that the world natural rate has been trending down for the past few decades. Nearly half of the variation in the natural rate is accounted for by the trend potential output growth rate. However, the relationship between the world natural interest rate and the world trend growth is modest and not statistically significant.
Financial Globalisation, Monetary Policy Spillovers and Macro-modelling: Tales from 1001 Shocks
Georgios Georgiadis, Martina Jančoková
Abstract: Financial globalisation and spillovers have gained immense prominence over the last two decades. Yet, powerful cross-border financial spillover channels have not become a standard element of structural monetary models. Against this background, we hypothesise that New Keynesian DSGE models that do not feature powerful financial spillover channels confound the effects of domestic and foreign disturbances when confronted with the data. We derive predictions from this hypothesis and subject them to data on monetary policy shock estimates for 29 economies obtained from more than 280 monetary models in the literature. Consistent with the predictions from our hypothesis we find: Monetary policy shock estimates obtained from New Keynesian DSGE models that do not account for powerful financial spillover channels are contaminated by a common global component; the contamination is more severe for economies that are more susceptible to financial spillovers in the data; and the shock estimates imply implausibly similar estimates of the global output spillovers from monetary policy in the US and the euro area. None of these findings applies to monetary policy shock estimates obtained from VAR and other statistical models, financial market expectations and the narrative approach.
The Double-Edged Sword of Global Integration: Robustness, Fragility & Contagion in the International Firm Network
Everett Grant and Julieta Yung
Abstract: We estimate global inter-firm networks across all major industries from 1981 through 2016 and provide the first empirical tests for both robust (beneficial) and fragile (harmful) network behavior, relating firms' health with global integration. More connected firms are less likely to be in distress and have higher profit growth and equity returns, but are also more exposed to direct contagion from distressed neighboring firms and network level crises. Our analysis reveals the centrality of finance in the international firm network and increased globalization, with greater potential for crises to spread globally when they do occur.
(A)symmetric Information Bubbles: Experimental Evidence
Yasushi Asako, Yukihiko Funaki, Kozo Ueda, Nobuyuki Uto
Abstract: Asymmetric information has been necessary to explain a bubble in past theoretical models. This study experimentally analyzes traders’ choices, with and without asymmetric information, based on the riding-bubble model. We show that traders have an incentive to hold a bubble asset for longer, thereby expanding the bubble in a market with symmetric, rather than asymmetric information. However, when traders are more experienced, the size of the bubble decreases, in which case bubbles do not arise, with symmetric information. In contrast, the size of the bubble is stable in a market with asymmetric information.
Global Commodity Prices and Global Stock Volatility Shocks: Effects across Countries
Wensheng Kang, Ronald A. Ratti, Joaquin Vespignani
Abstract: This paper investigates the time-varying dynamics of global stock volatility, commodity prices, and domestic output and consumer prices. The main empirical findings of this paper are: (i) stock volatility and commodity price shocks impact each other and the economy in a gradual and endogenous adjustment process; (ii) the impact of a commodity price shock on global stock volatility is far greater during the global financial crisis than at other times; (iii) the effects of global stock volatility on US output are amplified by the endogenous commodity price responses; (iv) in the long run, shocks to commodity prices (stock market volatility) account for 11.9% (6.6%) and 25.1% (11.6%) of the variation in US output and consumer prices; (v) the effects of global stock volatility shocks on the economy are heterogeneous across nations and relatively larger in the developed countries.
Oil, Volatility and Institutions: Cross-Country Evidence from Major Oil Producers
Amany El-Anshasy, Kamiar Mohaddes and Jeffrey B. Nugent
Abstract: This paper examines the long-run effects of oil revenue and its volatility on economic growth as well as the role of institutions in this relationship. We collect annual and monthly data on a sample of 17 major oil producers over the period 1961-2013, and use the standard panel autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) approach as well as its cross-sectionally augmented version (CS-ARDL) for estimation. Therefore, in contrast to the earlier literature on the resource curse, we take into account all three key features of the panel: dynamics, heterogeneity and cross-sectional dependence. Our results suggest that (i) there is a significant negative effect of oil revenue volatility on output growth, (ii) higher growth rate of oil revenue significantly raises economic growth, and (iii) better fiscal policy (institutions) can offset some of the negative effects of oil revenue volatility. We therefore argue that volatility in oil revenues combined with poor governmental responses to this volatility drives the resource curse paradox, not the abundance of oil revenues as such.
Can Italy Grow Out of Its NPL Overhang? A Panel Threshold Analysis
Kamiar Mohaddes, Mehdi Raissi and Anke Weber
Abstract: This paper examines whether a tipping point exists for real GDP growth in Italy above which the ratio of non-performing loans (NPLs) to total loans falls significantly. Estimating a heterogeneous dynamic panel-threshold model with data on 17 Italian regions over the period 1997-2014, we provide evidence for the presence of growth-threshold effects on the NPL ratio in Italy. More specifically, we find that real GDP growth above 1.2 percent, if sustained for a number of years, is associated with a significant decline in the NPLs ratio. Achieving such growth rates requires decisively tackling long-standing structural rigidities and improving the quality of fiscal policy. Given the modest potential growth outlook, however, under which banks are likely to struggle to grow out of their NPL overhang, further policy measures are needed to put the NPL ratio on a firm downward path over the medium term.
Exploring the Nexus Between Inflation and Globalization Under Inflation Targeting Through the Lens of New Zealand’s Experience
Ayşe Kabukçuoğlu and Enrique Martínez-García and Mehmet Ali Soytaş
Abstract: We investigate empirically the inflation dynamics in New Zealand, a small open economy and a pioneer in inflation targeting, under various open-economy Phillips curve specifications. Our forecasting exercise suggests that open-economy Phillips curves under standard measures of global slack do not help forecast domestic inflation, possibly indicating measurement problems with global slack itself. In turn, under a stable inflation target we still find that (i) global inflation and (ii) global inflation and oil prices have information content for headline CPI and core CPI inflation over the 1997:Q3-2015:Q1 period and appear to be reliable proxies for global slack in forecasting inflation.
Explaining International Business Cycle Synchronization: Recursive Preferences and the Terms of Trade Channel
Abstract: The business cycles of advanced economies are synchronized. Standard macro models fail to explain that fact. This paper presents a simple model of a two-country, two-traded good, complete-financial-markets world in which country-specific productivity shocks generate business cycles that are highly correlated internationally. The model assumes recursive intertemporal preferences (Epstein-Zin-Weil), and a muted response of labor hours to household wealth changes (due to Greenwood-Hercowitz-Huffman period utility and demand-determined employment under rigid wages). Recursive intertemporal preferences magnify the terms of trade response to country-specific shocks. Hence, a productivity (and GDP) increase in a given country triggers a strong improvement of the foreign country’s terms of trade, which raises foreign labor demand. With a muted labor wealth effect, foreign labor and GDP rise, i.e. domestic and foreign real activity commove positively.
Trade Uncertainty and Income Inequality
Markus Brueckner and Joaquin Vespignani
Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between trade uncertainty and income inequality. In countries where only a small share of the population is educated, an increase in trade uncertainty is associated with a significant increase in income inequality. As education of the population increases the relationship between trade uncertainty and income inequality becomes more muted. Trade uncertainty has no significant effect on income inequality in countries that are world leaders in education. Developing countries that want to reduce income inequality arising from trade uncertainty should therefore consider further improving their education system.
The Exchange Rate Effects of Macro News after the Global Financial Crisis
Yin-Wong Cheung, Rasmus Fatum and Yohei Yamamoto
Abstract: This paper explores whether the exchange rate effects of macro news are time- and state-dependent by analyzing and comparing the relative influence of US and Japanese macro news on the JPY/USD rate before, during, and after the Global Financial Crisis. A comprehensive set totaling 40 time-stamped US and Japanese news variables and preceding survey expectations along with 5-minute indicative JPY/USD quotes spanning the 1 January 1999 to 31 August 2016 period facilitate our analysis. Our results suggest that while US macro news are now more important than before the Crisis, the influence of Japanese macro news has waned to the point of near-irrelevance. These findings are of particular importance to exchange rate modeling of the New Era.
Do Sovereign Wealth Funds Dampen the Negative Effects of Commodity Price Volatility?
Kamiar Mohaddes and Mehdi Raissi
Abstract: This paper studies the impact of commodity terms of trade (CToT) volatility on economic growth (and its sources) in a sample of 69 commodity-dependent countries, and assesses the role of Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) and quality of institutions in their long-term growth performance. Using annual data over the period 1981-2014, we employ the Cross-Sectionally augmented Autoregressive Distributive Lag (CS-ARDL) methodology for estimation to account for cross-country heterogeneity, cross-sectional dependence, and feedback effects. We find that while CToT volatility exerts a negative impact on economic growth (operating through lower accumulation of physical capital and lower TFP), the average impact is dampened if a country has a SWF and better institutional quality (hence a more stable government expenditure).
The Impact of Global Uncertainty on the Global Economy, and Large Developed and Developing Economies
Wensheng Kang, Ronald A. Ratti and Joaquin Vespignani
Abstract: Global uncertainty shocks are associated with a sharp decline in global inflation, global growth and in the global interest rate. Over 1981 to 2014 global financial uncertainty forecasts 18.26% and 14.95% of the variation in global growth and global inflation respectively. Global uncertainty shocks have more protracted, statistically significant and substantial effects on global growth, inflation and interest rate than U.S. uncertainty shocks. U.S. uncertainty lags global uncertainty by one month. When controlling for domestic uncertainty, the decline in output following a rise in global uncertainty is statistically significant in each country, with the exception of the decline for China. The effects for the U.S. and for China are also relatively small. For most economies, a positive shock to global uncertainty has a depressing effect on prices and official interest rates. Exceptions are Brazil, Mexico and Russia, economies with large capital outflows during financial crises. Decomposition of global uncertainty shocks shows that global financial uncertainty shocks are more important than non-financial shocks.
Export Tax Rebates and Resource Misallocation: Evidence from a Large Developing Country
Ariel Weinberger, Qian Xuefeng and Mahmut Yasar
Abstract: The export tax rebate (ETR) policy is one of the most frequently used policy instruments by Chinese policy makers. This paper therefore provides a vital analysis of its allocation effects. To motivate our empirical analysis for the allocation effects of the ETR policy, we first add a tax rebate to the Melitz and Ottaviano (2008) model and examine the impact of this policy on firms' markup size and resource allocation between eligible and non-eligible firms for the rebates. We use customs transactions, tax administration, and firm-level data to measure the effect of variation in export tax rebates, taking advantage of the large policy change in 2004. A difference-indifference approach allows us to compare the production and pricing decisions of eligible versus non-eligible firms and the distributional implications. We find that an increase in tax rebates shifts production to eligible firms and that tax rebates increase allocative efficiency.
Flipping the Housing Market
Charles Ka Yui Leung and Chung-Yi Tse
Abstract: We add arbitraging middlemen -- investors who attempt to profit from buying low and selling high -- to a canonical housing market search model. Flipping tends to take place in sluggish and tight, but not in moderate, markets. There is the possibility of multiple equilibria. In one equilibrium, most, if not all, transactions are intermediated, resulting in rapid turnover, a high vacancy rate, and high housing prices. In another equilibrium, few houses are bought and sold by middlemen. Turnover is slow, few houses are vacant, and prices are moderate. Moreover, flippers can enter and exit en masse in response to the smallest interest rate shock. The housing market can then be intrinsically unstable even when all flippers are akin to the arbitraging middlemen in classical finance theory. In speeding up turnover, the flipping that takes place in a sluggish and illiquid market tends to be socially beneficial. The flipping that takes place in a tight and liquid market can be wasteful as the efficiency gain from any faster turnover is unlikely to be large enough to offset the loss from more houses being left vacant in the hands of flippers. Based on our calibrated model, which matches several stylized facts of the U.S. housing market, we show that the housing price response to interest rate change is very non-linear, suggesting cautions to policy attempts to “stabilize” the housing market through monetary policy.
The Globalisation of Inflation: the Growing Importance of Global Value Chains
Raphael Auer, Claudio Borio and Andrew Filardo
Abstract: Greater international economic interconnectedness over recent decades has been changing inflation dynamics. This paper presents evidence that the expansion of global value chains (GVCs), ie cross-border trade in intermediate goods and services, is an important channel through which global economic slack influences domestic inflation. In particular, we document the extent to which the growth in GVCs explains the established empirical correlation between global economic slack and national inflation rates, both across countries and over time. Accounting for the role of GVCs, we also find that the conventional tradebased measures of openness used in previous studies are poor proxies for this transmission channel. The results support the hypothesis that as GVCs expand, direct and indirect competition among economies increases, making domestic inflation more sensitive to the global output gap. This can affect the trade-offs that central banks face when managing inflation.
Unifying Macro Elasticities in International Economics
Abstract: International trade studies have higher macro (Armington) elasticity measures compared to international finance studies. This observation has evoked not only mixed policy implications regarding tariffs and exchange rates but also mixed welfare gains from trade. Regarding the policy implications, this so-called international elasticity puzzle is solved in this paper by distinguishing between elasticities of substitution and price elasticities of demand that are connected to each other through expenditure shares. It is shown theoretically and confirmed empirically that the macro elasticity in international trade is a weighted average of the macro elasticity in international finance and the elasticity of substitution across products of foreign countries. It is implied that one can always find an elasticity of substitution across foreign countries that would be consistent with different macro elasticities in the two literatures; therefore, the puzzle is something artificial due to the way that the foreign products are aggregated at destination countries. Regarding the welfare gains from trade, the two literatures are shown to have the very same implications when international finance studies have a unitary macro elasticity of substitution between home and foreign products or unitary terms of trade. As opposed to the existing literature that has offered many supplyside solutions to the puzzle, the results in this paper are independent of the supply side and thus are consistent with any production structure.
Domestic vs. International Welfare Gains from Trade
Abstract: Using varieties of a rich model that considers sectoral heterogeneity and input-output linkages, this paper shows that the overall welfare gains of a region within a country can be decomposed into domestic versus international welfare gains from trade. Empirical results based on state-level data from the U.S. suggest that about 91 percent of the overall welfare gains of a state are due to domestic trade with other states, on average across alternative model specifications, with a range between 72 percent and 99 percent across states. When national-level data are used for the U.S., international welfare gains are shown to be almost identical to the those obtained by the aggregation of state-level results, suggesting that one can use the implications of a region-level analysis to have national-level results based on welfare gains from trade. We use this implication to propose an approximation to measure the domestic welfare gains from trade when domestic trade data are not available. Accordingly, using the implications of the model introduced, a Dispersion of Economic Activity Index (DEAI) is introduced that depends on internal distance and elasticity measures. It is empirically shown that DEAI can capture domestic welfare gains from trade within the U.S. when standard internal distance and elasticity measures in the literature are employed. Important policy suggestions follow.
Gravity Channels in Trade
Yulin Hou, Yun Wang and Hakan Yilmazkuday
Abstract: Gravity variables such as distance, adjacency, colony, free trade agreements or language are used to capture the effects of trade costs in empirical studies. By using actual data on trade costs, this paper decomposes the overall effects of such variables on trade into those through three gravity channels: duties/tariffs (DC), transportation costs (TC), and dyadicpreferences (PC). When PC is ignored as is typical in existing studies in the literature, it is shown that nearly all gravity effects are due to distance, 29 percent through DC and 71 percent through TC. The tables turn as the additional channel of PC is introduced and shown to dominate other channels, with adjacency contributing about 45 percent, distance about 32 percent, colony about 14 percent, free trade agreements about 7 percent, and language about 2 percent. It is implied that gravity variables mainly capture the effects of demand shifters rather than supply shifters (as implied by the existing literature). The results are further connected to several existing discussions in the literature, such as welfare gains from trade and the distance puzzle.
Capital Accumulation and Dynamic Gains from Trade (Revised November 2018)
B. Ravikumar, Ana Maria Santacreu and Michael Sposi
Abstract: We compute welfare gains from trade in a dynamic, multicountry model with capital accumulation and trade imbalances. We develop a gradient-free method to compute the exact transition paths following a trade liberalization. We find that (i) larger countries accumulate a current account surplus, and financial resources flow from larger countries to smaller countries, boosting consumption in the latter, (ii) countries with larger short-run trade deficits accumulate capital faster, (iii) the gains are nonlinear in the reduction in trade costs, and (iv) capital accumulation accounts for substantial gains. The net foreign asset position before the liberalization is positively correlated with the gains. The tradables intensity in consumption goods production determines the static gains, and the tradables intensity in investment goods production determines the dynamic gains that include capital accumulation.
Oil Price Shocks and Policy Uncertainty: New Evidence on the Effects of US and non-US Oil Production
Wensheng Kang, Ronald A. Ratti and Joaquin L. Vespignani
Abstract: Important interaction has been established for US economic policy uncertainty with a number of economic and financial variables including oil prices. This paper examines the dynamic effects of US and non-US oil production shocks on economic policy uncertainty using a structural VAR model. Such an examination is motivated by the substantial increases in US oil production in recent years with implications for US political and economic security. Positive innovations in US oil production are associated with decreases in US economic policy uncertainty. The economic forecast interquartile ranges about the US CPI and about federal/state/local government expenditures are particularly sensitive to innovations in US oil supply shocks. Shocks to US oil supply disruption causes rises in the CPI forecast uncertainty and accounts for 21% of the overall variation of the CPI forecaster disagreement. Dis-aggregation of oil production shocks into US and non-US oil production yield novel results. Oil supply shocks identified by US and non-US origins explain as much of the variatio in economic policy uncertainty as structural shocks on the demand side of the oil market.
Capital Goods Trade, Relative Prices, and Economic Development
Piyusha Mutreja, B. Ravikumar and Michael Sposi
Abstract: International trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through two channels: capital formation and aggregate TFP. We embed a multi country, multi sector Ricardian model of trade into a neoclassical growth framework. Our model matches several trade and development facts within a unified framework: the world distribution of capital goods production and trade, cross-country differences in investment rate and price of final goods, and cross-country equalization of price of capital goods. Reducing barriers to trade capital goods allows poor countries to access more efficient means of capital goods production abroad, leading to relatively higher capital output ratios. Meanwhile, poor countries can specialize more in their comparative advantage—non-capital goods production—and increase their TFP. The income gap between rich and poor countries declines by 40 percent by eliminating barriers to trade capital goods.
Financial Regulations and Price Inconsistencies across Bitcoin Markets
Gina Pieters and Sofia Vivanco
Abstract: We document systematic differences in bitcoin prices across 11 different markets representing 26% of global bitcoin trade volume. These differences must — due to the identical nature of all bitcoin — result from characteristics of markets themselves. We examine differences across the markets and find that those which do not require customer identification for establishing an account are more likely to deviate from representative market prices than those which do. This implies that standard financial regulations, specifically know-your-customer regulations, can have a non-negligible impact on the bitcoin market.
Does Bitcoin Reveal New Information About Exchange Rates and Financial Integration?
Abstract: I show that the prices of the internationally traded crypto-currency bitcoin can be used to estimate a currency’s unofficial exchange rate and capital controls at a daily interval. Two important bitcoin features are documented: (1) Bitcoin-based exchange rates approximate the behavior, but not the level, of unofficial exchange rates, and (2) Bitcoin prices contain a bitcoin-trend term and must be appropriately normalized prior to being used for this purpose. Bitcoin-based exchange rates reveal that (3) there is no consistent pattern of Granger causality between unofficial rates and official rates by exchange rate regime or barriers at the daily frequency, and (4) that countries can engage in short-interval capital controls.
Do Oil Endowment and Productivity Matter for Accumulation of International Reserves?
Rasmus Fatum, Guozhong Zhu and Wenjie Hui
Abstract: We develop a dynamic stochastic optimization model with oil price shocks to show that countries with certain combinations of oil endowment and productivity have strong precautionary incentives to accumulate foreign reserves in response to oil price shocks. Using the Simulated Method of Moments to estimate the model we demonstrate how oil price shocks are absorbed by changes in foreign reserves which, in turn, leads to less variation in aggregate consumption. Along with productivity and oil endowment, we also consider as determinants of reserves holding conventional variables such as trade- to-GDP ratio and capital openness. Overall, our results suggest that productivity and oil endowment are potentially important determinants of foreign reserves that for some countries should be considered as complements to conventional determinants.
A One-Covariate at a Time, Multiple Testing Approach to Variable Selection in High-Dimensional Linear Regression Models
Supplement 1 | Supplement 2
Alexander Chudik, George Kapetanios and M. Hashem Pesaran
Abstract: Model specification and selection are recurring themes in econometric analysis. Both topics become considerably more complicated in the case of large-dimensional data sets where the set of specification possibilities can become quite large. In the context of linear regression models, penalised regression has become the de facto benchmark technique used to trade off parsimony and fit when the number of possible covariates is large, often much larger than the number of available observations. However, issues such as the choice of a penalty function and tuning parameters associated with the use of penalized regressions remain contentious. In this paper, we provide an alternative approach that considers the statistical significance of the individual covariates one at a time, whilst taking full account of the multiple testing nature of the inferential problem involved. We refer to the proposed method as One Covariate at a Time Multiple Testing (OCMT) procedure. The OCMT provides an alternative to penalised regression methods: It is based on statistical inference and is therefore easier to interpret and relate to the classical statistical analysis, it allows working under more general assumptions, it is faster, and performs well in small samples for almost all of the different sets of experiments considered in this paper. We provide extensive theoretical and Monte Carlo results in support of adding the proposed OCMT model selection procedure to the toolbox of applied researchers. The usefulness of OCMT is also illustrated by an empirical application to forecasting U.S. output growth and inflation.
Globalization, Market Structure and Inflation Dynamics
Abstract: The decline in the sensitivity of inflation to domestic slack observed in developed countries since the mid 1980’s has been often attributed to globalization. However, this intuition has so far not been formalized. I develop a general equilibrium setup in which the sensitivity of inflation to marginal cost decreases when international trade costs fall. In order to do so, I add three ingredients to an otherwise standard two-country new-Keynesian model. Strategic interactions generate a time varying desired markup; endogenous entry and heterogeneous productivity engender a self-selection of the most productive firms (also the largest ones) in international trade. Hence the weight of large firms in domestic production increases. These firms transmit less marginal cost fluctuations to price adjustments, rather absorbing them into their desired markup in order to protect their market share. At the aggregate level, domestic inflation reacts less to real activity fluctuations.
Financial Performance and Macroeconomic Fundamentals in Emerging Market Economies over the Global Financial Cycle
Scott Davis and Andrei Zlate
Abstract: This paper explores the relationship between financial performance and macroeconomic fundamentals in emerging market economies not only in times of crises, but in general during crisis and non-crisis years over the global financial cycle. Using a panel framework with data for 119 emerging market economies at an annual frequency, we examine whether the relationship between performance and fundamentals varies in magnitude and/or switches sign between crisis and non-crisis years. We find that better macroeconomic fundamentals (such as a stronger net foreign asset positions and higher stocks of foreign exchange reserves) are associated with better financial performance not just during crisis episodes, but also during normal times. Quantitatively, the impact of fundamentals on performance is smaller during normal times than during crisis years, but works in the same direction and is statistically significant. The results are consistent with those of recent empirical studies on the link between financial performance and fundamentals during episodes of global financial stress, but generalizes the results to the global financial cycle.
Macroeconomic News and Asset Prices Before and After the Zero Lower Bound
Christoffer Koch and Julieta Yung
Abstract: With short-term policy interest rates constrained by their effective zero lower bound (ZLB), monetary policy relied on communicating the future path of policy conditional on incoming macroeconomic data. Motivated by this, we exploit intra-day prices to investigate how updates on the state of the U.S. economy affect interest rates and exchange rates before and after the ZLB. We find that releases reflecting the dual mandate of the Fed rose in importance and – as an ex-post acknowledgement of the sources of the Great Recession – additional housing market indicators and GDP revisions, that hitherto left markets unaffected, became market movers.
FDI and the Task Content of Domestic Employment for U.S. Multinationals
Alexis Grimm and Mina Kim
Abstract: Using a unique dataset, we examine how the foreign direct investment activities of U.S. multinational manufacturers are related to the composition of their domestic employment. The analysis is based on a dataset in which Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) firm-level data on the foreign operations of U.S. multinationals are matched with Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) establishment-level data on occupation and wage distributions. The main implication of our findings is that foreign direct investment is generally positively correlated with domestic labor demand, with automated/routine tasks representing an important exception. For firms that export a significant amount to their foreign affiliates for further processing, foreign labor in low-income countries appears to substitute for domestic labor in automated/routine tasks. Our results show that these firms tend to be younger and smaller. They do not seem to be more engaged in innovative activity at home compared to other multinational manufacturers in our sample.
Finite-Order VAR Representation of Linear Rational Expectations Models: With Some Lessons for Monetary Policy (Revised August 2018)
Abstract: This paper considers the characterization via finite-order VARs of the solution of a large class of linear rational expectations (LRE) models. I propose a unified approach that uses a companion Sylvester equation to check the existence and uniqueness of a solution to the canonical (first-order) LRE model in finite-order VAR form and a quadratic matrix equation to characterize it decoupling the backward- and forward-looking aspects of the model. I also investigate the fundamentalness of the shocks recovered. Solving LRE models by this procedure is straightforward to implement, general in its applicability, efficient in the use of computational resources, and can be handled easily with standard matrix algebra. An application to the workhorse New Keynesian model with accompanying Matlab codes is provided to illustrate the practical implementation of the methodology. I argue that existing empirical evidence on the transmission mechanism of monetary policy shocks from structural VARs (when the specification is inconsistent with theory due to the identification restrictions, lag specification, etc.) should be taken with a grain of salt as it may not have a proper structural interpretation.
Diversification and Specialization of U.S. States | Codes
Janet Koech and Mark A. Wynne
Abstract: This paper documents the evolution of the international relationships of individual U.S. states along three dimensions: trade, migration, and finance. We examine how specialized or diversified state economies differ in terms of the products they export and with whom they trade, the origins of the immigrants who live in the state, and the origins of the foreign banks operating in the state. We show that states that are diversified along one of these dimensions are often quite specialized along others. New York is–perhaps, not surprisingly–the most diversified state in terms of global linkages.
Central Bank Communications: A Case Study
J.Scott Davis and Mark A. Wynne
Abstract: Over the past twenty five years, central bank communications have undergone a major revolution. Central banks that previously shrouded themselves in mystery now embrace social media to get their message out to the widest audience. The Federal Reserve System has not always been at the forefront of these changes, but the volume of information about monetary policy that the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) now releases dwarfs what it was releasing a quarter century ago. In this paper we focus on just one channel of FOMC communications, the post-meeting statement. We document how it has evolved over time, and in particular the extent to which it has become more detailed, but also more difficult to understand. We then use a VAR with daily financial market data to estimate a daily time series of U.S. monetary policy shocks. We show how these shocks on Fed statement release days have gotten larger as the statement has gotten longer and more detailed, and we show that the length and complexity of the statement has a direct effect on the size of the monetary policy shock following a Fed decision.
The Speed of Exchange Rate Pass-Through
Barthélémy Bonadio, Andreas M. Fischer and Philip Sauré
Abstract: On January 15, 2015, the Swiss National Bank terminated its minimum exchange rate policy of one euro against 1.2 Swiss francs. This policy shift resulted in a sharp, unanticipated and permanent appreciation of the Swiss franc by more than 11% against the euro. We analyze the exchange rate pass-through into import unit values of this shock at the daily frequency using Swiss transaction-level trade data. Our key findings are twofold. First, for goods invoiced in euro the pass-through is immediate and complete. This finding is consistent with no systematic nominal price adjustment in this subset of goods. Second, for goods invoiced in Swiss francs the pass-through is partial and very fast: it starts on the second working day after the exchange rate shock and reaches the medium-run pass-through after eight working days on average. We interpret the latter finding as evidence that nominal rigidities unravelled quickly in the face of a large exchange rate shock.
Half-Panel Jackknife Fixed Effects Estimation of Panels with Weakly Exogenous Regressors
Supplement | Codes
Alexander Chudik, M. Hashem Pesaran and Jui-Chung Yang
Abstract: This paper considers estimation and inference in fixed effects (FE) panel regression models with lagged dependent variables and/or other weakly exogenous (or predetermined) regressors when N (the cross section dimension) is large relative to T (the time series dimension). The paper first derives a general formula for the bias of the FE estimator which is a generalization of the Nickell type bias derived in the literature for the pure dynamic panel data models. It shows that in the presence of weakly exogenous regressors, inference based on the FE estimator will result in size distortions unless N / T is sufficiently small. To deal with the bias and size distortion of FE estimator when N is large relative to T, the use of half-panel Jackknife FE estimator is proposed and its asymptotic distribution is derived. It is shown that the bias of the proposed estimator is of order T -2, and for valid inference it is only required that N / T 3 0, as N, T jointly. Extensions to panel data models with time effects (TE), for balanced as well as unbalanced panels, are also provided. The theoretical results are illustrated with Monte Carlo evidence. It is shown that the FE estimator can suffer from large size distortions when N > T, with the proposed estimator showing little size distortions. The use of half-panel jackknife FE-TE estimator is illustrated with two empirical applications from the literature.
Exposure to International Crises: Trade vs. Financial Contagion
Abstract: I identify new patterns in countries' economic performance over the 2007-2014 period based on proximity through distance, trade, and finance to the US subprime mortgage and Eurozone debt crisis areas. To understand the causes of the cross-country variation, I develop an open economy model with two transmission channels that can be shocked separately: international trade and finance. The model is the first to include a government and heterogeneous firms that can default independently of one another and has a novel endogenous cost of sovereign default. I calibrate the model to the average experiences of countries near to and far from the crisis areas. Using these calibrations, disturbances on the order of those observed during the late 2000s are separately applied to each channel to study transmission. The results suggest credit disruption as the primary contagion driver, rather than the trade channel. Given the substantial degree of financial contagion, I run a series of counterfactuals studying the efficacy of capital controls and find that they would be a useful tool for preventing similarly severe contagion in the future, so long as there is not capital immobility to the degree that the local sovereign can default without suffering capital flight.
Trends and Cycles in Small Open Economies: Making The Case For A General Equilibrium Approach
Kan Chen and Mario Crucini
Abstract: Economic research into the causes of business cycles in small open economies is almost always undertaken using a partial equilibrium model. This approach is characterized by two key assumptions. The first is that the world interest rate is unaffected by economic developments in the small open economy, an exogeneity assumption. The second assumption is that this exogenous interest rate combined with domestic productivity is sufficient to describe equilibrium choices. We demonstrate the failure of the second assumption by contrasting general and partial equilibrium approaches to the study of a crosssection of small open economies. In doing so, we provide a method for modeling small open economies in general equilibrium that is no more technically demanding than the small open economy approach while preserving much of the value of the general equilibrium approach.
On What States Do Prices Depend? Answers From Ecuador
Craig Benedict, Mario J. Crucini and Anthony Landry
Abstract: In this paper, we argue that differences in the cost structure across sectors play an important role in the decision of firms to adjust their prices. We develop a menu cost model of pricing in which retail firms intermediate trade between producers and consumers. An important facet of our analysis is that the labor-cost share of retail production differs across goods and services in the consumption basket. For example, the price of gasoline at the retail pump is predicted to adjust more frequently and by more than the price of a haircut due to the high volatility in wholesale gasoline prices relative to the wages of unskilled labor, even when both retailers face a common menu cost. This modeling approach allows us to account for some of the cross-sectional differences observed in the frequency of price adjustments across goods. We apply this model to Ecuador to take advantage of inflation variations and the rich panel of monthly retail prices.
Oil Prices and the Global Economy: Is It Different This Time Around?
Kamiar Mohaddes and M. Hashem Pesaran
Abstract: The recent plunge in oil prices has brought into question the generally accepted view that lower oil prices are good for the US and the global economy. In this paper, using a quarterly multi-country econometric model, we first show that a fall in oil prices tends relatively quickly to lower interest rates and inflation in most countries, and increase global real equity prices. The effects on real output are positive, although they take longer to materialize (around 4 quarters after the shock). We then re-examine the effects of low oil prices on the US economy over different sub-periods using monthly observations on real oil prices, real equity prices and real dividends. We confirm the perverse positive relationship between oil and equity prices over the period since the 2008 financial crisis highlighted in the recent literature, but show that this relationship has been unstable when considered over the longer time period of 1946-2016. In contrast, we find a stable negative relationship between oil prices and real dividends which we argue is a better proxy for economic activity (as compared to equity prices). On the supply side, the effects of lower oil prices differ widely across the different oil producers, and could be perverse initially, as some of the major oil producers try to compensate their loss of revenues by raising production. Taking demand and supply adjustments to oil price changes as a whole, we conclude that oil markets equilibrate but rather slowly, with large episodic swings between low and high oil prices.
Is the Renminbi a Safe Haven?
Rasmus Fatum , Yohei Yamamoto and Guozhong Zhu
Abstract: We investigate the relationship between market uncertainty and the relative value of the Renminbi against currencies that the safe haven literature typically considers as the traditional safe haven currency candidates. Our sample spans the February 2011 to April 2016 period. Band spectral regression models enable us to capture that the relationship between market uncertainty and the relative value of the Renminbi is frequency dependent. While we find evidence of some degree of safe haven currency behavior of the Renminbi during the early part of our sample, our findings do not support the suggestion that the Renminbi is currently a safe haven currency or that the Renminbi is progressing towards safe haven currency status.
Breaking Down World Trade Elasticities: a Panel ECM Approach
Abstract: This paper exhaustively analyses the recent decline of international trade elasticities to output growth. We extend an empirical model of import demand functions to account not only for transitory factors, such as relative prices and import intensity-adjusted measures of demand (I-O Tables), but also for habitually neglected permanent factors such as protectionism, vertical integration (i.e. Global Value Chains) and foreign direct investment (FDI). Dealing with a non-stationary heteregenous panel of 27 countries, we estimate a panel Error Correction Model from 1960 to 2015 in order to break down world trade elasticities. Our main findings evidence: i) the presence of panel (cointegrating) structural changes in the trade-to-GDP relationship in 2000 and 2009, private consumption being a source of disruption; ii) although investment and exports are the most sensitive, import-intensive components of demand, this is far from being transitory, which is clearly weighing on the current slowdown; iii) the relevant contribution of GVCs shows a procyclical pattern, questioning the permanent nature of the current levelling-off of vertical integration processes. The lack of progress in reducing import tariffs and the usual discarded, complementary relationship between FDI and imports have a residual role. All in all, our results have substantial policy implications, as they reinforce the idea of a historical break towards a new ‘normal’ trading phase.
The Market Resources Method for Solving Dynamic Optimization Problems
Ayşe Kabukçuoğlu and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: We introduce the market resources method (MRM) for solving dynamic optimization problems. MRM extends Carroll’s (2006) endogenous grid point method (EGM) for problems with more than one control variable using policy function iteration. The MRM algorithm is simple to implement and provides advantages in terms of speed and accuracy over Howard’s policy improvement algorithm. Codes are available.
Banking Crises, External Crises and Gross Capital Flows
Thorsten Janus and Daniel Riera-Crichton
Abstract: In this paper, we study the relationship between banking crises, external financial crises and gross international capital flows. First, we confirm that banking and external crises are correlated. Then, as we explore the role of gross capital flows, we find that declines of external liabilities in the balance of payments – a proxy for foreign capital repatriation we call gross foreign investment reversals (GIR) – predict banking as well as external crises. Finally, we estimate the effects of GIR-associated banking crises on the risk of currency and sudden stop crises in an instrumental-variables specification. In developing countries, GIR-associated banking crises increase the onset risk for currency and sudden stop crises by 39- 50 and 28-30 percentage points per year respectively. For OECD countries, we show an increase in the currency crisis risk by 33-45 percentage points.
Optimal Monetary Policy in Open Economies Revisited
Ippei Fujiwara and Jiao Wang
Abstract: This paper revisits optimal monetary policy in open economies, in particular, focusing on the noncooperative policy game under local currency pricing in a two-country dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model. We first derive the quadratic loss functions which noncooperative policy makers aim to minimize. Then, we show that noncooperative policy makers face extra trade-offs regarding stabilizing the real marginal costs induced by deviations from the law of one price under local currency pricing. As a result of the increased number of stabilizing objectives, welfare gains from cooperation emerge even when two countries face only technology shocks, which usually leads to equivalence between cooperation and noncooperation. Still, gains from cooperation are not large, implying that frictions other than nominal rigidities are necessary to strongly recommend cooperation as an important policy framework to increase global welfare.
The Deep Historical Roots of Macroeconomic Volatility
Sam Hak Kan Tang and Charles Ka Yui Leung
Published as: Tang, Sam Hak Kan and Charles Ka Yui Leung (2016), "The Deep Historical Roots of Macroeconomic Volatility," Economic Record 92 (299): 568-589.
Abstract: We present cross-country evidence that a country’s macroeconomic volatility, measured either by the standard deviation of output growth or the occurrence of trend-growth breaks, is significantly affected by the country’s historical variables. In particular, countries with longer histories of state-level political institutions experience less macroeconomic volatility in post-war periods. Robustness checks reveal that the effect of this historical variable on volatility remains significant and substantial after controlling for a host of structural variables investigated in previous studies. We also find that the state history variable is more important in countries with a higher level of macroeconomic volatility.
China’s Slowdown and Global Financial Market Volatility: Is World Growth Losing Out?
Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes and Mehdi Raissi
Abstract: China’s GDP growth slowdown and a surge in global financial market volatility could both adversely affect an already weak global economic recovery. To quantify the global macroeconomic consequences of these shocks, we employ a GVAR model estimated for 26 countries/regions over the period 1981Q1 to 2013Q1. Our results indicate that (i) a one percent permanent negative GDP shock in China (equivalent to a one-off one percent growth shock) could have significant global macroeconomic repercussions, with world growth reducing by 0:23 percentage points in the short-run; and (ii) a surge in global financial market volatility could translate into a fall in world economic growth of around 0:29 percentage points, but it could also have negative short-run impacts on global equity markets, oil prices and long-term interest rates.
The Post-Crisis Slump in the Euro Area and the US: Evidence from an Estimated Three-Region DSGE Model
Robert Kollmann, Beatrice Pataracchia, Rafal Raciborski, Marco Ratto, Werner Roeger and Lukas Vogel
Abstract: The global financial crisis (2008-09) led to a sharp contraction in both Euro Area (EA) and US real activity, and was followed by a long-lasting slump. However, the post-crisis adjustment in the EA and the US shows striking differences—in particular, the EA slump has been markedly more protracted. We estimate a three-region (EA, US and Rest of World) New Keynesian DSGE model (using quarterly data for 1999-2014) to quantify the drivers of the divergent EA and US adjustment paths. Our results suggest that financial shocks were key drivers of the 2008-09 Great Recession, for both the EA and the US. The post-2009 slump in the EA mainly reflects a combination of adverse aggregate demand and supply shocks, in particular lower productivity growth, and persistent adverse shocks to capital investment, linked to the continuing poor health of the EA financial system. Adverse financial shocks were less persistent for the US. The financial shocks identified by the model are consistent with observed performance indicators of the EA and US banking systems.
Big Data Analytics: A New Perspective
Supplement 1 | Supplement 2
A. Chudik, G. Kapetanios and M. H. Pesaran
Abstract: Model specification and selection are recurring themes in econometric analysis. Both topics become considerably more complicated in the case of large-dimensional data sets where the set of specification possibilities can become quite large. In the context of linear regression models, penalised regression has become the de facto benchmark technique used to trade off parsimony and fit when the number of possible covariates is large, often much larger than the number of available observations. However, issues such as the choice of a penalty function and tuning parameters associated with the use of penalised regressions remain contentious. In this paper, we provide an alternative approach that considers the statistical significance of the individual covariates one at a time, whilst taking full account of the multiple testing nature of the inferential problem involved. We refer to the proposed method as One Covariate at a Time Multiple Testing (OCMT) procedure. The OCMT has a number of advantages over the penalised regression methods: It is based on statistical inference and is therefore easier to interpret and relate to the classical statistical analysis, it allows working under more general assumptions, it is computationally simple and considerably faster, and it performs better in small samples for almost all of the five different sets of experiments considered in this paper. Despite its simplicity, the theory behind the proposed approach is quite complicated. We provide extensive theoretical and Monte Carlo results in support of adding the proposed OCMT model selection procedure to the toolbox of applied researchers.
Economic Fundamentals and Monetary Policy Autonomy
Abstract: During a time of rising world interest rates, the central bank of a small open economy may be motivated to increase its own interest rate to keep from suffering a destabilizing outflow of capital and depreciation in the exchange rate. This is especially true for a small open economy with a current account deficit, which relies on foreign capital inflows to finance this deficit. This paper will investigate the underlying structural characteristics that would lead an economy with a floating exchange rate to adjust their interest rate in line with the foreign interest rate, and thus adopt a de facto exchange rate ”peg”. Using a panel data regression similar to that in Shambaugh (QJE 2004) and most recently in Klein and Shambaugh (AEJ Macro 2015), this paper shows that the method of current account financing has a large effect on whether or not the central bank will opt for exchange rate and capital flow stabilization during a time of rising world interest rates. A current account deficit financed mainly through reserve depletion or the accumulation of private sector debt will cause the central bank to pursue de facto exchange rate stabilization, whereas a current account deficit financed through equity or FDI will not. Quantitatively, reserve depletion of about 7% of GDP will motivate the central bank with a floating currency to adjust its interest rate in line with the foreign interest rate to where it appears that the central bank has an exchange rate peg.
Wages and Human Capital in Finance: International Evidence, 1970-2005
Hamid Boustanifar, Everett Grant and Ariell Reshef
Abstract: We study the allocation and compensation of human capital in the finance industry in a set of developed economies in 1970-2005. Finance relative skill intensity and skilled wages generally increase but not in all countries, and to varying degrees. Skilled wages in finance account for 36% of increases in overall skill premia, although finance only accounts for 5.4% of skilled private sector employment, on average. Financial deregulation, financial globalization and bank concentration are the most important factors driving wages in finance. Differential investment in information and communication technology does not have causal explanatory power. High finance wages attract skilled international immigration to finance, raising concerns for "brain drain".
Endogenous Firm Competition and the Cyclicality of Markups
Abstract: The cyclicality of markups is crucial to understanding the propagation of shocks and the size of multipliers. I show that the degree of inertia in the response of output to shocks can reverse the cyclicality of markups within implicit collusion and customer-base models. In both classes of models, markups follow a forward looking law of motion in which they depend on firms' conditional expectations over stochastic discount rates and changes in output, implying that auxiliary assumptions that affect the inertia of output can potentially reverse cyclicality of markups in each of these models. I test this common law of motion with data for firms' expectations from New Zealand and find that firms' markup setting behavior is more consistent with implicit collusion models than customer base models. Calibrating an implicit collusion model to the U.S. data, I find that markups are procyclical if there is inertia in the response of output to shocks, as commonly found in the data.
The Implications of Liquidity Expansion in China for the US Dollar
Wensheng Kang, Ronald A. Ratti and Joaquin L. Vespignani
Abstract: The value of the US dollar is of major importance to the world economy. Global liquidity has grown sharply in recent years with growing importance of China’s money supply to global liquidity. We develop out-of-sample forecasts of the US dollar exchange rate value using US and non-US global data on inflation, output, interest rates, and liquidity on the US, China and non-US/non-China liquidity. Monetary model forecasts significantly outperform a random walk forecast in terms of MSFE at horizons over 12 to 30 months ahead. A monetary model with sticky prices performs best. Rolling sample analysis indicates changes over time in the influence of variables in forecasting the US dollar. China’s liquidity has a distinct, significant and changing influence on the US dollar exchange rate. Post global financial crisis, increases in the growth rate in China’s M2 forecast a significantly higher value for the US dollar 12 months and 18 months ahead and significantly lower values for the US dollar 24 and 30 months.
The U.S. Oil Supply Revolution and the Global Economy
Kamiar Mohaddes and Mehdi Raissi
Abstract: This paper investigates the global macroeconomic consequences of falling oil prices due to the oil revolution in the United States, using a Global VAR model estimated for 38 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2011Q2. Set-identification of the U.S. oil supply shock is achieved through imposing dynamic sign restrictions on the impulse responses of the model. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to a U.S. supply-driven oil price shock, with real GDP increasing in both advanced and emerging market oil-importing economies, output declining in commodity exporters, inflation falling in most countries, and equity prices rising worldwide. Overall, our results suggest that following the U.S. oil revolution, with oil prices falling by 51 percent in the first year, global growth increases by 0.16 to 0.37 percentage points. This is mainly due to an increase in spending by oil importing countries, which exceeds the decline in expenditure by oil exporters.
Quantitative Assessment of the Role of Incomplete Asset Markets on the Dynamics of the Real Exchange Rate
Published as: Martinez-Garcia, Enrique (2016), "A Quantitative Assessment of the Role of Incomplete Asset Markets on the Dynamics of the Real Exchange Rate," Open Economies Review 27 (5): 945-967.
Abstract: I develop a two-country New Keynesian model with capital accumulation and incomplete international asset markets that provides novel insights on the effect that imperfect international risk-sharing has on international business cycles and RER dynamics. I find that business cycles appear similar whether international asset markets are complete or not when driven by a combination of non-persistent monetary shocks and persistent productivity (TFP) shocks. In turn, international asset market incompleteness has sizeable effects if (persistent) investment-specific technology (IST) shocks are a main driver of business cycles. I also show that the model with incomplete international asset markets can approximate the RER volatility and persistence observed in the data, for instance, if IST shocks are near-unitroot. Hence, I conclude that the nature of shocks, the extent of financial integration across countries and the existing limitations on asset trading are central to understand the dynamics of the real exchange rate and the endogenous international transmission over the business cycles.
Inflation as a Global Phenomenon—Some Implications for Policy Analysis and Forecasting
Ayşe Kabukçuoğlu and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: We model local inflation dynamics using global inflation and domestic slack motivated by a novel interpretation of the implications of the workhorse open-economy New Keynesian model. We evaluate the performance of inflation forecasts based on the single-equation forecasting specification implied by the model, exploiting the spatial pattern of international linkages underpinning global inflation. We find that incorporating cross-country interactions yields significantly more accurate forecasts of local inflation for a diverse group of 14 advanced countries (including the U.S.) than either a simple autoregressive model or a standard closed-economy Phillips curve-based forecasting model. We argue that modelling the temporal dimension—but not the cross-country spillovers—of inflation does limit a model’s explanatory power in-sample and its (pseudo) out-of-sample forecasting performance. Moreover, we also show that global inflation (without domestic slack) often contributes the most to achieve the gains on forecasting accuracy observed during our sample period (1984:Q1-2015:Q1)—this observation, according to theory, is crucially related to the flattening of the Phillips curve during this time period of increased globalization.
Optimal Monetary and Fiscal Policy at the Zero Lower Bound in a Small Open Economy
Saroj Bhattarai and Konstantin Egorov
Abstract: We investigate open economy dimensions of optimal monetary and fiscal policy at the zero lower bound (ZLB) in a small open economy model. At positive interest rates, the trade elasticity has negligible effects on optimal policy. In contrast, at the ZLB, the trade elasticity plays a key role in optimal policy prescriptions. The way in which the trade elasticity shapes policy depends on the government's ability to commit. Under discretion, the increase in government spending at the ZLB depends critically on the trade elasticity. Under commitment, the difference between future and current policies, both for domestic inflation and government spending, is smaller when the trade elasticity is higher.
Lottery-Related Anomalies: The Role of Reference-Dependent Preferences
Li An, Huijun Wang, Jian Wang and Jianfeng Yu
Abstract: Previous empirical studies find that lottery-like stocks significantly underperform their non-lottery-like counterparts. Using five different measures of the lottery features in the literature, we document that the anomalies associated with these measures are state-dependent: the evidence supporting these anomalies is strong and robust among stocks where investors have lost money, while among stocks where investors have gained profits, the evidence is either weak or even reversed. Several potential explanations for such empirical findings are examined and we document support for the explanation based on reference-dependent preferences. Our results provide a united framework to understand the lottery-related anomalies in the literature.
Risk Sharing in a World Economy with Uncertainty Shocks
Abstract: This paper analyzes the effects of output volatility shocks and of risk appetite shocks on the dynamics of consumption, trade flows and the real exchange rate, in a two-country world with recursive preferences and complete financial markets. When the risk aversion coefficient exceeds the inverse of the intertemporal substitution elasticity, then an exogenous rise in a country’s output volatility triggers a wealth transfer to that country, in equilibrium; this raises its consumption, lowers its trade balance and appreciates its real exchange rate. The effects of risk appetite shocks resemble those of volatility shocks. In a recursive preferences-complete markets framework, volatility and risk appetite shocks account for a noticeable share of the fluctuations of net exports, net foreign assets and the real exchange rate. These shocks help to explain the high empirical volatility of the real exchange rate and the disconnect between relative consumption growth and the real exchange rate.
Beggar Thy Neighbor or Beggar Thy Domestic Firms? Evidence from 2000-2011 Chinese Customs Data
Rasmus Fatum, Runjuan Liu, Jiadong Tong, Jiayun Xu
Abstract: The premise of beggar-thy-neighbor policies and currency wars is that currency depreciations lead to export growth. This premise, however, is far from validated as the existing economic literature largely either fails to find significant trade flow effects of currency fluctuations or finds that these effects are only minor. We revisit the question of whether currency fluctuations are systematically associated with trade flows using rich and unique firm level Chinese customs data on China-US trade over the 2000 to 2011 period that allows us to consider firm involvement in processing trade and firm dynamics in both export and import markets. Our firm-level based estimation of trade elasticities suggest that the China-US trade balance strongly responds to changes in the CNY/USD rate. This finding is particularly pronounced when we distinguish between ordinary and processing firms. Our results thus suggest that the influence of exchange rates on trade flows is stronger than previously thought and add insights to the policy debate on beggar-thy-neighbor policies and currency wars by, at least in principle, validating the underlying premise of such policies.
To Bi, or not to Bi? Differences in Spillover Estimates from Bilateral and Multilateral Multi-country Models
Abstract: Asymptotic analysis and Monte Carlo simulations show that spillover estimates obtained from widely-used bilateral (such as two-country VAR) models are significantly less accurate than those obtained from multilateral (such as global VAR) models. In particular, the accuracy of spillover estimates obtained from bilateral models depends on two aspects of economies' integration with the rest of the world. First, accuracy worsens as direct bilateral transmission channels become less important, for example when the spillover-sender accounts only for a small share of the spillover-recipient's overall integration with the rest of the world. Second, accuracy worsens as indirect higher-order spillovers and spillbacks become more important, for example when the spillover-recipient is more integrated with the rest of the world overall. Empirical evidence on the global output spillovers from US monetary policy is consistent with these generic results: Spillover estimates obtained from two-country VAR models are systematically smaller than those obtained from a global VAR model; and the differences between spillover estimates obtained from two-country VAR models and a global VAR model are more pronounced for economies for which the US accounts for a smaller share of their overall trade and financial integration with the rest of the world, and for economies which are more integrated with the rest of the world overall.
Effects of US Quantitative Easing on Emerging Market Economies
Saroj Bhattarai, Arpita Chatterjee and Woong Yong Park
Abstract: We estimate international spillover effects of US Quantitative Easing (QE) on emerging market economies. Using a Bayesian VAR on monthly US macroeconomic and financial data, we first identify the US QE shock with non-recursive identifying restrictions. We estimate strong and robust macroeconomic and financial impacts of the US QE shock on US output, consumer prices, long-term yields, and asset prices. The identified US QE shock is then used in a monthly Bayesian panel VAR for emerging market economies to infer the spillover effects on these countries. We find that an expansionary US QE shock has significant effects on financial variables in emerging market economies. It leads to an exchange rate appreciation, a reduction in long-term bond yields, a stock market boom, and an increase in capital inflows to these countries. These effects on financial variables are stronger for the "Fragile Five" countries compared to other emerging market economies. We however do not find significant effects of the US QE shock on output and consumer prices of emerging markets.
Catalytic IMF? A Gross Flows Approach
Aitor Erce and Daniel Riera-Crichton
Abstract: The financial assistance the International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides is assumed to catalyze fresh investment. Such a catalytic effect has, however, proven empirically elusive. This paper deviates from the standard approach based on the net capital inflow to study instead the IMF's catalytic role in the context of gross capital flows. Using fixed-effects regressions, instrumental variables and local projection methods, we find significant differences in how resident and foreign investors react to IMF programs as well as in inward and outward flows. While IMF lending does not catalyze foreign capital, it does affect the behavior of resident investors, who are both less likely to place their savings abroad and more likely to repatriate their foreign assets. As domestic banks' flows drive this effect, we conclude that IMF catalysis is "a banking story". In comparing the effects across crisis types, we find that the effect of the IMF on resident investors is strongest during sovereign defaults, and that it exerts the least effect on foreign investors during bank crises.
Does the US Current Account Show a Symmetric Behavior over the Business Cycle?
Published as: Duncan, Roberto (2016), "Does the US Current Account Show a Symmetric Behavior over the Business Cycle?" International Review of Economics & Finance 41: 202-219.
Abstract: Traditionally, the literature that attempts to explain the link between the current account and output finds a linear negative relationship (e.g., Backus et al., 1995). Using nonparametric regressions, we find a robust U-shaped relationship between the U.S. current account and the GDP cycle. When output is above (below) its trend the current account and detrended output are positively (negatively) correlated. We argue that this nonlinearity might be caused by persistent productivity shocks coupled with uncertainty shocks about future productivity.
Simple Models to Understand and Teach Business Cycle Macroeconomics for Emerging Market and Developing Economies
Published as: Duncan, Roberto (2015), "A Simple Model to Teach Business Cycle Macroeconomics for Emerging Market and Developing Economies," The Journal of Economic Education 46 (4): 394-402.
Abstract: The canonical neoclassical model is insufficient to understand business cycle fluctuations in emerging market and developing economies (EMDEs). I reformulate the models proposed by Aguiar and Gopinath (2007) and Neumeyer and Perri (2005) in simple settings that can be used to do back-of-the-envelope analysis and teach business cycle macroeconomics for EMDEs at the undergraduate level. The simplified models are employed for qualitatively explaining facts such as the countercyclicality of the trade balance and the real interest rate, and the higher volatility of output, consumption, and real wages compared with those observed in advanced countries. Simple extensions can be used to understand other empirical facts such as large capital outflows and output drops, small government spending multipliers, the cyclical behavior of prices, and the negative association between currency depreciations and output.
Markups and Misallocation with Trade and Heterogeneous Firms
Abstract: With non-homothetic preferences, a monopolistic competition equilibrium is inefficient in the way inputs are allocated towards production. This paper quantifies a gains from trade component that is present only when reallocation is properly measured in a setting with heterogeneous firms that charge variable markups. Due to variable markups, reallocations initiated by aggregate shocks impact allocative efficiency depending on the adjustment of the market power distribution. My measurement compares real income growth with the hypothetical case of no misallocation in quantities. Using firm and industry-level data from Chile during a period with large terms of trade gains, I find that cost reductions are associated with losses in allocative efficiency because firms pass-through measured productivity gains into markups. From industry-year variation, there is also evidence that industries that import a larger share of their inputs become more misallocated as a result of exchange rate appreciations compared to open sectors whose output competition becomes fiercer.
How False Beliefs About Exchange Rate Systems Threaten Global Growth and the Existence of the Eurozone
William R. White
Abstract: The current belief system that says “all will be well” if domestic price stability can be maintained is fundamentally flawed. If this can be achieved only through monetary, credit and debt expansion, the end result will be an increased risk of systemic crisis. Moreover, false beliefs about how exchange rate systems function, at both the global level and within the Eurozone, imply international “spillover” effects that increase both the likelihood and the seriousness of such crises. Gross international capital flows pose as many (perhaps more) dangers than do net flows (ie current account imbalances). And false beliefs about exchange rate regimes not only compromise crisis prevention, but they also hinder crisis management and resolution. At the global level, we still lack the instruments to do either effectively should current problems worsen. In the Eurozone, the crisis which began in 2010 has not been well managed and remains fundamentally unresolved.
The Impact of Oil Price Shocks on the U.S. Stock Market: A Note on the Roles of U.S. and Non-U.S. Oil Production
Wensheng Kang, Ronald A. Ratti and Joaquin Vespignani
Abstract: Kilian and Park (IER 50 (2009), 1267–1287) find shocks to oil supply are relatively unimportant to understanding changes in U.S. stock returns. We examine the impact of both U.S. and non-U.S. oil supply shocks on stock returns in light of the unprecedented expansion in U.S. oil production since 2009. Our results underscore the importance of the disaggregation of world oil supply and of the recent extraordinary surge in the U.S. oil production for analysing impact on U.S. stock prices. We also show that stock returns respond very differently at the industrial level to non-U.S. and U.S. oil supply shocks.
Multinational Firms' Entry and Productivity: Some Aggregate Implications of Firm-level Heterogeneity
Published as: Contessi, Silvio (2015), "Multinational Firms' Entry and Productivity: Some Aggregate Implications of Firm-level Heterogeneity," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 61: 61-80.
Abstract: Despite the microeconomic evidence supporting the superior idiosyncratic productivity of multinational firms (MNFs) and their affiliates, cross-country studies fail to find robust evidence of a positive relationship between foreign direct investment and growth. In order to study the aggregate implications of MNFs entry and production, I develop a dynamic general equilibrium model with firm heterogeneity where MNFs sort according to their own productivity. The entry and production of MNFs contribute to aggregate productivity growth at decreasing rates and affect domestic producers through general equilibrium effects in the labor market. I argue that the heterogeneous composition of the population of affiliates can help explain the conflicting evidence on the impact of foreign direct investment on growth.
The Cyclicality of (Bilateral) Capital Inflows and Outflows
J. Scott Davis
Abstract: Recent research has shown that gross capital inflows and outflows are positively correlated and highly procyclical. This poses a puzzle since most theory predicts that capital inflows and outflows should be negatively correlated, and while capital inflows should be procyclical, capital outflows should be countercyclical. This previous work has examined the behavior of aggregate capital inflows and outflows (capital flows between a country and the rest of the world). This paper shows that bilateral capital inflows and outflows (flows between a pair of countries) are also positively correlated and strongly procyclical. This empirical finding poses a new puzzle. The data suggests that any model that can explain capital flows at the bilateral level needs to rely on market incompleteness and non-diversification. In addition, the data suggests that this positive correlation and procyclicality is largely the feature of crisis episodes. After controlling for crisis episodes, we find that bilateral capital flows move positively with GDP in the country receiving the capital and co-move negatively in the country sending the capital.
Testing for a Housing Bubble at the National and Regional Level: The Case of Israel
Published as: Caspi, Itamar (2016), "Testing for a Housing Bubble at the National and Regional Level: The Case of Israel," Empirical Economics 51 (2): 483-516.
Abstract: Between 2008 and 2013, home prices in Israel appreciated by roughly 50 percent in real terms, with increases of nearly 60 percent in some regions. This paper examines whether this phenomenon reflects the presence of a national or regional housing bubble by applying econometric tests for explosive behavior to quality adjusted national and regional level data on the home price to rent ratio, while controlling for various fundamental factors, including interest rates, income and the leverage ratio. Overall, study results indicate that the recent housing price appreciations at the national and regional levels are consistent with the developments of the fundamentals – supply and demand factors that are represented by rent payments and interest rates – and not with a housing bubble scenario. Most of the results are robust to a variety of tests and alternate specifications. The framework I provide to study the Israeli case may be applied to study other housing markets facing similar developments.
Is There a Debt-threshold Effect on Output Growth?
Alexander Chudik, Kamiar Mohaddes, M. Hashem Pesaran and Mehdi Raissi
Published as: Chudik, Alexander, Kamiar Mohaddes, M. Hashem Pesaran and Mehdi Raissi (2017), "Is There a Debt-threshold Effect on Output Growth?" Review of Economics and Statistics 99 (1): 135-150.
Abstract: This paper studies the long-run impact of public debt expansion on economic growth and investigates whether the debt-growth relation varies with the level of indebtedness. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirical. On the theoretical side, we develop tests for threshold effects in the context of dynamic heterogeneous panel data models with crosssectionally dependent errors and illustrate, by means of Monte Carlo experiments, that they perform well in small samples. On the empirical side, using data on a sample of 40 countries (grouped into advanced and developing) over the 1965-2010 period, we find no evidence for a universally applicable threshold effect in the relationship between public debt and economic growth, once we account for the impact of global factors and their spillover effects. Regardless of the threshold, however, we find significant negative long-run effects of public debt build-up on output growth. Provided that public debt is on a downward trajectory, a country with a high level of debt can grow just as fast as its peers.
World Steel Production: A New Monthly Indicator of Global Real Economic Activity
Francesco Ravazzolo and Joaquin L. Vespignani
Abstract: In this paper we propose a new indicator of monthly global real economic activity, named world steel production. We use world steel production, OECD industrial production index and Kilian’s rea index to forecast world real GDP, and key commodity prices. We find that world steel production generates large statistically significant gains in forecasting world real GDP and oil prices, relative to an autoregressive benchmark. A forecast combination of the three indices produces statistically significant gains in forecasting world real GDP, oil, natural gas, gold and fertilizer prices, relative to an autoregressive benchmark.
On the Sustainability of Exchange Rate Target Zones with Central Parity Realignments
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique (2015), "On the Sustainability of Exchange Rate Target Zones with Central Parity Realignments," Economics Letters 134: 86-89.
Abstract: I show that parity realignments alone do not suffice to ensure the long-run sustainability of an exchange rate target zone with imperfect credibility due to the gambler’s ruin problem. However, low credibility and frequent realignments can destabilize the exchange rate.
Country-Specific Oil Supply Shocks and the Global Economy: A Counterfactual Analysis
Kamiar Mohaddes and M. Hashem Pesaran
Abstract: This paper investigates the global macroeconomic consequences of country-specific oilsupply shocks. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirical. On the theoretical side, we develop a model for the global oil market and integrate this within a compact quarterly model of the global economy to illustrate how our multi-country approach to modelling oil markets can be used to identify country-specific oil-supply shocks. On the empirical side, estimating the GVAR-Oil model for 27 countries/regions over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, we show that the global economic implications of oil-supply shocks (due to, for instance, sanctions, wars, or natural disasters) vary considerably depending on which country is subject to the shock. In particular, we find that adverse shocks to Iranian oil output are neutralized in terms of their effects on the global economy (real outputs and financial markets) mainly due to an increase in Saudi Arabian oil production. In contrast, a negative shock to oil supply in Saudi Arabia leads to an immediate and permanent increase in oil prices, given that the loss in Saudi Arabian production is not compensated for by the other oil producers. As a result, a Saudi Arabian oil supply shock has significant adverse effects for the global economy with real GDP falling in both advanced and emerging economies, and large losses in real equity prices worldwide.
What Drives the Global Interest Rate
Ronald A. Ratti and Joaquin L. Vespignani
Abstract: In this paper we study the drivers of global interest rate. Global interest rate is defined as a principal component for the largest developed and developing economies’ discount rates (the US, Japan, China, Euro area and India). A structural global factor-augmented error correction model is estimated. A structural change in the global macroeconomic relationships is found over 2008:09-2008:12, but not pre or post this GFC period. Results indicate that around 46% of movement in central bank interest rates is attributed to changes in global monetary aggregates (15%), oil prices (13%), global output (11%) and global prices (7%). Increases in global interest rates are associated with reductions in global prices and oil prices, increases in trade-weighted value of the US dollar, and eventually to reduce global output. Increases in oil prices are linked with increase in global inflation and global output leading to global interest rate tightening indicated by increases in central bank overnight lending rates.
Monetary Policy Expectations and Economic Fluctuations at the Zero Lower Bound
Rachel Doehr and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: Using a panel of survey-based measures of future interest rates from the Survey of Professional Forecasters, we study the dynamic relationship between shocks to monetary policy expectations and fluctuations in economic activity and inflation. We propose a smallscale structured recursive vector autoregression (VAR) model to identify the macroeconomic effects of changes in expectations about monetary policy. Our results show that when interest rates are away from the zero-lower bound, a perception of higher future interest rates leads to a significant rise in current measures of inflation and a rise in economic activity. However, when interest rates approach zero, the effect on economic activity is the opposite, with significant but lagged decreases in economic activity following an upward revision to expected future interest rates. The impact of changes in expectations about monetary policy is robust when we control for other features of the transmission mechanism (e.g., long-term interest rates, quantitative easing, exchange rate movements and even oil price shocks). Our findings also show that monetary policy expectations contribute up to 34 percent to the variability of economic activity (and 24 percent on inflation) while policy rates are fixed at the zero-lower bound. This evidence points to the importance of managing monetary policy expectations (forward guidance) as a crucial policy tool for stimulating economic activity at the zero-lower bound.
Fair Weather or Foul? The Macroeconomic Effects of El Niño
Paul Cashin, Kamiar Mohaddes and Mehdi Raissi
Abstract: This paper employs a dynamic multi-country framework to analyze the international macroeconomic transmission of El Niño weather shocks. This framework comprises 21 country/region-specific models, estimated over the period 1979Q2 to 2013Q1, and accounts for not only direct exposures of countries to El Niño shocks but also indirect effects through third-markets. We contribute to the climate-macroeconomy literature by exploiting exogenous variation in El Niño weather events over time, and their impact on different regions cross-sectionally, to causatively identify the effects of El Niño shocks on growth, inflation, energy and non-fuel commodity prices. The results show that there are considerable heterogeneities in the responses of different countries to El Niño shocks. While Australia, Chile, Indonesia, India, Japan, New Zealand and South Africa face a short-lived fall in economic activity in response to an El Niño shock, for other countries (including the United States and European region), an El Niño occurrence has a growth-enhancing effect. Furthermore, most countries in our sample experience short-run inflationary pressures as both energy and non-fuel commodity prices increase. Given these findings, macroeconomic policy formulation should take into consideration the likelihood and effects of El Niño weather episodes.
Private News and Monetary Policy Forward Guidance or (The Expected Virtue of Ignorance)
Ippei Fujiwara and Yuichiro Waki
Abstract: How should monetary policy be designed when the central bank has private information about future economic conditions? When private news about shocks to future fundamentals is added to an otherwise standard new Keynesian model, social welfare deteriorates by the central bank’s reaction to or revelation of such news. There exists an expected virtue of ignorance, and secrecy constitutes optimal policy. This result holds when news are about cost-push shocks, or about shocks to the monetary policy objective, or about shocks to the natural rate of interest, and even when the zero lower bound of nominal interest rates is taken into account. A lesson of our analysis for a central bank’s communication strategy is that Delphic forward guidance that helps the private sector form more accurate forecasts of future shocks can be undesirable and the central bank should instead aim to communicate its state-contingent policy.
Financial Frictions and Policy Cooperation: A Case with Monopolistic Banking and Staggered Loan Contracts
Ippei Fujiwara and Yuki Teranishi
Abstract: Do financial frictions call for policy cooperation? This paper investigates the implications of simple financial frictions, monopolistic banking together with staggered loan contracts, for monetary policy in open economies in the linear quadratic (LQ) framework. Welfare analysis shows that policy cooperation improves social welfare in the presence of such financial frictions. There also exist long-run gains from cooperation in addition to these by jointly stabilizing inefficient fluctuations over the business cycle, that are usually found in models with price rigidities. The Ramsey optimal steady states differ between cooperation and noncooperation. Such gains from cooperation arise irrespective of the existence of international lending or borrowing.
Cross-Border Resolution of Global Banks
Ester Faia and Beatrice Weder di Mauro
Abstract: Most recent regulations establish that resolution of global banking groups shall be done according to bail-in procedures and following a Single Point of Entry (SPE) as opposed to a Multiple Point of Entry (MPE) approach. The latter requires parent holding of global groups to put up front the equity capital needed to absorb losses possibly emerging in foreign subsidiariesbranches. No model rationalized so far such resolution regime. We build a model of optimal design of resolution regimes and compare three regimes: SPE with cooperative authorities, SPE with non-cooperative authorities and MPE (ring-fencing). We find that the costs for bondholders of bail-inable instruments is generally higher under noncooperative regimes and ring-fencing. We also find that in those cases banks have ex ante incentives to reduce their exposure in foreign assets. We also examine recent case studies that help us rationalize the model results.
Forecasting Local Inflation with Global Inflation: When Economic Theory Meets the Facts
Roberto Duncan and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: This paper provides both theoretical insight as well as empirical evidence in support of the view that inflation is largely a global phenomenon. First, we show that inflation across countries incorporates a significant common factor captured by global inflation. Second, we show that in theory a role for global inflation in local inflation dynamics emerges over the business cycle even without common shocks, and under flexible exchange rates and complete international asset markets. Third, we identify a strong "error correction mechanism" that brings local inflation rates back in line with global inflation which explains the relative success of inflation forecasting models based on global inflation (e.g., Ciccarelli and Mojon (2010). Fourth, we argue that the workhorse New Open Economy Macro (NOEM) model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010) can be approximated by a finite order VAR and estimated using Bayesian techniques to forecast domestic inflation incorporating all relevant linkages with the rest of the world. This NOEM-BVAR provides a tractable model of inflation determination that can be tested empirically in forecasting. Finally, we use pseudo-out-of-sample forecasts to assess the NOEM-BVAR at different horizons (1 to 8 quarters ahead) across 17 OECD countries using quarterly data over the period 1980Q1–2014Q4. In general, we find that the NOEM-BVAR model produces a lower root mean squared prediction error (RMSPE) than its competitors—which include most conventional forecasting models based on domestic factors and also the recent models based on global inflation. In a number of cases, the gains in smaller RMSPEs are statistically significant. The NOEM-BVAR model is also accurate in predicting the direction of change for inflation, and often better than its competitors along this dimension too.
Sustainable International Monetary Policy Cooperation
Ippei Fujiwara, Timothy Kam and Takeki Sunakawa
Abstract: We provide new insight on international monetary policy cooperation using a symmetric two-country model based on Benigno and Benigno . An incentive feasibility problem exists between the policymakers across national borders: Under asymmetric volatilities of shocks among the countries, the home country has an incentive to deviate from an assumed cooperation regime to one with non-cooperation in response to a positive markup shock in the home country. This motivates our study of a constrained cooperation regime which is endogenously sustained by a cross-country, state-contingent contract. We label such a regime sustainable cooperation. Under sustainable cooperation, the responses of inflation and the output gap in both countries are different from those induced by the cooperation and noncooperation regimes reflecting the endogenous welfare redistribution between countries under the state-contingent contract.
Policy Regime Change Against Chronic Deflation? Policy Option Under a Long-term Liquidity Trap
Ippei Fujiwara, Yoshiyuki Nakazono and Kozo Ueda
Published as: Fujiwara, Ippei, Yoshiyuki Nakazono and Kozo Ueda (2015), "Policy Regime Change Against Chronic Deflation? Policy Option Under a Long-term Liquidity Trap," Journal of Japanese and International Economies 37: 59-81.
Abstract: This paper evaluates the role of the first arrow of Abenomics in guiding public perceptions on monetary policy stance through the management of expectations. In order to end chronic deflation, a policy regime change must be perceived by economic agents. Analysis using the QUICK survey system (QSS) monthly survey data shows that the reaction of monetary policy to inflation has been declining since the mid 2000s, implying intensified forward guidance well before Abenomics. However, Japan seems to have moved closer to a long-term liquidity trap, where even long-term bond yields are constrained by the zero lower bound. Estimated changes in perceptions are not abrupt enough to satisfy Sargent's (1982) criteria for a regime change. This poses a serious challenge to central banks: what is an effective policy option left under the long-term liquidity trap?
Global Financial Market Impact of the Announcement of the ECB's Extended Asset Purchase Programme
Georgios Georgiadis and Johannes Gräb
Abstract: We estimate the impact of the ECB’s announcement of the extended asset purchase programme (EAPP) on 22 January 2015 on global equity prices, bond yields and the euro exchange rate. We find that the EAPP announcement benefited global financial markets by boosting equity prices in the euro area and the rest of the world. At the same time, the EAPP announcement caused a depreciation of the euro vis-à-vis advanced and emerging market economy currencies. Comparing the EAPP to previous ECB announcements of unconventional monetary policies, the main channel of transmission of the EAPP announcement to global financial markets was through signalling—the ECB convincingly conveying to market participants that its future monetary policy stance will remain accommodative—rather than through improving confidence (as was the case for the OMT) or through portfolio re-balancing (as for the SMP). Similarly, in contrast to the OMT and the SMP announcements the signaling channel also played a major role for the domestic financial market impact of the EAPP. Cross-country heterogeneities in the global financial market spillovers from the EAPP announcement were linked to differences in economies’ financial openness, exchange rate regime, trade and financial integration with the euro area and their attractiveness for carry trades.
Evolving Comparative Advantage, Sectoral Linkages, and Structural Change
Abstract: I quantitatively examine the effects of location-and sector-specific productivity growth on structural change across countries from 1970–2011. The results shed new light on the “hump shape" in industry's share in GDP across levels of development. There are two key features. First, otherwise identical changes in the composition of final demand translate differently into changes in the composition of value added because of systematic differences in sectoral linkages. Second, the mapping between sector-specific productivity and the composition of final demand systematically differs because of the relative importance of two components within final demand: final domestic expenditures and net exports.
Do Bank Loans and Local Amenities Explain Chinese Urban House Prices?
Daisy J. Huang, Charles K. Leung and Baozhi Qu
Published as: Huang, Daisy J., Charles K. Leung and Baozhi Qu (2015), "Do Bank Loans and Local Amenities Explain Chinese Urban House Prices?" China Economic Review 34: 19-38.
Abstract: Based on Chinese city-level data from 1999 to 2012 and controlling for geological, environmental, and social diversity, this study suggests that credit plays a significant role in driving up house prices after the Great Recession, whereas property prices only influence bank lending before 2008. Local amenities such as higher education, green infrastructure, healthcare, and climate also positively affect house prices. Moreover, the impacts of bank loans on housing prices tend to be related to the level of amenities, suggesting an integrated approach (i.e. combining macroeconomic and urban economic variables) of housing market for the future research.
Real Exchange Rate Forecasting and PPP: This Time the Random Walk Loses
Michele Ca’ Zorzi, Jakub Muck and Michal Rubaszek
Published as: Ca' Zorzi, Michele, Jakub Muck and Michal Rubaszek (2015), "Real Exchange Rate Forecasting and PPP: This Time the Random Walk Loses," Open Economies Review 27 (3): 585-609.
Abstract: This paper brings four new insights into the Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) debate. First, we show that a half-life PPP (HL) model is able to forecast real exchange rates better than the random walk (RW) model at both short and long-term horizons. Second, we find that this result holds if the speed of adjustment to the sample mean is calibrated at reasonable values rather than estimated. Third, we find that it is preferable to calibrate, rather than to elicit as a prior, the parameter determining the speed of adjustment to PPP. Fourth, for most currencies in our sample, the HL model outperforms the RW also in terms of nominal effective exchange rate forecasting.
Monitoring the World Business Cycle
Maximo Camacho and Jaime Martinez-Martin
Published as: Camacho, Maximo and Jaime Martinez-Martin (2015), "Monitoring the World Business Cycle," Economic Modeling 51: 617-625.
Abstract: We propose a Markov-switching dynamic factor model to construct an index of global business cycle conditions, to perform short-term forecasts of world GDP quarterly growth in real time and to compute real-time business cycle probabilities. To overcome the real-time forecasting challenges, the model accounts for mixed frequencies, for asynchronous data publication and for leading indicators. Our pseudo real-time results show that this approach provides reliable and timely inferences of the world quarterly growth and of the world state of the business cycle on a monthly basis.
Bank and Sovereign Risk Feedback Loops
Abstract: Measures of Sovereign and Bank Risk show occasional bouts of increased correlation, setting the stage for vicious and virtuous feedback loops. This paper models the macroeconomic phenomena underlying such bouts using CDS data for 10 euro-area countries. The results show that Sovereign Risk feeds back into Bank Risk more strongly than vice versa. Countries with sovereigns that are more indebted or where banks have a larger exposure to their own sovereign, suffer larger feedback loop effects from Sovereign Risk into Bank Risk. In the opposite direction, in countries where banks fund their activities with more foreign credit and support larger levels of non-performing loans, the feedback from Bank Risk into Sovereign Risk is stronger. According to model estimates, financial rescue operations can increase feedback effects from bank risk into sovereign risk. These results can be useful for the official sector when deciding on the form of financial rescues.
The Asymmetric Effects of Deflation on Consumption Spending: Evidence from the Great Depression
J. Scott Davis
Published as: Davis, J. Scott (2015), "The Asymmetric Effects of Deflation On Consumption Spending: Evidence from the Great Depression," Economic Letters 130: 105-108.
Abstract: Does expected deflation lead to a fall in consumption spending? Using data for U.S. grocery store sales and department store sales from 1919 to 1939, this paper shows that expected price changes have asymmetric effects on consumption spending. Department store sales (durable consumption) react negatively to the expectation of falling prices, but grocery store sales (non-durable consumption) do not react to expected price changes.
The Global Component of Local Inflation: Revisiting the Empirical Content of the Global Slack Hypothesis with Bayesian Methods
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique (2015), "The Global Component of Local Inflation: Revisiting the Empirical Content of the Global Slack Hypothesis with Bayesian Methods," in Monetary Policy in the Context of the Financial Crisis: New Challenges and Lessons, ed. William A. Barnett and Fredj Jawadi (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited), 51-112.
Abstract: The global slack hypothesis is central to the discussion of the trade-offs that monetary policy faces in an increasingly more integrated world. The workhorse New Open Economy Macro (NOEM) model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010), which fleshes out this hypothesis, shows how expected future local inflation and global slack affect current local inflation. In this paper, I propose the use of the orthogonalization method of Aoki (1981) and Fukuda (1993) on the workhorse NOEM model to further decompose local inflation into a global component and an inflation differential component. I find that the log-linearized rational expectations model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010) can be solved with two separate subsystems to describe each of these two components of inflation. I estimate the full NOEM model with Bayesian techniques using data for the U.S. and an aggregate of its 38 largest trading partners from 1980Q1 until 2011Q4. The Bayesian estimation recognizes the parameter uncertainty surrounding the model and calls on the data (inflation and output) to discipline the parameterization. My findings show that the strength of the international spillovers through trade—even in the absence of common shocks—is reflected in the response of global inflation and is incorporated into local inflation dynamics. Furthermore, I find that key features of the economy can have different impacts on global and local inflation—in particular, I show that the parameters that determine the import share and the price-elasticity of trade matter in explaining the inflation differential component but not the global component of inflation.
Pegging the Exchange Rate to Gain Monetary Policy Credibility
J. Scott Davis and Ippei Fujiwara
Abstract: Central banks that lack credibility often tie their exchange rate to that of a more credible partner in order to “import” credibility. We show in a small open economy model that a central bank that displays “limited credibility” can deliver significant improvements to a social welfare function that contains no role for exchange rate stabilization by maximizing an objective function that places weight on exchange rate stabilization, and thus the central bank with limited credibility will peg their currency to that of a more credible partner. As the central bank’s credibility improves it will place less weight on exchange rate stabilization in its objective function and thus loosen the peg. When the central bank is perfectly credible its objective function and the social welfare function are identical; it places no weight on exchange rate stabilization and allows the currency to freely float. Empirical results using a panel of both developed and developing countries show that as central banks become more independent they tend to allow more currency flexibility.
Long-Run Effects in Large Heterogenous Panel Data Models with Cross-Sectionally Correlated Errors
Alexander Chudik, Kamiar Mohaddes, M. Hashem Pesaran and Mehdi Raissi
Abstract: This paper develops a cross-sectionally augmented distributed lag (CS-DL) approach to the estimation of long-run effects in large dynamic heterogeneous panel data models with crosssectionally dependent errors. The asymptotic distribution of the CS-DL estimator is derived under coefficient heterogeneity in the case where the time dimension (T) and the crosssection dimension (N) are both large. The CS-DL approach is compared with more standard panel data estimators that are based on autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) specifications. It is shown that unlike the ARDL type estimator, the CS-DL estimator is robust to misspecification of dynamics and error serial correlation. The theoretical results are illustrated with small sample evidence obtained by means of Monte Carlo simulations, which suggest that the performance of the CS-DL approach is often superior to the alternative panel ARDL estimates particularly when T is not too large and lies in the range of 30≤T<100.
Trilemma, Not Dilemma: Financial Globalisation and Monetary Policy Effectiveness
Georgios Georgiadis and Arnaud Mehl
Abstract: We investigate whether the classic Mundell-Flemming “trilemma” has morphed into a “dilemma” due to financial globalisation. According to the dilemma hypothesis, global financial cycles determine domestic financial conditions regardless of an economy's exchange rate regime and monetary policy autonomy is possible only if capital mobility is restricted. We find that global financial cycles indeed reduce domestic monetary policy effectiveness in more financially integrated economies. However, we also find that another salient feature of financial globalisation has the opposite effect and amplifies monetary policy effectiveness: Economies increasingly net long in foreign currency experience larger valuation effects on their external balance sheets in response to exchange rate movements triggered by monetary policy impulses. Overall, we find that the net effect of financial globalisation since the 1990s has been to amplify monetary policy effectiveness in the typical advanced and emerging market economy. Specifically, our results suggest that the output effect of a tightening in monetary policy has been stronger by 40% due to financial globalisation. Insofar as valuation effects can only play out if an economy's exchange rate is flexible, the choice of the exchange rate regime remains critical for monetary policy autonomy under capital mobility and in the presence of global financial cycles. Thus, our results suggest that the classic trilemma remains valid.
Housing Demand, Savings Gluts and Current Account Dynamics
Abstract: This paper studies the role of housing markets in explaining recent current account dynamics. I document a strong negative correlation, both across and within countries, between housing and current account dynamics. Then, in a quantitative two-country model without exchange rate driven expenditure switching, I analyze savings glut shocks and three drivers of housing demand (population, loan-to-value and housing price expectations) for which I input their dynamics observed in the OECD economies since the mid 1990s. Housing drivers alone imply counterfactual interest rate dynamics. Savings glut shocks alone cannot account for the housing dynamics. The combination of both types of shocks allows to match the emergence and narrowing of the Global Imbalances and the housing booms and busts. Counterfactuals using the model suggest that, as long as loan-to-values are regulated and housing expectations are not very optimistic, the large global imbalances of the mid-2000s are unlikely to return.
Japan’s Financial Crises and Lost Decades
Naohisa Hirakata, Nao Sudo, Ikuo Takei and Kozo Ueda
Abstract: In this paper we explore the role of financial intermediation malfunction in macroeconomic fluctuations in Japan. To this end we estimate, using Japanese data, a financial accelerator model in which the balance sheet conditions of entrepreneurs in a goods-producing sector and those of a financial intermediary affect macroeconomic activity. We find that shocks to the balance sheets of the two sectors have been quantitatively playing important role in macroeconomic fluctuations by affecting lending rates and aggregate investments. Their impacts are prominent in particular during financial crises. Shocks to the entrepreneurs balance sheets have played a key role in lowering investment in the bubble burst during the early 1990s and in the global financial crisis during the late 2000s. Shocks to the financial intermediaries balance sheets have persistently lowered investment throughout the 1990s.
The Role of Two Frictions in Geographic Price Dispersion: When Market Friction Meets Nominal Rigidity
Chi-Young Choi and Horag Choi
Published as: Choi, Chi-Young and Horag Choi (2016), "The Role of Two Frictions in Geographic Price Dispersion: When Market Friction Meets Nominal Rigidity," Journal of International Money and Finance 63: 1-27.
Abstract: This paper empirically investigates and theoretically derives the implications of two frictions, market friction and nominal rigidity, on the dynamic properties of intra-national relative prices, with an emphasis on the interaction of the two frictions. By analyzing a panel of retail prices of 45 products for 48 cities in the U.S., we make two major arguments. First, the effect of each type of friction on the dynamics of intercity price gaps is quite different. While market frictions arising from physical distance and transportation costs contribute significantly to volatile and persistent movements of intercity price disparities, nominal rigidity is associated with higher persistence, but not with a greater volatility of the intercity price disparity. This empirical evidence is different from what is predicted by standard theoretical models based on price stickiness. Second, the strength of the marginal effect of a market friction hinges on the extent of nominal rigidity, in a counteracting manner. The marginal effect of a market friction dwindles as the extent of price stickiness increases. We provide an alternative theoretical explanation for this finding by extending the statedependent pricing (SDP) model of Dotsey et al. (1999) and show that our two-city model with nominal rigidity and market frictions can successfully explain the salient features of the dynamic behavior of intercity price differences.
Aging and Deflation from a Fiscal Perspective
Mitsuru Katagiri, Hideki Konishi and Kozo Ueda
Abstract: Negative correlations between inflation and demographic aging were observed across developed nations recently. To understand the phenomenon from a politico-economic perspective, we embed the fiscal theory of the price level into an overlapping-generations model. In the model, successive short-lived governments choose income tax rates and bond issues considering the political influence of existing generations and the policy response of future governments. The model sheds new light on the traditional debate about the burden of national debt. Because of price adjustments, the accumulation of government debt does not become a burden on future generations. Our analysis reveals that the effects of aging depend on its causes. Aging is deflationary when caused by an increase in longevity but inflationary when caused by a decline in birth rate. Numerical simulation shows that aging over the past 40 years in Japan generated deflation of about 0.6 percentage points annually.
Trends and Cycles in Small Open Economies: Making the Case for a General Equilibrium Approach
Kan Chen and Mario Crucini
Abstract: Economic research into the causes of business cycles in small open economies is almost always undertaken using a partial equilibrium model. This approach is characterized by two key assumptions. The first is that the world interest rate is unaffected by economic developments in the small open economy, an exogeneity assumption. The second assumption is that this exogenous interest rate combined with domestic productivity is sufficient to describe equilibrium choices. We demonstrate the failure of the second assumption by contrasting general and partial equilibrium approaches to the study of a crosssection of small open economies. In doing so, we provide a method for modeling small open economies in general equilibrium that is no more technically demanding than the small open economy approach while preserving much of the value of the general equilibrium approach.
Noisy Information, Distance and Law of One Price Dynamics Across US Cities
Mario J. Crucini, Mototsugu Shintani and Takayuki Tsuruga
Published as: Crucini, Mario E., Motosugu Shintani and Takayuki Tsuruga (2015), "Noisy Information, Distance and Law of One Price Dynamics Across US Cities," Journal of Monetary Economics 74: 52-66.
Abstract: Using US micro price data at the city level, we provide evidence that both the volatility and the persistence of deviations from the law of one price (LOP) are rising in the distance between US cities. A standard, two-city, stochastic equilibrium model with trade costs can predict the relationship between volatility and distance but not between persistence and distance. To account for the latter fact, we augment the standard model with noisy signals about the state of nominal aggregate demand that are asymmetric across cities. We further show that the main predictions of the model continue to hold even if we allow for the interaction of imperfect information, sticky prices, and multiple cities.
Geographic Barriers to Commodity Price Integration: Evidence from US Cities and Swedish Towns, 1732-1860
Mario J. Crucini and Gregor W. Smith
Abstract: We study the role of distance and time in statistically explaining price dispersion for 14 commodities from 1732 to 1860. The prices are reported for US cities and Swedish market towns, so we can compare international and intranational dispersion. Distance and commodity-specific fixed effects explain a large share - roughly 60% - of the variability in a panel of more than 230,000 relative prices over these 128 years. There was a negative "ocean effect": international dispersion was less than would be predicted using distance, narrowing the effective ocean by more than 3000 km. Price dispersion declined over time beginning in the 18th century. This process of convergence was broad-based, across commodities and locations (both national and international). But there was a major interruption in convergence in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, at the time of the Napoleonic Wars, stopping the process by two or three decades on average.
The Macroeconomic Effects of Debt- and Equity-Based Capital Inflows
J. Scott Davis
Published as: Davis, J. Scott (2015), "The Macroeconomic Effects of Debt- and Equity-Based Capital Inflows," Journal of Macroeconomics 46: 81-95.
Abstract: This paper will consider whether debt- and equity-based capital inflows have different macroeconomic effects. Using external instruments in a structural VAR, we first identify the component of capital inflows that is driven not by domestic economic and financial conditions but by conditions in the rest of the world. We then estimate the response to an exogenous shock to debt or equity-based capital inflows in a structural VAR model that includes domestic variables like GDP, inflation, the exchange rate, stock prices, credit growth, and interest rates. An exogenous increase in debt inflows leads to a significant increase in GDP, inflation, stock prices and credit growth and an appreciation of the exchange rate. An exogenous increase in equity-based capital inflows has almost no effect on the same variables. Thus the macroeconomic effects of exogenous capital inflows are almost entirely due to changes in debt, not equity-based.
A Multi-Country Approach to Forecasting Output Growth Using PMIs
Alexander Chudik, Valerie Grossman and M. Hashem Pesaran
Published as: Chudik, Alexander, Valerie Grossman and M. Hashem Pesaran (2016), "A Multi-Country Approach to Forecasting Output Growth Using PMIs," Journal of Econometrics 192 (2): 349-365.
Abstract: This paper derives new theoretical results for forecasting with Global VAR (GVAR) models. It is shown that the presence of a strong unobserved common factor can lead to an undetermined GVAR model. To solve this problem, we propose augmenting the GVAR with additional proxy equations for the strong factors and establish conditions under which forecasts from the augmented GVAR model (AugGVAR) uniformly converge in probability (as the panel dimensions N,T→ ∞ such that N/T→ x for some 0 < x < ∞) to the infeasible optimal forecasts obtained from a factor-augmented high-dimensional VAR model. The small sample properties of the proposed solution are investigated by Monte Carlo experiments as well as empirically. In the empirical part, we investigate the value of the information content of Purchasing Managers Indices (PMIs) for forecasting global (48 countries) growth, and compare forecasts from AugGVAR models with a number of datarich forecasting methods, including Lasso, Ridge, partial least squares and factor-based methods. It is found that (a) regardless of the forecasting methods considered, PMIs are useful for nowcasting, but their value added diminishes quite rapidly with the forecast horizon, and (b) AugGVAR forecasts do as well as other data-rich forecasting techniques for short horizons, and tend to do better for longer forecast horizons.
Exchange Rates Dynamics with Long-Run Risk and Recursive Preferences
Published as: Kollmann, Robert (2015), "Exchange Rates Dynamics with Long-Run Risk and Recursive Preferences," Open Economies Review 26 (2): 175-196.
Abstract: Standard macro models cannot explain why real exchange rates are volatile and disconnected from macro aggregates. Recent research argues that models with persistent growth rate shocks and recursive preferences can solve that puzzle. I show that this result is highly sensitive to the structure of financial markets. When just a bond is traded internationally, then long-run risk generates insufficient exchange rate volatility. A long-run risk model with recursive-preferences can generate realistic exchange rate volatility, if all agents efficiently share their consumption risk by trading in complete financial markets; however, this entails massive international wealth transfers, and excessive swings in net foreign asset positions. By contrast, a long-run risk, recursive-preferences model in which only a fraction of households trades in complete markets, while the remaining households lead hand-to-mouth lives, can generate realistic exchange rate and external balance volatility.
Hot Money and Quantitative Easing: The Spillover Effects of U.S. Monetary Policy on Chinese Housing, Equity and Loan Markets
Steven Wei Ho, Ji Zhang and Hao Zhou
Abstract: We study a factor-augmented vector autoregression model to estimate the effects of changes in U.S. monetary policy, as well as changes in U.S. policy uncertainty, on the Chinese economy. We find that since the Great Recession, a decline in the U.S. policy rate would result in a significant increase in Chinese regulated interest rates, and rise in Chinese housing investment. One possible reason for this is the substantial inflow of hot money into China. Responses of Chinese variables to U.S. shocks at the zero lower bound are different from that in normal times, which suggest structural changes in both the Chinese economy and the U.S. monetary policy transmission mechanism. Moreover, an increase in U.S. policy uncertainty negatively impacts Chinese stock and real estate market during normal times, but not at the zero lower bound.
The Federal Reserve Engages the World (1970–2000): An Insider’s Narrative of the Transition to Managed Floating and Financial Turbulence
Edwin M. Truman
Published as: Truman, Edwin M. (2016), "The Federal Reserve Engages the World (1970–2000): An Insider’s Narrative of the Transition to Managed Floating and Financial Turbulence," in The Federal Reserve's Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Mark A. Wynne (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press), 128-190.
Abstract: This paper traces the evolution of the Federal Reserve and its engagement with the global economy over the last three decades of the 20th century: 1970 to 2000. The paper examines the Federal Reserve’s role in international economic and financial policy and analysis covering four areas: the emergence and taming of the great inflation, developments in US external accounts, foreign exchange analysis and activities, and external financial crises. It concludes that during this period the US central bank emerged to become the closest the world has to a global central bank.
Unprecedented Actions: The Federal Reserve’s Response to the Global Financial Crisis in Historical Perspective
Frederic S. Mishkin and Eugene N. White
Published as: Mishkin, Frederic S. and Eugene N. White (2016), "Unprecedented Actions: The Federal Reserve's Response to the Global Financial Crisis in Historical Perspective," in The Federal Reserve's Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Mark A. Wynne (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press), 220-258.
Abstract: Interventions by the Federal Reserve during the financial crisis of 2007-2009 were generally viewed as unprecedented and in violation of the rules---notably Bagehot’s rule---that a central bank should follow to avoid the time-inconsistency problem and moral hazard. Reviewing the evidence for central banks’ crisis management in the U.S., the U.K. and France from the late nineteenth century to the end of the twentieth century, we find that there were precedents for all of the unusual actions taken by the Fed. When these were successful interventions, they followed contingent and target rules that permitted pre-emptive actions to forestall worse crises but were combined with measures to mitigate moral hazard.
No Price Like Home: Global House Prices, 1870–2012
Katharina Knoll, Moritz Schularick and Thomas Steger
Abstract: How have house prices evolved in the long-run? This paper presents annual house price indices for 14 advanced economies since 1870. Based on extensive data collection, we are able to show for the first time that house prices in most industrial economies stayed constant in real terms from the 19th to the mid-20th century, but rose sharply in recent decades. Land prices, not construction costs, hold the key to understanding the trajectory of house prices in the long-run. Residential land prices have surged in the second half of the 20th century, but did not increase meaningfully before. We argue that before World War II dramatic reductions in transport costs expanded the supply of land and suppressed land prices. Since the mid-20th century, comparably large land-augmenting reductions in transport costs no longer occurred. Increased regulations on land use further inhibited the utilization of additional land, while rising expenditure shares for housing services increased demand.
Can Interest Rate Factors Explain Exchange Rate Fluctuations?
Abstract: This paper explores whether interest rate factors, derived from the yield curve, can explain exchange rate fluctuations at different horizons. Using a dynamic term structure model under no-arbitrage, exchange rates are modeled as the ratio of two countries’ stochastic discount factors. Key to this framework is that factors are observable, which allows the model to be estimated by Maximum Likelihood. Results show that interest rate factors can explain half of the variation in one-year exchange rates and up to ninety percent of five-year movements, for free-floating currencies from 1999 to 2014. These findings suggest that yield curves contain important information for modeling exchange rate dynamics, particularly at longer horizons.
Federal Reserve Policy and Bretton Woods
Michael D. Bordo and Owen F. Humpage
Published as: Bordo, Michael D. and Owen F. Humpage (2016), "Federal Reserve Policy and Bretton Woods," in The Federal Reserve's Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Mark A. Wynne (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press), 89-120.
Abstract: During the Bretton Woods era, balance-of-payments developments, gold losses, and exchange-rate concerns had little influence on Federal Reserve monetary policy, even after 1958 when such issues became critical. The Federal Reserve could largely disregard international considerations because the U.S. Treasury instituted a number of stopgap devices—the gold pool, the general agreement to borrow, capital restraints, sterilized foreign-exchange operations—to shore up the dollar and Bretton Woods. These, however, gave Federal Reserve policymakers the latitude to focus on the domestic objectives and shifted responsibility for international developments to the Treasury. Removing the pressure of international considerations from Federal Reserve policy decisions made it easier for the Federal Reserve to pursue the inflationary policies of the late 1960s and 1970s that ultimate destroyed Bretton Woods. In the end, the Treasury’s stopgap devices, which were intended to support Bretton Woods, contributed to its demise.
Navigating Constraints: The Evolution of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, 1935-59
Mark A. Carlson and David C. Wheelock
Published as: Carlson, Mark A. and David C. Wheelock (2016), "Navigating Constraints: The Evolution of Federal Reserve Monetary Policy, 1935-59," in The Federal Reserve's Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Mark A. Wynne (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press), 50-83.
Abstract: The 1950s are often cited as a decade in which the Federal Reserve operated a particularly successful monetary policy. The present paper examines the evolution of Federal Reserve monetary policy from the mid-1930s through the 1950s in an effort to understand better the apparent success of policy in the 1950s. Whereas others have debated whether the Fed had a sophisticated understanding of how to implement policy, our focus is on how the constraints on the Fed changed over time. Roosevelt Administration gold policies and New Deal legislation limited the Fed’s ability to conduct an independent monetary policy. The Fed was forced to cooperate with the Treasury in the 1930s, and fully ceded monetary policy to Treasury financing requirements during World War II. Nonetheless, the Fed retained a policy tool in the form of reserve requirements, and from the mid-1930s to 1951, changes in required reserve ratios were the primary means by which the Fed responded to expected inflation. The inability of the Fed to maintain a credible commitment to low interest rates in the face of increased government spending and rising inflation led to the Fed-Treasury Accord of March 1951. Following the Accord, the external pressures on the Fed diminished significantly, which enabled the Fed to focus primarily on macroeconomic objectives. We conclude that a successful outcome requires not only a good understanding of how to conduct policy, but also a conducive environment in which to operate.
The International Monetary and Financial System: A Capital Account Historical Perspective
Claudio Borio, Harold James and Hyun Song Shin
Abstract: In analysing the performance of the international monetary and financial system (IMFS), too much attention has been paid to the current account and far too little to the capital account. This is true of both formal analytical models and historical narratives. This approach may be reasonable when financial markets are highly segmented. But it is badly inadequate when they are closely integrated, as they have been most of the time since at least the second half of the 19th century. Zeroing on the capital account shifts the focus from the goods markets to asset markets and balance sheets. Seen through this lens, the IMFS looks quite different. Its main weakness is its propensity to amplify financial surges and collapses that generate costly financial crises – its “excess financial elasticity”. And assessing the vulnerabilities it hides requires going beyond the residence/non-resident distinction that underpins the balance of payments to look at the consolidated balance sheets of the decision units that straddle national borders, be these banks or non-financial companies. We illustrate these points by revisiting two defining historical phases in which financial meltdowns figured prominently, the interwar years and the more recent Great Financial Crisis.
The International Monetary and Financial System: Its Achilles Heel and What to do about it
Abstract: This essay argues that the Achilles heel of the international monetary and financial system is that it amplifies the “excess financial elasticity” of domestic policy regimes, ie it exacerbates their inability to prevent the build-up of financial imbalances, or outsize financial cycles, that lead to serious financial crises and macroeconomic dislocations. This excess financial elasticity view contrasts sharply with two more popular ones, which stress the failure of the system to prevent disruptive current account imbalances and its tendency to generate a structural shortage of safe assets – the “excess saving” and “excess demand for safe assets” views, respectively. In particular, the excess financial elasticity view highlights financial rather than current account imbalances and a persistent expansionary rather than contractionary bias in the system. The failure to adjust domestic policy regimes and their international interaction raises a number of risks: entrenching instability in the global system; returning to the modern-day equivalent of the divisive competitive devaluations of the interwar years; and, ultimately, triggering an epoch-defining seismic rupture in policy regimes, back to an era of trade and financial protectionism and, possibly, stagnation combined with inflation.
A Threshold Model of the US Current Account
Published as: Duncan, Roberto (2015), "A Threshold Model of the US Current Account," Economic Modeling 48: 270-280.
Abstract: What drives US current account imbalances? Is there solid evidence that the behavior of the current account is different during deficits and surpluses or that the size of the imbalance matters? Is there a threshold relationship between the US current account and its main drivers? We estimate a threshold model to answer these questions using the instrumental variable estimation proposed by Caner and Hansen (2004). Rather than concluding that the size or the sign of (previous) external imbalances matters, we find that time is the most important threshold variable. One regime exists before and another one exists after the third quarter of 1997, a period that coincides with the onset of the Asian financial crisis and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. Statistically significant determinants in the second regime are the fiscal surplus, productivity, productivity volatility, oil prices, the real exchange rate, and the real interest rate. Productivity has become a more important driver since 1997.
Stability or Upheaval? The Currency Composition of International Reserves in the Long Run
Barry Eichengreen, Livia Chiu and Arnaud Mehl
Published as: Eichengreen, Barry, Livia Chitu and Arnaud Mehl (2016), "Stability or Upheaval? The Currency Composition of International Reserves in the Long Run," IMF Economic Review 64 (2): 354-380.
Abstract: We analyze how the role of different national currencies as international reserves was affected by the shift from fixed to flexible exchange rates. We extend data on the currency composition of foreign reserves backward and forward to investigate whether there was a shift in the determinants of the currency composition of international reserves around the breakdown of Bretton Woods. We find that inertia and policy-credibility effects in international reserve currency choice have become stronger post-Bretton Woods, while network effects appear to have weakened. We show that negative policy interventions designed to discourage international use of a currency have been more effective than positive interventions to encourage its use. These findings speak to the prospects of currencies like the euro and the renminbi seeking to acquire international reserve status and others like the U.S. dollar seeking to preserve it.
The Federal Reserve in a Globalized World Economy
John B. Taylor
Published as: Taylor, John B. (2016), "The Federal Reserve in a Globalized World Economy," in The Federal Reserve's Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Mark A. Wynne (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press), 195-217.
Abstract: This paper starts from the theoretical observation that simple rules-based monetary policy will result in good economic performance in a globalized world economy and the historical observation that this occurred during the Great Moderation period of the 1980s and 1990s. It tries to answer a question posed by Paul Volcker in 2014 about the global repercussions of monetary policies pursued by advanced economy central banks in recent years. I start by explaining the basic theoretical framework, its policy implications, and its historical relevance. I then review the empirical evidence on the size of the international spillovers caused by deviations from rules-based monetary policy, and explore the many ways in which these spillovers affect and interfere with policy decisions globally. Finally, I consider ways in which individual monetary authorities and the world monetary system as a whole could adhere better to rules-based policies in the future and whether this would be enough to achieve the goal of stability in the globalized world economy.
Intra-Safe Haven Currency Behavior During the Global Financial Crisis
Rasmus Fatum and Yohei Yamamoto
Published as: Fatum, Rasmus and Yohei Yamamoto (2016), "Intra-Safe Haven Currency Behavior During the Global Financial Crisis," Journal of International Money and Finance 66: 49-64.
Abstract: We investigate intra-safe haven currency behavior during the recent global financial crisis. The currencies we consider are the USD, the JPY, the CHF, the EUR, the GBP, the SEK, and the CAD. We first assess which safe haven currency appreciates the most as market uncertainty increases, i.e. we assess which safe haven currency is the “safest”. We then use non-temporal threshold analysis to investigate whether intra-safe haven currency behavior changes, e.g. accelerates or decelerates, as market uncertainty increases. We find that the JPY is the “safest” of safe haven currencies and that only the JPY appreciates as market uncertainty increases regardless of the prevailing level of uncertainty. For all other currencies under study we find significant market uncertainty threshold effects. We extend our analysis to also consider intra-safe haven currency behavior before and after the global financial crisis.
Exchange Rate Flexibility under the Zero Lower Bound
David Cook and Michael B. Devereux
Published as: Cook, David and Michael B. Devereux (2016), "Exchange Rate Flexibility under the Zero Lower Bound," Journal of International Economics 101: 52-69.
Abstract: An independent currency and a flexible exchange rate generally helps a country in adjusting to macroeconomic shocks. But recently in many countries, interest rates have been pushed down close to the lower bound, limiting the ability of policy-makers to accommodate shocks, even in countries with flexible exchange rates. This paper argues that if the zero bound constraint is binding and policy lacks an effective ‘forward guidance’ mechanism, a flexible exchange rate system may be inferior to a single currency area. With monetary policy constrained by the zero bound, under flexible exchange rates, the exchange rate exacerbates the impact of shocks. Remarkably, this may hold true even if only a subset of countries are constrained by the zero bound, and other countries freely adjust their interest rates under an optimal targeting rule. In a zero lower bound environment, in order for a regime of multiple currencies to dominate a single currency, it is necessary to have effective forward guidance in monetary policy.
International Financial Integration and Crisis Contagion
Michael B. Devereux and Changhua Yu
Abstract: International financial integration helps to diversify risk but also may increase the transmission of crises across countries. We provide a quantitative analysis of this trade-off in a two-country general equilibrium model with endogenous portfolio choice and collateral constraints. Collateral constraints bind occasionally, depending upon the state of the economy and levels of inherited debt. The analysis allows for different degrees of financial integration, moving from financial autarky to bond market integration and equity market integration. Financial integration leads to a significant increase in global leverage, doubles the probability of balance sheet crises for any one country, and dramatically increases the degree of ‘contagion’ across countries. Outside of crises, the impact of financial integration on macro aggregates is relatively small. But the impact of a crisis with integrated international financial markets is much less severe than that under financial market autarky. Thus, a tradeoff emerges between the probability of crises and the severity of crises. Financial integration can raise or lower welfare, depending on the scale of macroeconomic risk. In particular, in a low risk environment, the increased leverage resulting from financial integration can reduce welfare of investors.
Real Exchange Rates and Sectoral Productivity in the Eurozone
Martin Berka, Michael B. Devereux and Charles Engel
Abstract: We investigate the link between real exchange rates and sectoral total factor productivity measures for countries in the Eurozone. Real exchange rate patterns closely accord with an amended Balassa-Samuelson interpretation, both in cross-section and time series. We construct a sticky price dynamic general equilibrium model to generate a cross-section and time series of real exchange rates that can be directly compared to the data. Under the assumption of a common currency, estimates from simulated regressions are very similar to the empirical estimates for the Eurozone. Our findings contrast with previous studies that have found little relationship between productivity levels and the real exchange rate among high-income countries, but those studies have included country pairs which have a floating nominal exchange rate.
Doctrinal Determinants, Domestic and International, of Federal Reserve Policy 1914-1933
Published as: Eichengreen, Barry (2016), "Doctrinal Determinants, Domestic and International, of Federal Reserve Policy 1914-1933," in The Federal Reserve's Role in the Global Economy: A Historical Perspective, ed. Michael D. Bordo and Mark A. Wynne (New York, NY: Cambridge University Press), 14-49.
Abstract: This paper describes the doctrinal foundations of Federal Reserve policy from the establishment of the institution through the early 1930s, focusing on the role of international factors in those doctrines and conceptions. International considerations were at most part of the constellation of factors shaping the Federal Reserve’s outlook and policies even in the high gold standard era that ended in 1933. However, neither was the influence of international factors absent, much less negligible. Nor were the Fed’s policies without consequences for the rest of the world. Having described the doctrinal foundations of Federal Reserve policy, I analyze how the doctrines in question influenced the central bank’s actions and shaped the impact of monetary policy on a number of key occasions, focusing in particular on episodes where the international economy and the rest of the world played an important role.
Working Less and Bargain Hunting More: Macro Implications of Sales during Japan's Lost Decades
Nao Sudo, Kozo Ueda, Kota Watanabe and Tsutomu Watanabe
Abstract: Standard New Keynesian models have often neglected temporary sales. In this paper, we ask whether this treatment is appropriate. In the empirical part of the paper, we provide evidence using Japanese scanner data covering the last two decades that the frequency of sales was closely related with macroeconomic developments. Specifically, we find that the frequency of sales and hours worked move in opposite directions in response to technology shocks, producing a negative correlation between the two. We then construct a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model that takes households' decisions regarding their allocation of time for work, leisure, and bargain hunting into account. Using this model, we show that the rise in the frequency of sales, which is observed in the data, can be accounted for by the decline in hours worked during Japan's lost decades. We also find that the real effect of monetary policy shocks weakens by around 40% due to the presence of temporary sales, but monetary policy still matters.
What Drives Housing Dynamics in China? A Sign Restrictions VAR Approach
Timothy Yang Bian and Pedro Gete
Published as: Bian, Timothy Yang and Pedro Gete (2015), "What Drives Housing Dynamics in China? A Sign Restrictions VAR Approach," Journal of Macroeconomics 46: 96-112.
Abstract: We study housing dynamics in China using vector autoregressions identified with theoryconsistent sign restrictions. We study five potential drivers: 1) Population increases; 2) a relaxation of credit standards, for example, due to the shadow banking system; 3) increasing preferences towards housing, for example, due to a housing bubble or housing being a status asset to be competitive in the marriage market; 4) an increase in the savings rate; and 5) expected productivity progress. Our results show that fundamental shocks (population, credit and productivity) play a major role in the dynamics of house prices and residential investment before 2009. Preference shocks seem especially relevant in the last several years, and when the estimation uses price indices not coming from China’s National Bureau of Statistics.
Trade Partner Diversification and Growth: How Trade Links Matter
Ali Sina Önder and Hakan Yilmazkuday
Abstract: We use network centrality measures to capture the trade partner diversification (TPD) of countries as revealed by their position in the international trade network. These measures are shown to enter long-run growth regressions positively and significantly, on top of trade openness and other control variables. Historical evidence based on threshold analyses shows that countries can use their trade networks to compensate for their low levels of financial depth, high levels of inflation, and low levels of human capital. This result is important especially for developing economies where, on average, financial depth is low, inflation is high, and human capital is low. Therefore, globalization of international trade is important as far as gaining access into better trade networks through multilateral free trade agreements is rather essential for developing countries.
Benefits of Foreign Ownership: Evidence from Foreign Direct Investment in China
Jian Wang and Xiao Wang
Published as: Wang, Jian and Xiao Wang (2015), "Benefits of Foreign Ownership: Evidence from Foreign Direct Investment in China," Journal of International Economics 97 (2): 325-338.
Abstract: To examine the effect of foreign direct investment, this paper compares the post-acquisition performance changes of foreign- and domestic-acquired firms in China. Unlike previous studies, we investigate the purified effect of foreign ownership by using domestic-acquired firms as the control group. After controlling for the acquisition effect that also exists in domestic acquisitions, we find no evidence in the data that foreign ownership can bring productivity gains to target firms. In contrast, a strong and robust finding is that foreign ownership significantly improves target firms' financial conditions and exports relative to domestic-acquired firms. Foreign acquisition is also found to improve output, employment and income for target firms. These findings highlight the financial channel through which FDI benefits income and economic growth of host countries.
Technical Note on "Assessing Bayesian Model Comparison in Small Samples"
Enrique Martínez-García and Mark A. Wynne
Abstract: This technical note is developed as a companion to the paper ‘Assessing Bayesian Model Comparison in Small Samples’ (Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute working paper no. 189). Taking the workhorse open-economy model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010) with nominal rigidities under monopolistic competition as our Data-Generating Process, we investigate with simulated data how Bayesian model comparison based on posterior odds performs when the model becomes arbitrarily close to a closed-economy and/or an economy with flexible prices and perfect competition. This technical note elaborates on three key technical points relevant for Martínez-García and Wynne (2014). First, we explain the building blocks of the open-economy model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010). We also derive the equilibrium conditions (and the steady state) under producer-currency pricing. Second, we discuss the log-linearization of the equilibrium conditions around the deterministic steady state and our benchmark parameterization. The linear rational expectations model that results from the log-linearization is used to simulate the data under our benchmark parameterization. These simulated data is used in Martínez-García and Wynne (2014) to conduct their Bayesian model comparison exercises. Third, we describe the Bayesian estimation and model comparison techniques with special emphasis on the questions of: (a) how we elicit priors on the models themselves and the parameters of a given model, and (b) how we compute posterior model probabilities. Simultaneously, commentary is provided whenever appropriate to clarify the economic significance of the assumptions embedded in our workhorse open-economy model.
Assessing Bayesian Model Comparison in Small Samples
Enrique Martínez-García and Mark A. Wynne
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique and Mark A. Wynne (2014), "Assessing Bayesian Model Comparison in Small Samples," in Bayesian Model Comparison, ed. Ivan Jeliazkov and Dale J. Poirer (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited), 71-115.
Abstract: We investigate the Bayesian approach to model comparison within a two-country framework with nominal rigidities using the workhorse New Keynesian open-economy model of Martínez-García and Wynne (2010). We discuss the trade-offs that monetary policycharacterized by a Taylor-type rule faces in an interconnected world, with perfectly flexible exchange rates. We then use posterior model probabilities to evaluate the weight of evidence in support of such a model when estimated against more parsimonious specifications that either abstract from monetary frictions or assume autarky by means of controlled experiments that employ simulated data. We argue that Bayesian model comparison with posterior odds is sensitive to sample size and the choice of observable variables for estimation. We show that posterior model probabilities strongly penalize overfitting which can lead us to favor a less parameterized model against the true data-generating process when the two become arbitrarily close to each other. We also illustrate that the spill-overs from monetary policy across countries have an added confounding effect.
The Redistributional Consequences of Tax Reform Under Financial Integration
Abstract: I quantify the welfare effects of replacing the US capital income tax with higher labor income taxes under international financial integration using a two-country, heterogeneousagent incomplete markets model calibrated to represent the US and the rest of the world. Short-run and long-run factor price dynamics are key: after the tax reform, interest rates rise less under financial openness than in autarky. Therefore, wealthy households gain less. Posttax wages also fall less as a result of the faster capital accumulation, so the poor are hurt less. Hence, the distributional impacts of the reform are significantly dampened relative to autarky although a majority of households prefer the status quo. Aggregate welfare effect to the US is a permanent 0.2% consumption equivalent loss under financial openness which is roughly 15% of the welfare loss under autarky.
Pricing-to-Market and Optimal Interest Rate Policy
Abstract: I study optimal interest rate policy in a small open economy with consumer search in the product market. When there are search frictions, firms price-to-market, with implications for the design of monetary policy. Country-specific shocks generate deviations from the law of one price for traded goods which monetary policy acts to stabilize by influencing firm markups. However, stabilizing law of one price deviations results in greater fluctuations in output.
The Domestic Segment of Global Supply Chains In China under State Capitalism
Heiwai Tang, Fei Wang and Zhi Wang
Abstract: This paper proposes methods to incorporate firm heterogeneity in the standard IO-table based approach to portray the domestic segment of global value chains in a country. Using Chinese firm census data for both manufacturing and service sectors, along with constrained optimization techniques, we split the conventional IO table into sub-accounts, which are used to estimate direct and indirect domestic value added in exports of different types of firm. We find that in China, both state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and small and medium domestic private enterprises (SMEs) have much higher shares of indirect exports and ratios of value-added exports to gross exports (VAX), compared to foreign-invested and large domestic private firms. Based on IO tables for both 2007 and 2010, we find increasing VAX ratios for all firm types, particularly for SOEs. By extending the method proposed by Antràs et al. (2012), we find that SOEs are consistently more upstream while SMEs are consistently more downstream within industries. These findings suggest that SOEs still play an important role in shaping China’s exports.
Learning to Export from Neighbors
Ana Fernandes and Heiwai Tang
Published as: Fernandes, Ana and Heiwai Tang (2014), "Learning to Export from Neighbors," Journal of International Economics 94 (1): 67-84.
Abstract: This paper studies how learning from neighboring firms affects new exporters’ performance. We develop a statistical decision model in which a firm updates its prior belief about demand in a foreign market based on several factors, including the number of neighbors currently selling there, the level and heterogeneity of their export sales, and the firm’s own prior knowledge about the market. A positive signal about demand inferred from neighbors’ export performance raises the firm’s probability of entry and initial sales in the market but, conditional on survival, lowers its post-entry growth. These learning effects are stronger when there are more neighbors to learn from or when the firm is less familiar with the market. We find supporting evidence for the main predictions of the model from transaction-level data for all Chinese exporters from 2000 to 2006. Our findings are robust to controlling for firms’ supply shocks, countries’ demand shocks, and city-country fixed effects.
Bank Crises and Sovereign Defaults in Emerging Markets: Exploring the Links
Irina Balteanu and Aitor Erce
Abstract: This paper provides a set of stylized facts on the mechanisms through which banking and sovereign distress feed into each other, using a large sample of emerging economies over three decades. We first define “twin crises” as events where banking crises and sovereign defaults combine, and further distinguish between those banking crises that end up in sovereign debt crises, and vice-versa. We then assess what differentiates “single” episodes from “twin” ones. Using an event analysis methodology, we study the behavior around crises of variables describing the balance sheet interconnection between the banking and public sectors, the characteristics of the banking sector, the state of public finances, and the macroeconomic context. We find that there are systematic differences between “single” and “twin” crises across all these dimensions. Additionally, we find that “twin” crises are heterogeneous events: taking into account the proper time sequence of crises that compose “twin” episodes is important for understanding their drivers, transmission channels and economic consequences. Our results shed light on the mechanisms surrounding feedback loops of sovereign and banking stress.
Capital Goods Trade and Economic Development
Piyusha Mutreja, B. Ravikumar and Michael Sposi
Abstract: Almost 80 percent of capital goods production in the world is concentrated in 10 countries. Poor countries import most of their capital goods. We argue that international trade in capital goods has quantitatively important effects on economic development through two channels: (i) capital formation and (ii) aggregate TFP. We embed a multi country, multi sector Ricardian model of trade into a neoclassical growth model. Barriers to trade result in a misallocation of factors both within and across countries. We calibrate the model to bilateral trade flows, prices, and income per worker. Our model matches several trade and development facts within a unified framework. It is consistent with the world distribution of capital goods production, cross-country differences in investment rate and price of final goods, and cross-country equalization of price of capital goods and marginal product of capital. The cross-country income differences decline by more than 50 percent when distortions to trade are eliminated, with 80 percent of the change in each country’s income attributable to change in capital. Autarky in capital goods results in an income loss of 17 percent for poor countries, with all of the loss stemming from decreased capital.
Very Long-Run Discount Rates
Stefano Giglio, Matteo Maggiori and Johannes Stroebel
Published as: Giglio, Stefano, Matteo Maggiori and Johannes Stroebel (2015), "Very Long-Run Discount Rates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics 130 (1): 1-53.
Abstract: We provide direct estimates of how agents trade off immediate costs and uncertain future benefits that occur in the very long run, 100 or more years away. We exploit a unique feature of housing markets in the U.K. and Singapore, where residential property ownership takes the form of either leaseholds or freeholds. Leaseholds are temporary, pre-paid, and tradable ownership contracts with maturities between 99 and 999 years, while freeholds are perpetual ownership contracts. The difference between leasehold and freehold prices reflects the present value of perpetual rental income starting at leasehold expiry, and is thus informative about very long-run discount rates. We estimate the price discounts for varying leasehold maturities compared to freeholds and extremely long-run leaseholds via hedonic regressions using proprietary datasets of the universe of transactions in each country. Agents discount very long-run cash flows at low rates, assigning high present values to cash flows hundreds of years in the future. For example, 100-year leaseholds are valued at more than 10% less than otherwise identical freeholds, implying discount rates below 2.6% for 100-year claims. Given the riskiness of rents, this suggests that both long-run riskfree discount rates and long-run risk premia are low. We show how the estimated very long-run discount rates are informative for climate change policy.
International Capital Flows and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Spain
Jan In’t Veld, Robert Kollmann, Beatrice Pataracchia, Marco Ratto and Werner Roeger
Published as: In't Veld, Jan, Robert Kollmann, Beatrice Pataracchia, Marco Ratto and Werner Roeger (2014), "International Capital Flows and the Boom-Bust Cycle in Spain," Journal of International Money and Finance 48 (Part B): 314-335.
Abstract: We study the joint dynamics of foreign capital flows and real activity during the recent boom- bust cycle of the Spanish economy, using a three-country New Keynesian model with credit- constrained households and firms, a construction sector and a government. We estimate the model using 1995Q1-2013Q2 data for Spain, the rest of the Euro Area (REA) and the rest of the world. We show that falling risk premia on Spanish housing and non-residential capital, a loosening of collateral constraints for Spanish households and firms, as well as a fall in the interest rate spread between Spain and the REA fuelled the Spanish output boom and the persistent rise in foreign capital flows to Spain, before the global financial crisis. During and after the global financial crisis, falling house prices, and a tightening of collateral constraints for Spanish borrowers contributed to a sharp reduction in capital inflows, and to the persistent slump in Spanish real activity. The credit crunch was especially pronounced for Spanish households; firm credit constraints tightened later and more gradually, and contributed much less to the slump.
Theory and Practice of GVAR Modeling
Alexander Chudik and M. Hashem Pesaran
Published as: Chudik, Alexander & M. Hashem Pesaran (2016), "Theory and Practice of GVAR Modeling," Journal of Economic Surveys 30 (1): 165-197.
Abstract: The Global Vector Autoregressive (GVAR) approach has proven to be a very useful approach to analyze interactions in the global macroeconomy and other data networks where both the cross-section and the time dimensions are large. This paper surveys the latest developments in the GVAR modeling, examining both the theoretical foundations of the approach and its numerous empirical applications. We provide a synthesis of existing literature and highlight areas for future research.
The Role of Direct Flights in Trade Costs
Demet Yilmazkuday and Hakan Yilmazkuday
Abstract: The role of direct flights in trade costs is investigated by introducing and using a micro price data set on 49 goods across 433 international cities covering 114 countries. It is shown that having at least one direct flight reduces trade costs by about 1,400 miles in distance equivalent terms, while an international border increases trade costs by about 14,907 miles; hence, the positive effects of having at least one direct flight between any two cities can compensate for about 10% of the negative effects of an average international border. Trade costs also decrease with the number of direct flights: on average, one direct flight reduces trade costs by about 305 miles in distance equivalent terms, which corresponds to 7% of the average distance and can compensate for about 2% of the negative effects of an average international border. The results are shown to be robust to alternative empirical strategies.
Credit Booms, Banking Crises, and the Current Account
J. Scott Davis, Adrienne Mack, Wesley Phoa and Anne Vandenabeele
Published as: Davis, J. Scott, Adrienne Mack, Wesley Phoa and Anne Vandenabeele (2016), "Credit Booms, Banking Crises, and the Current Account," Journal of International Money and Finance 60: 360-377.
Abstract: What is the marginal effect of an increase in the private sector debt-to-GDP ratio on the probability of a banking crisis? This paper shows that the marginal effect of rising debt levels depends on an economy's external position. When the current account is in surplus or in balance, the marginal effect of an increase in debt is rather small; a 10 percentage point increase in the private sector debt-to-GDP ratio increases the probability of a crisis by about 1 to 2 percentage points. However, when the economy is running a sizable current account deficit, implying that any increase in the debt ratio is financed through foreign borrowing, this marginal effect can be large. When a country has a current account deficit of 10% of GDP (which is similar to the value in the Eurozone periphery on the eve of the recent crisis) a 10 percentage point increase in the private sector debt ratio leads to a 10 percentage point increase in the probability of a crisis.
Error Correction Dynamics of House Prices: An Equilibrium Benchmark
Charles Ka Yui Leung
Published as: Leung, Charles Ka Yui (2014), "Error Correction Dynamics of House Prices: An Equilibrium Benchmark," Journal of Housing Economics 25: 75-95.
Abstract: Central to recent debates on the "mis-pricing" in the housing market and the proactive policy of central bank is the determination of the "fundamental house price." This paper builds a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model that produces reduced-form dynamics that are consistent with the error-correction models proposed by Malpezzi (1999) and Capozza et al (2004). The dynamics of equilibrium house prices are tied to the dynamics of the house-price-to-income ratio. This paper also shows that house prices and incomes should be co-integrated, and hence provides a justification of using co-integration tests to detect possible "mis-pricing" in the housing market.
What Drives the German Current Account? And How Does it Affect Other EU Member States?
Robert Kollmann, Marco Ratto, Werner Roeger, Jan in’t Veld and Lukas Vogel
Published as: Kollmann, Robert, Marco Ratto, Werner Roeger, Jan in't Veld and Lukas Vogel (2015), "What Drives the German Current Account? And How Does it Affect Other EU Member States?" Economic Policy 30 (81): 47-93.
Abstract: We estimate a three-country model using 1995-2013 data for Germany, the Rest of the Euro Area (REA) and the Rest of the World (ROW) to analyze the determinants of Germany’s current account surplus after the launch of the Euro. The most important factors driving the German surplus were positive shocks to the German saving rate and to ROW demand for German exports, as well as German labour market reforms and other positive German aggregate supply shocks. The convergence of REA interest rates to German rates due to the creation of the Euro only had a modest effect on the German current account and on German real activity. The key shocks that drove the rise in the German current account tended to worsen the REA trade balance, but had a weak effect on REA real activity. Our analysis suggests these driving factors are likely to be slowly eroded, leading to a very gradual reduction of the German current account surplus. An expansion in German government consumption and investment would raise German GDP and reduce the current account surplus, but the effects on the surplus are likely to be weak.
Banking on Seniority: The IMF and the Sovereign’s Creditors
Published as: Erce, Aitor (2015), "Banking on Seniority: The IMF and the Sovereign’s Creditors," Governance 28 (2): 219-236.
Abstract: The programs designed by the International Monetary Fund during the Global Financial Crisis have shown more awareness of the importance of domestic demand for the prospects of economic recovery. Yet, the IMF has continued to do little about the late payments made by governments to domestic creditors and suppliers. In contrast, the greater protection historically awarded by the IMF to foreign creditors has endured throughout the recent crisis. The paper suggests that, in order to adequately balance foreign creditor seniority and growth objectives, the IMF may sometimes need to emphasize equitable burden-sharing across categories of creditors rather than privilege the interests of international bond markets.
Inflation Targeting and the Anchoring of Inflation Expectations: Cross-country Evidence from Consensus Forecasts
J. Scott Davis
Abstract: Using survey data of inflation expectations across a 36 developed and developing countries, this paper examines whether the adoption of inflation targeting has helped to anchor inflation expectations. We examine the response of inflation expectations following a shock to inflation, inflation expectations, and oil prices. For the 13 countries that adopted inflation targeting midway through the time period used in this study, there is a significant difference in the responses between the earlier and the later subperiods. A shock leads to a positive, significant, and persistent increase inflation expectations in the earlier, pre-targeting subperiod, but the same response is much less significant and persistent in the later, posttargeting subperiod. For the control group of 23 countries that did not adopt inflation targeting during this time period, there is no difference between responses in the earlier and the later sub-periods.
Minimum Wages and Firm Employment: Evidence from China
Yi Huang, Prakash Loungani and Gewei Wang
Abstract: This paper studies how minimum wage policies affect firm employment in China using a unique county level minimum wage data set matched to disaggregated firm survey data. We investigate both the effect of imposing a minimum wage, and the effect of the policies that tightened enforcement in 2004. We find that the average effect of minimum wage changes is modest and positive, and that there is a detectable effect after enforcement reform. Firms have heterogeneous responses to minimum wage changes which can be accounted for by differences in their wage levels and profit margins: firms with high wages or large profit margin increase employment, while those with low wages or small profit margin downsize. The increase in enforcement of China’s minimum wage in 2004 has since amplified this heterogeneity, which implies that labor regulation may reduce the monopsony rent of firms. Our results provide evidence for the theoretical predictions of the positive minimum wage employment relationship in a monopolistic labor market.
Trade Linkages and the Globalisation of Inflation in Asia and the Pacific
Raphael Auer and Aaron Mehrotra
Published as: Auer, Raphael and Aaron Mehrota (2014), "Trade Linkages and the Globalisation of Inflation in Asia and the Pacific," Journal of International Money and Finance 49 (Part A): 129-151.
Abstract: Some observers argue that increased real integration has led to greater co-movement of prices internationally. We examine the evidence for cross-border price spillovers among economies participating in the pan-Asian cross-border production networks. Starting with country-level data, we find that both producer price and consumer price inflation rates move more closely together between those Asian economies that trade more with one another, ie that share a higher degree of trade intensity. Next, using a novel data set based on the World Input-Output Database (WIOD), we examine the importance of the supply chain for cross-border price spillovers at the sectoral level. We document the increasing importance of imported intermediate inputs for economies in the Asia-Pacific region and examine the impact on domestic producer prices of changes in costs of imported intermediate inputs. Our results suggest that real integration through the supply chain matters for domestic price dynamics in the Asia-Pacific region.
Capital Controls as an Instrument of Monetary Policy
Scott Davis and Ignacio Presno
Abstract: Large swings in capital flows into and out of emerging markets can potentially lead to excessive volatility in asset prices and credit supply. In order to lessen the impact of capital flows on financial instability, a number of researchers and policy markers have recently proposed the use of capital controls. This paper considers the benefit of adding capital controls as a potential instrument of monetary policy in a small open economy. In a DSGE framework, we find that when domestic agents are subject to collateral constraints and the value of collateral is subject to fluctuations driven by foreign capital inflows and outflows, the adoption of temporary capital controls can lead to a significant welfare improvement. The benefits of capital controls are present even when monetary policy is determined optimally, implying that there may be a role for capital controls to exist side-by-side with conventional monetary tools as an instrument of monetary policy.
Monetary Policy Shocks and Foreign Investment Income: Evidence from a Large Bayesian VAR
Abstract: This paper assesses the transmission of monetary policy in a large Bayesian vector autoregression based on the approach proposed by Banbura, Giannone and Reichlin (2010). The paper analyzes the impact of monetary policy shocks in the United States and Canada not only on a range of domestic aggregates, trade flows, and exchange rates, but also foreign investment income. The analysis provides three main results. First, a surprise monetary policy action has a statistically and economically significant impact on both gross and net foreign investment income flows in both countries. Against the background of growing foreign wealth and investment income, this result provides preliminary evidence that foreign balance-sheet channels might play an increasingly important role for monetary transmission. Second, the impact of monetary policy on foreign investment income flows differs considerably across asset categories and over time, suggesting that the investment instruments and the currency denomination of a country’s foreign assets and liabilities are potentially relevant for the way in which monetary policy affects the domestic economy. Finally, the results support existing evidence on the effectiveness of large vector autoregressions and the Bayesian shrinkage approach in addressing the curse of dimensionality and eliminating price and exchange rate puzzles.
A Contribution to the Chronology of Turning Points in Global Economic Activity (1980-2012)
Valerie Grossman, Adrienne Mack and Enrique Martínez-García
Published as: Valerie Grossman, Adrienne Mack and Enrique Martínez-García (2015), "A Contribution to the Chronology of Turning Points in Global Economic Activity (1980–2012)," Journal of Macroeconomics 46: 170-185.
Abstract: The Database of Global Economic Indicators (DGEI) of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is aimed at standardizing and disseminating world economic indicators for the study of globalization. It includes a core sample of 40 countries with available indicators and broad coverage for quarterly real GDP, and the monthly series of industrial production (IP), Purchasing Managers Index (PMI), merchandise exports and imports, headline CPI, CPI (ex. food and energy), PPI/WPI inflation, nominal and real exchange rates, and official/policy interest rates (see Grossman, Mack, and Martínez-García (2013)). This paper aims to codify in a systematic way the chronology of global business cycles for DGEI. We propose a novel chronology based on IP data for a sample of 84 countries at a monthly frequency from 1980 until now, and assess the turning points obtained as a signal of the underlying state of the economy as tracked by the indicators of DGEI. We conclude by proposing and also evaluating global recession probability forecasts up to 12 months ahead. The logit model proposed uses the DGEI aggregate indicators to offer advanced warning of turning point in the global cycle—by this metric a global downturn in 2013 does not appear likely.
Vertical Integration and Supplier Finance
Erasmus Kersting and Holger Görg
Abstract: We investigate the financial implications of a multinational firm's choice between outsourcing and integration from the perspective of the supplier. Using a simple model, we explore the extent to which an integrated supplier's access to finance, as well as its sources of funding, change relative to a firm supplying a multinational at arm's-length. The model predicts that integrated firms have better access to finance and cover a larger share of their costs using internal funds. Furthermore, improvements in a host country's level of financial development have less of an impact on the financial situation of integrated suppliers. We present empirical evidence from firm-level data for over 60 countries broadly supporting the predictions.
The Boy Who Cried Bubble: Public Warnings against Riding Bubbles
Yasushi Asako and Kozo Ueda
Published as: Asako, Yasushi and Kozo Ueda (2014), "The Boy Who Cried Bubble: Public Warnings against Riding Bubbles," Economic Inquiry 52 (3): 1137-1152.
Abstract: Attempts by governments to stop bubbles by issuing warnings seem unsuccessful. This paper examines the effects of public warnings using a simple model of riding bubbles. We show that public warnings against a bubble can stop it if investors believe that a warning is issued in a definite range of periods commencing around the starting period of the bubble. If a warning involves the possibility of being issued too early, regardless of the starting period of the bubble, it cannot stop the bubble immediately. Bubble duration can be shortened by a premature public warning, but lengthened if it is late. Our model suggests that governments need to lower the probability of spurious warnings.
Database of Global Economic Indicators (DGEI): A Methodological Note
Valerie Grossman, Adrienne Mack and Enrique Martínez-García
Published as: Grossman, Valerie, Adrienne Mack and Enrique Martínez-García (2014), "A New Database of Global Economic Indicators," Journal of Economics and Social Measurement 39 (3): 163-197.
Abstract: The Database of Global Economic Indicators (DGEI) from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is aimed at standardizing and disseminating world economic indicators for policy analysis and scholarly work on the role of globalization. The purpose of DGEI is to offer a broad perspective on how economic developments around the world influence the U.S. economy with a wide selection of indicators. DGEI is automated within an Excel-VBA and E-views framework for the processing and aggregation of multiple country time series. It includes a core sample of 40 countries with available indicators and broad coverage. Country groupings include rest of the world (ex. the U.S.) aggregates and subgroups of countries by development attainment and trade openness. The indicators currently tracked include real GDP, industrial production (IP), Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI), merchandise exports and imports, headline CPI, CPI (ex. food and energy), PPI/WPI inflation, nominal and real exchange rates, and official/policy interest rates. All series are monthly, with the exception of real GDP which is reported at a quarterly frequency. Aggregation is based on trade shares with the U.S. The Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute publishes the aggregate indicators as well as additional country detail on its website with an accompanying slideshow on Global Economic Conditions. This note provides a technical description of the methodology implemented to construct the DGEI.
Episodes of Exuberance in Housing Markets: In Search of the Smoking Gun
Efthymios Pavlidis, Alisa Yusupova, Ivan Paya, David Peel, Enrique Martínez-García, Adrienne Mack and Valerie Grossman
Published as: Pavlidis, Efthymios, Alisa Yusupova, Ivan Paya, David Peel, Enrique Martínez-García, Adrienne Mack and Valerie Grossman (2016), "Episodes of Exuberance in Housing Markets: In Search of the Smoking Gun," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics 53 (4): 419-449.
Abstract: In this paper, we examine changes in the time series properties of standard housing market indicators (real house prices, price-to-income ratios, and price-to-rent ratios) for a large set of countries to detect episodes of explosive dynamics. Dating exuberance in housing markets provides a timeline as well as empirical content to the narrative connecting housing exuberance to the global 2008―09 recession. For our investigation, we employ two recursive univariate unit root tests developed by Phillips et al. (2011) and Phillips et al. (2015). We also propose a novel extension of the Phillips et al. (2015) test to a panel setting in order to exploit the large cross-sectional dimension of our international dataset. Statistically significant periods of exuberance are found in most countries. Moreover, there is also strong evidence of an unprecedented period of exuberance in the early 2000s that eventually collapsed around 2006―07, preceding the 2008―09 global recession. We find that long-term interest rates, credit growth and global economic conditions help to predict (in-sample) episodes of housing exuberance. We conclude that global macro and financial factors explain (partly) the synchronization of exuberance episodes that we detect in the data in the 2000s.
Testing for Bubbles in Housing Markets: New Results Using a New Method
José E. Gómez-González, Jair N. Ojeda-Joya, Catalina Rey-Guerra and Natalia Sicard
Abstract: In the context of financial crises influenced by the development and burst of housing price bubbles, the detection of exuberant behaviors in the financial market and the implementation of early warning diagnosis tests are of vital importance. This paper applies the new method developed by Phillips et al (2012) for detecting bubbles in the Colombian residential property market. The empirical results suggest that currently the country could be experiencing a price bubble, when the CPI and the housing rent index are used as deflators. We do not check the robustness of these results to alternative deflators, such as a household income index and a land price index, due to the lack of monthly data on these indicators.
Institutional Quality, the Cyclicality of Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Volatility
Published as: Duncan, Roberto (2014), "Institutional Quality, the Cyclicality of Monetary Policy and Macroeconomic Volatility," Journal of Macroeconomics 39 (Part A): 113-155.
Abstract: In contrast to industrialized countries, emerging market economies are characterized by proor acyclical monetary policies and high output volatility. This paper argues that those facts can be related to a long-run feature of the economy - namely, its institutional quality (IQL). The paper presents evidence that supports the link between an index of IQL (law and order, government stability, investment profile, etc.), and (i) the cyclicality of monetary policy, and (ii) the volatilities of output and the nominal interest rate. In a DSGE model, foreign investors that choose a portfolio of direct investment and lending to domestic agents, face a probability of partial confiscation which works as a proxy that captures IQL. The economy is hit by external shocks to demand for home goods and productivity shocks while its central bank seeks to stabilize inflation and output. In the long run, a lower IQL tends to discourage external liabilities. If there is a positive external demand shock, we observe an increase in output and real appreciation. The latter operates through two opposite channels. First, it directly increases the opportunity cost of leisure generating incentives to expand labor supply. Second, it reduces the real value of the debt denominated in foreign currency which stimulates consumption but contracts the labor supply. If the IQL is low, the economy attracts fewer loans for domestic consumers and shows a lower debt-to-consumption ratio in the steady state. This implies that the reduction of the real value of the debt caused by the real appreciation is smaller. Given this low wealth effect, the real appreciation leads to an expansion of the labor supply. Wages drop and inflation diminishes. The central bank reacts by cutting its policy rate to stabilize inflation and generates a negative comovement between output and the nominal interest rate (procyclical policy). As a corollary, negative correlations between policy rates and output are not necessarily an indicator of destabilizing polices even in the presence of demand shocks.
Debt, Inflation and Growth Robust Estimation of Long-Run Effects in Dynamic Panel Data Models
Alexander Chudik, Kamiar Mohaddes, Hashem Pesaran and Mehdi Raissi
Abstract: This paper investigates the long-run effects of public debt and inflation on economic growth. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirical. On the theoretical side, we develop a cross-sectionally augmented distributed lag (CS-DL) approach to the estimation of long-run effects in dynamic heterogeneous panel data models with cross-sectionally dependent errors. The relative merits of the CS-DL approach and other existing approaches in the literature are discussed and illustrated with small sample evidence obtained by means of Monte Carlo simulations. On the empirical side, using data on a sample of 40 countries over the 1965-2010 period, we find significant negative long-run effects of public debt and inflation on growth. Our results indicate that, if the debt to GDP ratio is raised and this increase turns out to be permanent, then it will have negative effects on economic growth in the long run. But if the increase is temporary then there are no long-run growth effects so long as debt to GDP is brought back to its normal level. We do not find a universally applicable threshold effect in the relationship between public debt and growth. We only find statistically significant threshold effects in the case of countries with rising debt to GDP ratios.
Is the Net Worth of Financial Intermediaries More Important than That of Non-Financial Firms?
Naohisa Hirakata, Nao Sudo and Kozo Ueda
Abstract: To explore the relative macroeconomic importance of financial intermediaries' (FIs’) net worth to that of non-financial firms (entrepreneurs), we extend the financial accelerator model of Bernanke, et al. (1999), such that both FIs’ and entrepreneurs rely on costly external debt. Our model, which is calibrated to the U.S. economy, highlights two features of the FIs’ net worth. First, the relative size of FIs' net worth as compared to entrepreneurial net worth, namely, the net- worth distribution in the economy, is important for the financial accelerator effect. Second, a shock to the FIs' net worth has greater aggregate impact than that to entrepreneurial net worth. The key reason for these findings is the low net worth of FIs’ in the United States. Our results imply that the ongoing regulatory reforms that protect banks' net worth from irrational exuberance or foster its accumulation are beneficial for macroeconomic stability.
U.S. Business Cycles, Monetary Policy and the External Finance Premium
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique (2014), "U.S. Business Cycles, Monetary Policy and the External Finance Premium," in Advances in Non-linear Economic Modeling: Theory and Applications, ed. Frauke Schleer-van Gellecom (Berlin: Springer), 41-114.
Abstract: I investigate a model of the U.S. economy with nominal rigidities and a financial accelerator mechanism à la Bernanke et al. (1999). I calculate total factor productivity and monetary policy deviations for the U.S. and quantitatively explore the ability of the model to account for the cyclical patterns of GDP (excluding government), investment, consumption, the share of hours worked, inflation and the quarterly interest rate spread between the Baa corporate bond yield and the 20-year Treasury bill rate during the Great Moderation. I show that the magnitude and cyclicality of the external finance premium depend nonlinearly on the degree of price stickiness (or lack thereof) in the Bernanke et al. (1999) model and on the specification of both the target Taylor (1993) rate for policy and the exogenous monetary shock process. The strong countercyclicality of the external finance premium induces substitution away from consumption and into investment in periods where output grows above its long-run trend as the premium tends to fall below its steady state and financing investment becomes temporarily cheaper. The less frequently prices change in this environment, the more accentuated the fluctuations of the external finance premium are and the more dominant they become on the dynamics of investment, hours worked and output. However, these features—the countercyclicality and large volatility of the spread—are counterfactual and appear to be a key impediment limiting the ability of the model to account for the U.S. data over the Great Moderation period.
Micro Price Dynamics During Japan's Lost Decades
Nao Sudo, Kozo Ueda and Kota Watanabe
Published as: Sudo, Nao, Kozo Ueda and Kota Watanabe (2014), "Micro Price Dynamics During Japan's Lost Decades," Asian Economic Policy Review 9 (1): 44-64.
Abstract: We study micro price dynamics and their macroeconomic implications using daily scanner data from 1988 to 2013. We provide five facts. First, posted prices in Japan are ten times as flexible as those in the U.S. scanner data. Second, regular prices are almost as flexible as those in the U.S. and Euro area. Third, the heterogeneity of frequency and size of price change across products is sizable and maintained throughout the sample period. Fourth, during Japan's lost decades, temporary sales have played an increasingly important role in households' consumption expenditure. Fifth, the frequency of upward regular price revisions and the frequency of sales are significantly correlated with the macroeconomic environment in particular indicators associated with a labor market while other components of price changes are not.
A Shopkeeper Economy
Daniel P. Murphy
Abstract: This paper investigates the properties of an economy populated by shopkeepers who monopolistically provide differentiated services at zero marginal cost but positive fixed costs. In this setting, equilibrium output and wealth depend on consumer demand rather than available supply. The “shopkeeper economy” is compared to a standard production-based economy in which wealth is a function only of labor supply and technology. I demonstrate that the existence of producers who face only fixed costs provides a counterexample to the notion that “supply creates its own demand.”
How Does Government Spending Stimulate Consumption?
Daniel P. Murphy
Published as: Murphy, Daniel P. (2015), "How Does Government Spending Stimulate Consumption?" Review of Economic Dynamics 18 (3): 551-574.
Abstract: Recent empirical work finds that government spending shocks cause aggregate consumption to increase over the business cycle, contrary to the predictions of Neoclassical and New Keynesian models. This paper proposes a mechanism to account for the consumption increase that builds on the framework of imperfect information in Lucas (1972) and Lorenzoni (2009). In my model, owners of firms targeted by an increase in government spending perceive an increase in their permanent income relative to their future tax liabilities. Owners of firms not targeted remain unaware of the implicit increase in future tax liabilities, causing aggregate consumption to increase. A testable implication of the proposed model is that the value of firms should increase, implying all else equal an increase in aggregate stock returns. This prediction of the model is shown to be consistent with empirical evidence.
Why are Goods and Services more Expensive in Rich Countries? Demand Complementarities and Cross-Country Price Differences
Daniel P. Murphy
Abstract: Empirical studies show that tradable consumption goods are more expensive in rich countries. This paper proposes a simple yet novel explanation for this apparent failure of the law of one price: Consumers’ utility from tradable goods depends on their consumption of complementary goods and services. Monopolistically competitive firms charge higher prices in countries with more complementary goods and services because consumer demand is less elastic there. The paper embeds this explanation within a static Krugman (1980)-style model of international trade featuring differentiated tradable goods. Extended versions of the model can also account for the high prices of nontradable services in rich countries. The paper provides direct evidence in support of this new explanation. Using free-alongside-ship prices of U.S. and Chinese exports, I demonstrate that prices of specific subsets of tradable goods are higher in countries with high consumption of relevant complementary goods, conditional on per capita income and other country-level determinants of consumer goods prices.
Is Monetary Policy a Science? The Interaction of Theory and Practice Over the Last 50 Years
William R. White
Abstract: In recent decades, the declarations of “independent” central banks and the conduct of monetary policy have been assigned an ever increasing role in the pursuit of economic and financial stability. This is curious since there is, in practice, no body of scientific knowledge (evidence based beliefs) solid enough to have ensured agreement among central banks on the best way to conduct monetary policy. Moreover, beliefs pertaining to every aspect of monetary policy have also changed markedly and repeatedly. This paper documents how the objectives of monetary policy, the optimal exchange rate framework, beliefs about the transmission mechanism, the mechanism of political oversight, and many other aspects of domestic monetary frameworks have all been subject to great flux over the last fifty years. The paper also suggests ways in which the current economic and financial crisis seems likely to affect the conduct of monetary policy in the future. One possibility is that it might lead to yet another fundamental reexamination of our beliefs about how best to conduct monetary policy in an increasingly globalized world. The role played by money and credit, the interactions between price stability and financial stability, the possible medium term risks generated by “ultra easy” monetary policies, and the facilitating role played by the international monetary (non) system all need urgent attention. The paper concludes that, absent the degree of knowledge required about its effects, monetary policy is currently being relied on too heavily in the pursuit of “strong, balanced and sustainable growth.”
Commodity House Prices
Charles Ka Yui Leung, Song Shi and Edward Tang
Published as: Leung, Charles Ka Yui, Song Shi and Edward Tang (2013), "Commodity House Prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics 43 (6): 875-887.
Abstract: This paper studies how commodity price movements have affected local house prices in commodity-dependent economies, Australia and New Zealand. We build a geographically hierarchical empirical model and find that commodity prices influence local house prices directly and also indirectly through macroeconomic variables. While commodity price changes function more like “income shocks” rather than “cost shocks” in both Australia and New Zealand, regional heterogeneity is also observed in terms of differential dynamic responses of local house prices to energy versus non-energy commodity price movements. The results are robust to alternative approaches. Directions for future research are also discussed.
Large Panel Data Models with Cross-Sectional Dependence: A Survey
Alexander Chudik and M. Hashem Pesaran
Published as: Chudik, Alexander and M. Hashem Pesaran (2015), "Large Panel Data Models with Cross-Sectional Dependence: A Survey," in The Oxford Handbook of Panel Data, ed. Badi H. Baltagi (New York: Oxford University Press), 3-45.
Abstract: This paper provides an overview of the recent literature on estimation and inference in large panel data models with cross-sectional dependence. It reviews panel data models with strictly exogenous regressors as well as dynamic models with weakly exogenous regressors. The paper begins with a review of the concepts of weak and strong cross-sectional dependence, and discusses the exponent of cross-sectional dependence that characterizes the different degrees of cross-sectional dependence. It considers a number of alternative estimators for static and dynamic panel data models, distinguishing between factor and spatial models of cross-sectional dependence. The paper also provides an overview of tests of independence and weak cross-sectional dependence.
Price Indexation, Habit Formation, and the Generalized Taylor Principle
Saroj Bhattarai, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park
Published as: Bhattarai, Saroj, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park (2014), "Price Indexation, Habit Formation, and the Generalized Taylor Principle," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 48: 218-225.
Abstract: We prove that the Generalized Taylor Principle, under which the nominal interest rate reacts more than one-for-one to inflation in the long run, is a necessary and (under some extra mild restrictions on parameters) sufficient condition for determinacy in a sticky price model with positive steady-state inflation, interest rate smoothing in monetary policy, partial dynamic price indexation, and habit formation in consumption.
International Reserves and Rollover Risk
Javier Bianchi and Juan Carlos Hatchondo
Abstract: This paper provides a theoretical framework for quantitatively investigating the optimal accumulation of international reserves as a hedge against rollover risk. We study a dynamic model of endogenous default in which the government faces a tradeoff between the insurance benefits of reserves and the cost of keeping larger gross debt positions. A calibrated version of our model is able to rationalize large holdings of international reserves, as well as the procyclicality of reserves and gross debt positions. Model simulations are also consistent with spread dynamics and other key macroeconomic variables in emerging economies. The benefits of insurance arrangements and the effects of restricting the use of reserves after default are also analyzed.
Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Union With Interest Rate Spreads
Saroj Bhattarai, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park
Published as: Bhattarai, Saroj, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park (2015), "Optimal Monetary Policy in a Currency Union With Interest Rate Spreads," Journal of International Economics 96 (2): 375-397.
Abstract: We introduce “financial imperfections” - asymmetric net wealth positions, incomplete risksharing, and interest rate spread across member countries - in a prototypical two-country currency union model and study implications for monetary policy transmission mechanism and optimal policy. In addition to, and independent from, the standard transmission mechanism associated with nominal rigidities, financial imperfections introduce a wealth redistribution role for monetary policy. Moreover, the two mechanisms reinforce each other and amplify the effects of monetary policy. On the normative side, financial imperfections, via interactions with nominal rigidities, generate two novel policy trade-offs. First, the central bank needs to pay attention to distributional efficiency in addition to macroeconomic (and price level) stability, which implies that a strict inflation targeting policy of setting union-wide inflation to zero is never optimal. Second, the interactions lead to a trade-off in stabilizing relative consumption versus the relative price gap (the deviation of relative prices from their efficient level) across countries, which implies that the central bank allows for less flexibility in relative prices. Finally, we consider how the central bank should respond to a financial shock that causes an increase in the interest rate spread. Under optimal policy, the central bank strongly decreases the deposit rate, which reduces aggregate and distributional inefficiencies by mitigating the drop in output and inflation and the rise in relative consumption and prices. Such a policy response can be well approximated by a spreadadjusted Taylor rule as it helps the real interest rate track the efficient rate of interest.
Heterogeneous Bank Loan Responses to Monetary Policy and Bank Capital Shocks: A VAR Analysis Based on Japanese Disaggregated Data
Naohisa Hirakata, Yoshihiko Hogen, Nao Sudo and Kozo Ueda
Abstract: In this paper, we study bank loan responses to monetary policy and bank capital shocks using Japan’s disaggregated data sorted by borrower firms’ size and industry. Employing a block recursive VAR, we demonstrate that bank loan responses exhibit large sectoral heterogeneity. Among a broad range of indicators about borrower firms’ characteristics, the heterogeneity is tightly linked to borrower firms’ liability conditions. Firms with a lower capital ratio tend to experience larger drops in bank loans following a contractionary monetary policy shock and/or a negative bank capital shock. In addition, we find that firms’ substitution motive from alternative financial measures also explains the heterogeneity, while the firms’ inventory motive that is stressed in the empirical literature for U.S. banks does not. Our results indicate the importance of considering a compositional shift of bank loans across borrower firms in implementing accommodative monetary policy and capital injection policy.
Large Global Volatility Shocks, Equity Markets and Globalisation: 1885-2011
Abstract: I estimate the transmission of large global volatility shocks in international equity markets from the earlier (pre-1914) to the modern era of globalisation. To that end, I identify 43 such shocks over the period 1885-2011, defined as significant increases in unanticipated volatility in US equity markets, which I relate to well-known historical events. My estimates suggest that the response of global equity markets to these shocks in a panel of 16 countries is both statistically significant and large economically. On average, global equity market valuations correct by about 20% in the month when a shock occurs. There is substantial heterogeneity in responses both across countries and time, however, which can be partly explained by differences in global trade integration. I find no evidence that other potential theoretical determinants, such as output composition, country fundamentals or global policy responses matter, by contrast. These results shed light on a neglected aspect of globalisation, which creates opportunities but also heightens the exposure of economies to acute surges in global uncertainty and risk aversion.
Tractable Latent State Filtering for Non-Linear DSGE Models Using a Second-Order Approximation
Published as: Kollmann, Robert (2015), "Tractable Latent State Filtering for Non-Linear DSGE Models Using a Second-Order Approximation and Pruning," Computational Economics 45 (2): 239-260.
Abstract: This paper develops a novel approach for estimating latent state variables of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium (DSGE) models that are solved using a second-order accurate approximation. I apply the Kalman filter to a state-space representation of the second-order solution based on the ‘pruning’ scheme of Kim, Kim, Schaumburg and Sims (2008). By contrast to particle filters, no stochastic simulations are needed for the filter here--the present method is thus much faster. In Monte Carlo experiments, the filter here generates more accurate estimates of latent state variables than the standard particle filter. The present filter is also more accurate than a conventional Kalman filter that treats the linearized model as the true data generating process. Due to its high speed, the filter presented here is suited for the estimation of model parameters; a quasi-maximum likelihood procedure can be used for that purpose.
Common Correlated Effects Estimation of Heterogeneous Dynamic Panel Data Models with Weakly Exogenous Regressors
Alexander Chudik and M. Hashem Pesaran
Published as: Chudik, Alexander and M. Hashem Pesaran (2015), "Common Correlated Effects Estimation of Heterogeneous Dynamic Panel Data Models with Weakly Exogenous Regressors," Journal of Econometrics 188 (2): 393-420.
Abstract: This paper extends the Common Correlated Effects (CCE) approach developed by Pesaran (2006) to heterogeneous panel data models with lagged dependent variable and/or weakly exogenous regressors. We show that the CCE mean group estimator continues to be valid but the following two conditions must be satisfied to deal with the dynamics: a sufficient number of lags of cross section averages must be included in individual equations of the panel, and the number of cross section averages must be at least as large as the number of unobserved common factors. We establish consistency rates, derive the asymptotic distribution, suggest using co-variates to deal with the effects of multiple unobserved common factors, and consider jackknife and recursive de-meaning bias correction procedures to mitigate the small sample time series bias. Theoretical findings are accompanied by extensive Monte Carlo experiments, which show that the proposed estimators perform well so long as the time series dimension of the panel is sufficiently large.
Financial Globalization and Monetary Transmission
Abstract: This paper analyzes the way in which international financial integration affects the transmission of monetary policy in a New Keynesian open economy framework. It extends Woodford’s (2010) analysis to a model with a richer financial markets structure, allowing for international trading in multiple assets and subject to financial intermediation costs. Two different forms of financial integration are considered, in particular an increase in the level of gross foreign asset holdings and a decrease in the costs of international asset trading. The simulations in the calibrated model show that none of the analyzed forms of financial integration undermine the effectiveness of monetary policy in influencing domestic output and inflation. Under realistic parameterizations, monetary policy is more, rather than less, effective as the positive impact of strengthened exchange rate and wealth channels more than offsets the negative impact of weakened interest rate channels. The paper also analyzes the interaction of financial integration with trade integration, varying both the importance of trade linkages and the degree of exchange rate pass-through. These interactions show that the positive effects of financial integration are amplified by trade integration. Overall, monetary policy is most effective in parameterizations with the highest degree of both financial and real integration.
A Bargaining Theory of Trade Invoicing and Pricing
Abstract: We develop a theoretical model of international trade pricing in which individual exporters and importers bargain over the transaction price and exposure to exchange rate fluctuations. We find that the choice of price and invoicing currency reflects the full market structure, including the extent of fragmentation and the degree of heterogeneity across importers and across exporters. Our study shows that a party has a higher effective bargaining weight when it is large or more risk tolerant. A higher effective bargaining weight of importers relative to exporters in turn translates into lower import prices and greater exchange rate pass-through into import prices. We show the range of price and invoicing outcomes that arise under alternative market structures. Such structures matter not only for the outcome of specific exporter-importer transactions, but also for aggregate variables such as the average price, the average choice of invoicing currency, and the correlation between invoicing currency and the size of trade transactions.
Sovereign Debt Restructurings and the IMF: Implications for Future Official Interventions
Abstract: This paper studies the role played by the IMF during sovereign debt restructurings and extracts lessons for future official interventions. To do so, I compare twelve recent debt restructurings. I begin by detailing the main features (“restructuring strategies”) of each episode. I then analyze the involvement of the Fund and relate it to the above-cited strategies. Despite the wide heterogeneity both in restructuring strategies and in the scope of IMF’s involvement, the Fund exerted a substantial influence. This influence came, not only through the provision of official finance and by setting an adjustment path through conditionality, but also by providing independent information and influencing countries’ decisions to restructure by providing incentives both to creditors and debtors. My conclusion is that the flexibility that has characterized the role of the IMF so far might have exacerbated uncertainty and induced undesirable strategies from debtors and creditors alike. Thus, the international community could benefit from granting the IMF a more standardized operational role, reducing gambling for resurrection strategies and fostering fairness. Along these lines, I present ideas for reframing the IMF’s engagement in sovereign debt restructurings.
Sovereign Debt Crises: Could an International Court Minimize Them?
Abstract: This paper discusses the merits of the statutory approach to sovereign debt crises. It presents a model of sovereign debt roll-overs where, in the event of a liquidity crisis, a Sovereign Bankruptcy Court has powers to declare a standstill on debt payments. The model shows the ability of the Court to mitigate the coordination problem inherent to roll-overs in sovereign debt markets. Moreover, the scale of the coordination problem is reduced regardless of the quality of the information handled by the Court. The mere existence of the Court forces investors to focus on its course of action rather than on other investors beliefs. Nonetheless, such an entity might affect negatively countries’ incentives to apply costly policies.
Exchange Rate Pass-through, Firm Heterogeneity and Product Quality: A Theoretical Analysis
Abstract: This paper theoretically explores how exchange rate pass-through depends on firm heterogeneity in productivity and product differentiation in quality. Using an extended version of the Melitz and Ottaviano (2008) model, I show that exporting firms absorb exchange rate changes by adjusting both their markups and product quality, which leads to an incomplete exchange rate pass-through. Moreover, the absolute value of exchange rate absorption elasticity (the percentage change in the export prices denominated in the currency of the exporting country in response to a one percent change in the exchange rate rate) negatively depends on firm productivity for products with high scope for quality differentiation, but positively depends on firm productivity for products with low scope for quality differentiation.
Merchanting and Current Account Balances
Elisabeth Beusch, Barbara Döbeli, Andreas M. Fischer and Pinar Yesin
Published as: Beusch, Elisabeth, Barbara Döbeli, Andreas M. Fischer and Pinar Yesin (2017), "Merchanting and Current Account Balances," The World Economy 40 (1): 140-167.
Abstract: Merchanting is goods trade that does not cross the border of the firm's resident country. Merchanting grew strongly in the last decade in select small open economies and has become an important driver of these countries' current account. Because merchanting firms reinvest their earnings abroad to expand their international activities, this practice raises national savings in the home country without increasing domestic investment. This results in a significantly large current account surplus. To show the empirical links between merchanting and the current account, two exercises are performed in this paper. The first exercise estimates the savings impact of merchanting countries in empirical models of the medium-term current account and shows that merchanting indeed increases the current account. The second exercise shows that merchanting's impact on the country's current account is sensitive to firm mobility.
Trade Barriers and the Relative Price Tradables
Published as: Sposi, Michael (2015), "Trade Barriers and the Relative Price of Tradables," Journal of International Economics 92 (2): 398-411.
Abstract: In this paper I quantitatively address the role of trade barriers in explaining why prices of services relative to tradables are positively correlated with levels of development across countries. I argue that trade barriers play a crucial role in shaping the cross-country pattern of specialization across many heterogenous tradable goods. The pattern of specialization feeds into cross-country productivity differences in the tradables sector and is reflected in the relative price of services. I show that the existing pattern of specialization implies that the tradables-sector productivity gap between rich and poor countries is more than 80 percent larger than it would be under free trade. In turn, removing trade barriers would eliminate 64 percent of the disparity in the relative price of services between rich and poor countries, without systematically altering the cross-country pattern of the absolute price of tradables.
Spatial Considerations on the PPP Debate
Michele Ca'Zorzi and Alexander Chudik
Abstract: This paper studies the influence of aggregating across space when (i) testing the PPP theory or more generally pair-wise cointegration and (ii) evaluating the PPP puzzle. Our contribution is threefold: we show that aggregating foreign data and applying an ADF test may lead to erroneously reject the PPP hypothesis. We then show, on the basis of theoretical arguments as well as Monte Carlo experiments, that a sizable bias in the estimates of half-life deviations to PPP may be due to the effect of aggregation across space. We finally illustrate empirically the importance of spatial considerations when estimating the speed of price convergence among euro area countries.
Distribution Capital and the Short- and Long-Run Import Demand Elasticity
Mario J. Crucini and J. Scott Davis
Published as: Crucini, Mario J. and J. Scott Davis (2016), "Distribution Capital and the Short- and Long-Run Import Demand Elasticity," Journal of International Economics 100: 203-219.
Abstract: International business-cycle models assume that home and foreign goods are poor substitutes. International trade models assume they are close substitutes. This paper constructs a model where this discrepancy is due to frictions in distribution. Imports need to be combined with a local non-traded input, distribution capital, which is slow to adjust. As a result, imported and domestic goods appear as poor substitutes in the short run. In the long run this non-traded input can be reallocated, and quantities can shift following a change in relative prices. Thus the observed substitutability between home and foreign goods gets larger as time passes.
The GVAR Approach and the Dominance of the U.S. Economy
Alexander Chudik and Vanessa Smith
Abstract: This paper extends the recent literature about global macroeconomic modelling by allowing the presence of a globally dominant economy. Our contribution is both theoretical and empirical. From a theoretical standpoint, we follow Chudik and Pesaran (2011 and 2012) to derive the GVAR approach as an approximation to two Infinite-Dimensional VAR (IVAR) models featuring nonstationary variables: one corresponding to the world consisting of several small open economies (benchmark model), and one corresponding to the world featuring a dominant economy (extended model). It is established that in the presence of a dominant economy, restrictions implied by the asymptotic analysis of a system without a dominant economy are no longer valid. The theoretical framework is then brought to the data by estimating both versions of the GVAR model featuring 33 countries for the period 1979(Q2)–2003(Q4). We found some support for the extended version of the GVAR model, allowing the US to be the dominant player in the world economy.
International Trade Price Stickiness and Exchange Rate Pass-through in Micro Data: A Case Study on U.S.–China Trade
Mina Kim, Deokwoo Nam, Jian Wang and Jason Wu
Abstract: Price-setting behavior of exporters and exchange rate pass-through (ERPT) are crucial issues in international macroeconomics. This paper studies these topics, using a novel dataset of goods-level US-China trade prices collected by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. We document that the duration of U.S.–China trade prices has declined almost 30 percent since China began appreciating its currency in 2005. A benchmark menu cost model that is calibrated to the data can replicate the documented decrease in price stickiness. We also estimate ERPT of RMB appreciation into U.S. import prices between 2005 and 2008. The lifelong ERPT is close to one for prices that have at least one change, while the pass-through is less than half when all goods are included. The difference in pass-through rates is a result of about one third of the goods never experiencing a price change.
The Effect of Commodity Price Shocks on Underlying Inflation: The Role of Central Bank Credibility
J. Scott Davis
Abstract: This paper seeks to document and explain the effect of a commodity price shock on underlying core inflation, and how that effect changes both across time and across countries. Impulse responses derived from a structural VAR model show that across many countries there was a break in the response of core inflation to a commodity price shock. In an earlier period, a shock to commodity prices would lead to a large and significant increase in core inflation, but in later periods, the effect was insignificant. To explain this, we construct a large-scale DSGE model with both headline and core inflation, and most significantly, a mechanism whereby fluctuations in inflation caused by purely transitory shocks can become incorporated into long-term inflation expectations. Inflation has a trend and a cyclical component. Private agents cannot distinguish between the two, so a cyclical fluctuation in inflation may be confused for a shift in the trend component. Bayesian estimation reveals that there was a change between the earlier and the later periods in the parameter that governs the anchoring of expectations. Impulse responses derived from simulations of the model show that this change in the effect of commodity prices on core inflation is driven by the change in the anchoring of inflation expectations.
Abstract: This paper develops a non-linear DSGE model to assess the interaction between ex-post interventions in credit markets and the build-up of risk ex ante. During a systemic crisis, bailouts relax balance sheet constraints and mitigate the severity of the recession. Ex ante, the anticipation of such bailouts leads to an increase in risk-taking, making the economy more vulnerable to a financial crisis. The optimal policy requires, in general, a mix of ex-post intervention and ex-ante prudential policy. We also analyze the effects of bailouts on financial stability and welfare in the absence of ex-ante prudential policy. Our results show that the moral hazard effects of bailouts are significantly mitigated by making bailouts contingent on the occurrence of a systemic financial crisis.
IKEA: Product, Pricing, and Pass-Through
Marianne Baxter and Anthony Landry
Abstract: With over 300 stores in 40 countries, IKEA is a major international presence in retail housewares and furnishings. IKEA publishes country-specific catalogs with local-currency prices guaranteed to hold for 1 year. This paper explores a new dataset of IKEA products and catalog prices covering six countries for the time period 1994–2010. The dataset, with over 140,000 observations, is uniquely poised to shed light on the way in which a large multinational retailer operates in a setting characterized by a very large number of goods, distributed and priced in many countries. Thus, the goal of this paper is to document the choices made by IKEA in several related decision areas. In doing so, this paper provides evidence against which existing theories can be evaluated and revised in the light of this new information.
Core Import Price Inflation in the United States
Janet Koech and Mark A. Wynne
Published as: Koech, Janet and Mark A. Wynne (2013), "Core Import Price Inflation in the United States," Open Economies Review 24 (4): 717-730.
Abstract: The cross-section distribution of U.S. import prices exhibits some of the fat-tailed characteristics that are well documented for the cross-section distribution of U.S. consumer prices. This suggests that limited-influence estimators of core import price inflation might outperform headline or traditional measures of core import price inflation. We examine whether limited influence estimators of core import price inflation help forecast overall import price inflation. They do not. However, limited influence estimators of core import price inflation do seem to have some predictive power for headline consumer price inflation in the medium term.
Market Structure and Exchange Rate Pass-Through
Raphael A. Auer and Raphael S. Schoenle
Published as: Auer, Raphael A. and Raphael S. Schoenle (2016), "Market Structure and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," Journal of International Economics 98: 60-77.
Abstract: In this paper, we examine the extent to which market structure and the way in which it affects pricing decisions of profit-maximizing firms can explain incomplete exchange rate pass-through. To this purpose, we evaluate how pass-through rates vary across trade partners and sectors depending on the mass and size distribution of firms affected by a particular exchange rate shock. In the first step of our analysis, we decompose bilateral exchange rate movements into broad US Dollar (USD) movements and trade-partner currency (TPC) movements. Using micro data on US import prices, we show that the passthrough rate following USD movements is up to four times as large as the pass-through rate following TPC movements and that the rate of pass-through following TPC movements is increasing in the trade partner's sector-specific market share. In the second step, we draw on the parsimonious model of oligopoly pricing featuring variable markups of Dornbusch (1987) and Atkeson and Burstein (2008) to show how the distribution of firms' market shares and origins within a sector affects the trade-partner specific pass-through rate. Third, we calibrate this model using our exchange rate decomposition and information on the origin of firms and their market shares. We find that the calibrated model can explain a substantial part of the variation in import price changes and pass-through rates across sectors, trade partners, and sector-trade partner pairs.
Price Equalization Does Not Imply Free Trade
Piyusha Mutreja, B. Ravikumar, Raymond Riezman and Michael Sposi
Published as: Mutreja, Piyusha, B. Ravikumar, Raymond Riezman and Michael Sposi (2015), "Price Equalization Does Not Imply Free Trade," Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Review 97 (4): 323-339.
Published as: Mutreja, Piyusha, B. Ravikumar, Raymond Riezman and Michael Sposi (2014), "Price Equalization, Trade Flows, and Barriers to Trade," European Economic Review 70: 383-398.
Abstract: In this paper we show that price equalization alone is not sufficient to establish that there are no barriers to international trade. There are many barrier combinations that deliver price equalization, but each combination implies a different volume of trade. Therefore, in order to make statements about trade barriers it is necessary to know the trade flows. We demonstrate this first theoretically in a simple two-country model. We then extend the result quantitatively to a multicountry model with two sectors. We show that for the case of capital goods trade, barriers have to be large in order to be consistent with the observed trade flows. Our model also implies that capital goods prices look similar across countries, an implication that is consistent with data. Zero barriers to trade in capital goods will deliver price equalization in capital goods, but cannot reproduce the observed trade flows in our model.
Does the IMF's Official Support Affect Sovereign Bonds Maturities?
Abstract: This paper looks at whether the tendency of some governments to borrow short term is reinforced by financial support from the International Monetary Fund. I first present a model of sovereign debt issuance at various maturities featuring endogenous liquidity crises and maturity mismatches due to financial under-development. I use the model to analyse the impact of IMF lending during debt crises on the sovereign's optimal maturity structure. Within the model, although IMF assistance is able to catalyse private flows, this provides incentives for government to issue larger amounts of short-term debt, making the roll-over problem larger. I take the model to the data and find support for the hypothesis that IMF lending leads countries to increase their short-term borrowing. Additionally, I do not find any positive effect of IMF lending on countries' ability to tap international capital markets. These results help explain why a catalytic effect of IMF lending has proved empirically elusive.
Selective Sovereign Defaults
Abstract: Breaches in intercreditor equity are common ground during sovereign debt restructurings. In this paper I explore residence-based breaches by studying patterns of discrimination between residents and foreign creditors during debt restructurings. I frame the analysis with a simple model of a government's strategic decision to differentiate between the servicing of its domestic and its external debt. In the model, the basic trade-off facing the authorities is to default on external debt and in so doing restricting private access to international capital markets or to default on domestic debt, thereby curtailing the banking sector's capacity to lend. I test the model's conclusions by analyzing 11 recent sovereign restructurings. After distinguishing neutral cases where the sovereign treated creditors equitably and instances of discrimination against residents and foreigners, I present evidence in support of the model. The origin of liquidity pressures, the robustness and depth of the banking system and the extent of the corporate sector's reliance on foreign capital markets vis-a-vis domestic credit markets have the potential to explain the patterns of discrimination observed in the data.
Ultra Easy Monetary Policy and the Law of Unintended Consequences
William R. White
Abstract: In this paper, an attempt is made to evaluate the desirability of ultra easy monetary policy by weighing up the balance of the desirable short run effects and the undesirable longer run effects—the unintended consequences. The conclusion is that there are limits to what central banks can do. One reason for believing this is that monetary stimulus, operating through traditional ("flow") channels, might now be less effective in stimulating aggregate demand than previously. Further, cumulative ("stock") effects provide negative feedback mechanisms that over time also weaken both supply and demand. It is also the case that ultra easy monetary policies can eventually threaten the health of financial institutions and the functioning of financial markets, threaten the "independence" of central banks, and can encourage imprudent behavior on the part of governments. None of these unintended consequences is desirable. Since monetary policy is not "a free lunch," governments must therefore use much more vigorously the policy levers they still control to support strong, sustainable and balanced growth at the global level.
Raphael A. Auer, Thomas Chaney and Philip Sauré
Abstract: We document that in the European car industry, exchange rate pass-through is larger for low than for high quality cars. To rationalize this pattern, we develop a model of quality pricing and international trade based on the preferences of Mussa and Rosen (1978). Firms sell goods of heterogeneous quality to consumers that differ in their willingness to pay for quality. Each firm produces a unique quality of the good and enjoys local market power, which depends on the prices and qualities of its closest competitors. The market power of a firm depends on the prices and qualities of its direct competitors in the quality dimension. The top quality firm, being exposed to just one direct competitor, enjoys the highest market power and equilibrium markup. Because higher quality exporters are closer to the technological leader, markups are generally increasing in quality, exporting is relatively more profitable for high quality than for low quality firms, and the degree of exchange rate pass-through is decreasing in quality.
Inflation Dynamics: The Role of Public Debt and Policy Regimes
Saroj Bhattarai, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park
Published as: Bhattarai, Saroj, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park (2014), "Inflation Dynamics: The Role of Public Debt and Policy Regimes," Journal of Monetary Economics 67: 93-108.
Abstract: We investigate the roles of a time-varying inflation target and monetary and fiscal policy stances on the dynamics of inflation in a DSGE model. Under an active monetary and passive fiscal policy regime, inflation closely follows the path of the inflation target and a stronger reaction of monetary policy to inflation decreases the equilibrium response of inflation to non-policy shocks. In sharp contrast, under an active fiscal and passive monetary policy regime, inflation moves in an opposite direction from the inflation target and a stronger reaction of monetary policy to inflation increases the equilibrium response of inflation to non-policy shocks. Moreover, a weaker response of fiscal policy to debt decreases the response of inflation to non-policy shocks. These results are due to variation in the value of public debt that leads to wealth effects on households. Finally, under a passive monetary and passive fiscal policy regime, both monetary and fiscal policy stances affect inflation dynamics, but because of a role for self-fulfilling beliefs due to equilibrium indeterminacy, theory provides no clear answer on the overall behavior of inflation. We characterize these results analytically in a simple model and numerically in a richer quantitative model.
Global Slack as a Determinant of U.S. Inflation
Enrique Martínez-García and Mark A. Wynne
Abstract: Resource utilization, or "slack," is widely held to be an important determinant of inflation dynamics. As the world has become more globalized in recent decades, some have argued that the concept of slack that is relevant is global rather than domestic (the "global slack hypothesis"). This line of argument is consistent with standard New Keynesian theory. However, the empirical evidence is fragile, at best, possibly because of a disconnect between empirical and theory-consistent measures of output gaps.
The Between Firm Effect with Multiproduct Firms
Tuan Anh Luong
Abstract: This paper studies the multi-product firms with two factors of production: unskilled and skilled labor (talent). Creating new products is skill intensive while production is less skill intensive. By introducing these two tasks a firm operates which act as two seemingly sectors, we show here a new effect: an increase in the skilled labor supply, relatively to unskilled labor, could reduce the number of products but increase the average scale per product. The relative strength of this effect depends on the degree of firm heterogeneity and the extent to which we allow multiple product within the firm. Moreover, the survival cut-off can be higher (or lower) if the fixed costs (or the variable costs) are lower. Economic integration influences this survival cut-off-only through the ratio of skilled labor to unskilled labor, but not the market size. This policy is welfare enhancing but the gains might be non uniformly distributed across agents. The paper also sheds light on the pattern of trade with only one industry.
In the Shadow of the United States: The International Transmission Effect of Asset Returns
Kuang-Liang Chang, Nan-Kuang Chen and Charles Ka Yui Leung
Published as: Chang, Kuang-Liang, Nan-Kuang Chen and Charles Ka Yui Leung (2013), "In the Shadow of the United States: The International Transmission Effect of Asset Returns," Pacific Economic Review 18 (1): 1-40.
Abstract: We examine how the fluctuations in financial and housing markets in U.S. affect the asset returns and GDP in Hong Kong. In contrast to the results from linear specifications, which concludes that the U.S. and Hong Kong are virtually delinked in terms of the asset markets, our regime-switching models indicate that the unexpected shock of US stock returns, followed by the TED spread, has the most significant effect on HK asset returns and GDP, typically in the regime with high return and low volatility. For the in-sample one-step-ahead forecasting, US Term spread stands out to be the best predictor.
Global Banks, Financial Shocks and International Business Cycles: Evidence from an Estimated Model
Published as: Kollmann, Robert (2013), "Global Banks, Financial Shocks and International Business Cycles: Evidence from an Estimated Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 45 (s2): 159-195.
Abstract: This paper estimates a two-country model with a global bank, using U.S. and Euro area (EA) data, and Bayesian methods. The estimated model matches key U.S. and EA business cycle statistics. Empirically, a model version with a bank capital requirement outperforms a structure without such a constraint. A loan loss originating in one country triggers a global output reduction. Banking shocks matter more for EA macro variables than for U.S. real activity. During the Great Recession (2007–09), banking shocks accounted for about 20 percent of the fall in U.S. and EA GDP, and for more than half of the fall in EA investment and employment.
Modelling Global Trade Flows: Results from a GVAR Model
Matthieu Bussière, Alexander Chudik and Giulia Sestieri
Abstract: This paper uses a Global Vector Auto-Regression (GVAR) model featuring 21 emerging market and advanced economies to investigate the factors behind the dynamics of global trade flows, with a particular view on the issue of global trade imbalances and on the conditions of their unwinding. The GVAR approach enables us to make two key contributions: first, to model international linkages among a large number of countries, which is a key asset given the diversity of countries and regions involved in global imbalances, and second, to model exports and imports jointly. The latter proves to be very important due to the internationalization of production chains. The model can be used to gauge the effect on trade flows of various scenarios, such as an output shock in the United States, a shock to the US real effective exchange rate and shocks to foreign (e.g., German and Chinese) variables. Results indicate that changes in domestic and foreign demand have a much stronger effect on trade flows than changes in relative trade prices. In addition, we show how the model can be used to monitor trade developments, with an application to the Great Trade Collapse.
Do Good Institutions Promote Counter-Cyclical Macroeconomic Policies?
César Calderón, Roberto Duncan and Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel
Published as: Calderón, César, Roberto Duncan and Klaus Schmidt-Hebbel (2016), "Do Good Institutions Promote Counter-Cyclical Macroeconomic Policies?" Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics 78 (5): 650-670.
Abstract: The literature has argued that developing countries are unable to adopt counter-cyclical monetary and fiscal policies due to financial imperfections and unfavorable politicaleconomy conditions. Using a world sample of 115 industrial and developing countries for 1984–2008, we find that the level of institutional quality plays a key role in countries' ability to implement counter-cyclical macroeconomic policies. The results show that countries with strong (weak) institutions adopt counter- (pro-) cyclical macroeconomic policies, reflected in extended monetary policy and fiscal policy rules. The threshold level of institutional quality at which monetary and fiscal policies are a-cyclical is found to be similar.
Central Bank Credibility and the Persistence of Inflation and Inflation Expectations
J. Scott Davis
Abstract: This paper introduces a model where agents are unsure about the central bank's inflation target. They believe that the central bank's inflation target could lie between two extremes, and their beliefs vary depending on the central bank's stock of credibility. They form the expectations used in price and wage setting using this perceived inflation target, and they use past observations of inflation to update their beliefs about the credibility of the central bank. Thus a series of high inflation observations can lead them to believe (incorrectly) that the central bank has adopted a high target. High inflation expectations are incorporated into price and wage setting decisions, and a transitory shock to inflation can become very persistent. The model with endogenous credibility can match the volatility and persistence of both inflation and measures of long-term inflation expectations that we see in the data. The model is then calibrated to match the observed levels of Federal Reserve credibility in the 1980s and the 2000s. By simply changing the level of credibility, holding all else fixed, the model can explain nearly all of the observed changes in the volatility and persistence of inflation and inflation expectations in the U.S. from the 1980s to today.
The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement
Jörn Kleinert, Julien Martin and Farid Toubal
Published as: Kleinert, Jörn, Julien Martin and Farid Toubal (2015), "The Few Leading the Many: Foreign Affiliates and Business Cycle Comovement," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 7 (4): 134-159.
Abstract: This paper uses microdata on balance sheets, trade, and the nationality of ownership of firms in France to investigate the effect of foreign multinationals on business cycle comovement. We first show that foreign affiliates, which represent a tiny fraction of all firms, are responsible for a high share of employment, value added, and trade both at the national and at the regional levels. We also show that the distribution of foreign affiliates across regions differs with the nationality of the parent. We then show that foreign affiliates increase the comovement of activities between their region of location and their country of ownership. Moreover, we find greater comovement among French regions that have a more similar composition in terms of the nationality of foreign affiliates. These findings suggest that a non-negligible part of business cycle comovement is driven by a few multinational companies, and that the international transmission of shocks is partly due to linkages between affiliates and their foreign parents.
Does Foreign Exchange Intervention Volume Matter?
Rasmus Fatum and Yohei Yamamoto
Abstract: We investigate whether foreign exchange intervention volume matters for the exchange rate effects of intervention. Our investigation employs daily data on Japanese interventions from April 1991 to April 2012 and time-series estimations, nontemporal threshold analysis, as well as binary choice models. We find that intervention volume matters for the effects of intervention, but only to the extent that the exchange rate effect per intervention unit is magnified in a linear sense by the larger intervention amount. This is a policy-relevant finding that also adds to our understanding of how intervention works.
Are Predictable Improvements in TFP Contractionary or Expansionary: Implications from Sectoral TFP?
Deokwoo Nam and Jian Wang
Published as: Nam, Deokwoo and Jian Wang (2014), "Are Predictable Improvements in TFP Contractionary or Expansionary: Implications from Sectoral TFP?" Economics Letters 124 (2): 171-175.
Abstract: We document in the US data: (1) The dominant predictable component of investment-sector TFP is its long-run movements, and a favorable shock to predictable changes in investmentsector TFP induces a broad economic boom that leads actual increases in investment-sector TFP by almost two years, and (2) predictable changes in consumption-sector TFP occur mainly at short forecast horizons, and a favorable shock to such predictable changes leads to immediate reductions in hours worked, investment, and output as well as an immediate rise in consumption-sector TFP. We argue that these documented differences in the responses to shocks to predictable sectoral TFP changes can reconcile the seemingly contradictory findings in Beaudry and Portier (2006) and Barsky and Sims (2011), whose analyses are based on aggregate TFP measures. In addition, we find that shocks to predictable changes in investment-sector TFP account for 50% of business cycle fluctuations in consumption, hours, investment, and output, while shocks to predictable changes in consumption-sector TFP explain only a small fraction of business cycle fluctuations of these aggregate variables.
Hedging Against the Government: A Solution to the Home Asset Bias Puzzle
Tiago C. Berriel and Saroj Bhattarai
Published as: Berriel, Tiago C. and Saroj Bhattarai (2013), "Hedging Against the Government: A Solution to the Home Asset Bias Puzzle," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 5 (1): 102-134.
Abstract: This paper explains two puzzling facts: international nominal bonds and equity portfolios are biased domestically. In our two-country model, holding domestic government nominal debt provides a hedge against shocks to bond returns and the impact on taxes they induce. For this result, only two features are essential: some nominal risk and taxes falling only on domestic agents. A third feature explains why agents choose to hold primarily domestic equity: government spending falls on domestic goods. Then, an increase in government spending raises the returns on domestic equity, providing a hedge against the subsequent increase in taxes. These conclusions are robust to a wide range of preference parameter values and the incompleteness of financial markets. A calibrated version of the model predicts asset holdings that quantitatively match the data.
A Simple Model of Price Dispersion
Published as: Chudik, Alexander (2012), "A Simple Model of Price Dispersion," Economics Letters 117 (1): 344-347.
Abstract: This article considers a simple stock-flow matching model with fully informed market participants. Unlike in the standard matching literature, prices are assumed to be set ex-ante. When sellers pre-commit themselves to sell their products at an advertised price, the unique equilibrium is characterized by price dispersion due to the idiosyncratic match payoffs (in a marketplace with full information). This provides new insights into the price dispersion literature, where price dispersion is commonly assumed to be generated by a costly search of uninformed buyers.
The Perils of Aggregating Foreign Variables in Panel Data Models
Michele Ca' Zorzi, Alexander Chudik and Alistair Dieppe
Abstract: The curse of dimensionality refers to the difficulty of including all relevant variables in empirical applications due to the lack of sufficient degrees of freedom. A common solution to alleviate the problem in the context of open economy models is to aggregate foreign variables by constructing trade-weighted cross-sectional averages. This paper provides two key contributions in the context of static panel data models. The first is to show under what conditions the aggregation of foreign variables (AFV) leads to consistent estimates (as the time dimension T is fixed and the cross section dimension N → ∞). The second is to design a formal test to assess the admissibility of the AFV restriction and to evaluate the small sample properties of the test by undertaking Monte Carlo experiments. Finally, we illustrate an application in the context of the current account empirical literature where the AFV restriction is rejected.
International Reserves and Gross Capital Flows: Dynamics During Financial Stress
Enrique Alberola, Aitor Erce and José Maria Serena
Abstract: This paper explores the role of international reserves as a stabilizer of international capital flows during periods of global financial stress. In contrast with previous contributions, aimed at explaining net capital flows, we focus on the behavior of gross capital flows. We analyze an extensive cross-country quarterly database using event analyses and standard panel regressions. We document significant heterogeneity in the response of resident investors to financial stress and relate it to a previously undocumented channel through which reserves are useful during financial stress. International reserves facilitate financial disinvestment overseas by residents, offsetting the simultaneous drop in foreign financing.
Policy Regimes, Policy Shifts, and U.S. Business Cycles
Saroj Bhattarai, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park
Published as: Bhattarai, Saroj, Jae Won Lee and Woong Yong Park (2016), "Policy Regimes, Policy Shifts, and U.S. Business Cycles," The Review of Economics and Statistics 98 (5): 968-983.
Abstract: Using an estimated DSGE model that features monetary and fiscal policy interactions and allows for equilibrium indeterminacy, we find that a passive monetary and passive fiscal policy regime prevailed in the pre-Volcker period while an active monetary and passive fiscal policy regime prevailed post-Volcker. Since both monetary and fiscal policies were passive pre-Volcker, there was equilibrium indeterminacy which resulted in substantially different transmission mechanisms of policy as compared to conventional models: unanticipated increases in interest rates increased inflation and output while unanticipated increases in lump-sum taxes decreased inflation and output. Unanticipated shifts in monetary and fiscal policies however, played no substantial role in explaining the variation of inflation and output at any horizon in either of the time periods. Pre-Volcker, in sharp contrast to post- Volcker, we find that a time-varying inflation target does not explain low-frequency movements in inflation. A combination of shocks account for the dynamics of output, inflation, and government debt, with the relative importance of a particular shock quite different in the two time-periods due to changes in the systematic responses of policy. Finally, in a counterfactual exercise, we show that had the monetary policy regime of the post-Volcker era been in place pre-Volcker, inflation volatility would have been lower by 34% and the rise of inflation in the 1970s would not have occurred.
Accounting for Real Exchange Rates Using Micro-Data
Mario J. Crucini and Anthony Landry
Abstract: The classical dichotomy predicts that all of the time series variance in the aggregate real exchange rate is accounted for by nontraded goods in the CPI basket because traded goods obey the Law of One Price. In stark contrast, Engel (1999) found that traded goods had comparable volatility to the aggregate real exchange. Our work reconciles these two views by successfully applying the classical dichotomy at the level of intermediate inputs into the production of final goods using highly disaggregated retail price data. Since the typical good found in the CPI basket is about equal parts traded and nontraded inputs, we conclude that the classical dichotomy applied to intermediate inputs restores its conceptual value.
Liquidity, Risk and the Global Transmission of the 2007–08 Financial Crisis and the 2010–11 Sovereign Debt Crisis
Alexander Chudik and Marcel Fratzscher
Abstract: The paper analyses the transmission of liquidity shocks and risk shocks to global financial markets. Using a Global VAR methodology, the findings reveal fundamental differences in the transmission strength and pattern between the 2007–08 financial crisis and the 2010–11 sovereign debt crisis. Unlike in the former crisis, emerging market economies have become much more resilient to adverse shocks in 2010–11. Moreover, a fight-to-safety phenomenon across asset classes has become particularly strong during the 2010–11 sovereign debt crisis, with risk shocks driving down bond yields in key advanced economies. The paper relates this evolving transmission pattern to portfolio choice decisions by investors and finds that countries' sovereign rating, quality of institutions and their financial exposure are determinants of cross-country differences in the transmission.
Financial Markets Forecasts Revisited: Are They Rational, Herding or Bold?
Ippei Fujiwara, Hibiki Ichiue, Yoshiyuki Nakazono and Yosuke Shigemi
Abstract: We test whether professional forecasters forecast rationally or behaviorally using a unique database, QSS Database, which is the monthly panel of forecasts on Japanese stock prices and bond yields. The estimation results show that (i) professional forecasts are behavioral, namely, significantly influenced by past forecasts, (ii) there exists a stock-bond dissonance: while forecasting behavior in the stock market seems to be herding, that in the bond market seems to be bold in the sense that their current forecasts tend to be negatively related to past forecasts, and (iii) the dissonance is due, at least partially, to the individual forecasters' behavior that is influenced by their own past forecasts rather than others. Even in the same country, forecasting behavior is quite different by market.
Bayesian Estimation of NOEM Models: Identification and Inference in Small Samples
Enrique Martínez-García, Diego Vilán and Mark Wynne
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique, Diego Vilán and Mark A. Wynne (2012), "Bayesian Estimation of NOEM Models: Identification and Inference in Small Samples," in DSGE Models in Macroeconomics: Estimation, Evaluation, and New Development, ed. Nathan Balke, Fabio Canova, Fabio Milani and Mark A. Wynne (Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing Limited), 137-199.
Abstract: The global slack hypothesis (e.g., Martínez-García and Wynne ) is central to the discussion of the trade-offs monetary policy faces in an increasingly more open world economy. Open-Economy (forward-looking) New Keynesian Phillips curves describe how expected future inflation and a measure of global output gap (global slack) affect the current inflation rate. This paper studies the (potential) weak identification of these relationships in the context of a fully specified structural model using Bayesian estimation techniques. We trace the problems to sample size, rather than misspecification bias. We conclude that standard macroeconomic time series with a coverage of less than forty years are subject to potentially serious identification issues, and also to model selection errors. We recommend estimation with simulated data prior to bringing the model to the actual data as a way of detecting parameters that are susceptible to weak identification in short samples.
Optimal Monetary Policy in a Two Country Model with Firm-Level Heterogeneity
Abstract: This paper studies non-cooperative monetary policy in a two country general equilibrium model where international economic integration is endogenised through firm-level heterogeneity and monopolistic competition. Economic integration between countries is a source of policy competition, generating higher long-run inflation, and increased gains from monetary cooperation.
Size, Openness, and Macroeconomic Interdependence
Alexander Chudik and Roland Straub
Published as: Chudik, Alexander and R. Straub (2017), "Size, Openness, and Macroeconomic Interdependence," International Economic Review 58 (1): 33-55.
Abstract: The curse of dimensionality, a problem associated with analyzing the interaction of a relatively large number of endogenous macroeconomic variables, is a prevailing issue in the open economy macro literature. The most common practice to mitigate this problem is to apply the so-called Small Open Economy Framework (SOEF). In this paper, we aim to review under which conditions the SOEF is a justifiable approximation and how severe the consequences of violation of key conditions might be. Thereby, we use a multicountry general equilibrium model as a laboratory. First, we derive the conditions that ensure the existence of the equilibrium and study the properties of the equilibrium using large N asymptotics. Second, we show that the SOEF is a valid approximation only for economies (i) that have a diversified foreign trade structure and if (ii) there is no globally dominant economy in the system. Third, we illustrate that macroeconomic interdependence is primarily related to the degree of trade diversification, and not to the extent of trade openness. Furthermore, we provide some evidence on the pattern of global macroeconomic interdependence by calculating probability impulse response functions in our calibrated multicountry model using data for 153 economies.
How Have Global Shocks Impacted the Real Effective Exchange Rates of Individual Euro Area Countries Since the Euro's Creation?
Matthieu Bussiere, Alexander Chudik and Arnaud Mehl
Published as: Bussiere, Matthieu, Alexander Chudik and Arnaud Mehl (2013), "How Have Global Shocks Impacted the Real Effective Exchange Rates of Individual Euro Area Countries Since the Euro's Creation?" The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics 13 (1): 1-48.
Abstract: This paper uncovers the response pattern to global shocks of euro area countries' real effective exchange rates before and after the start of Economic and Monetary Union (EMU), a largely open ended question when the euro was created. We apply to that end a newly developed methodology based on high dimensional VAR theory. This approach features a dominant unit to a large set of over 60 countries' real effective exchange rates and is based on the comparison of two estimated systems: one before and one after EMU. We find strong evidence that the pattern of responses depends crucially on the nature of global shocks. In particular, post-EMU responses to global US dollar shocks have become similar to Germany's response before EMU, i.e. to that of the economy that used to issue Europe's most credible legacy currency. By contrast, post-EMU responses of euro area countries to global risk aversion shocks have become similar to those of Italy, Portugal or Spain before EMU, i.e. of economies of the euro area's periphery. Our findings also suggest that the divergence in external competitiveness among euro area countries over the last decade, which is at the core of today's debate on the future of the euro area, is more likely due to country-specific shocks than to global shocks.
Aggregation in Large Dynamic Panels
M. Hashem Pesaran and Alexander Chudik
Published as: Pesaran, M. Hashem and Alexander Chudik (2014), "Aggregation in Large Dynamic Panels," Journal of Econometrics 178 (Part 2): 273-285.
Abstract: This paper investigates the problem of aggregation in the case of large linear dynamic panels, where each micro unit is potentially related to all other micro units, and where micro innovations are allowed to be cross sectionally dependent. Following Pesaran (2003), an optimal aggregate function is derived and used (i) to establish conditions under which Granger's (1980) conjecture regarding the long memory properties of aggregate variables from "a very large scale dynamic, econometric model" holds, and (ii) to show which distributional features of micro parameters can be identified from the aggregate model. The paper also derives impulse response functions for the aggregate variables, distinguishing between the effects of macro and aggregated idiosyncratic shocks. Some of the findings of the paper are illustrated by Monte Carlo experiments. The paper also contains an empirical application to consumer price inflation in Germany, France and Italy, and re-examines the extent to which "observed" inflation persistence at the aggregate level is due to aggregation and/or common unobserved factors. Our findings suggest that dynamic heterogeneity as well as persistent common factors are needed for explaining the observed persistence of the aggregate inflation.
Thousands of Models, One Story: Current Account Imbalances in the Global Economy
Michele Ca' Zorzi, Alexander Chudik and Alistair Dieppe
Published as: Ca' Zorzi, Michele, Alexander Chudik and Alistair Dieppe (2012), "Thousands of Models, One Story: Current Account Imbalances in the Global Economy," Journal of International Money and Finance 31 (6): 1319-1338.
Abstract: The global financial crisis has led to a revival of the empirical literature on current account imbalances. This paper contributes to that literature by investigating the importance of evaluating model and parameter uncertainty prior to reaching any firm conclusion. We explore three alternative econometric strategies: examining all models, selecting a few, and combining them all. Out of thousands (or indeed millions) of models a story emerges. The chance that current accounts were aligned with fundamentals prior to the financial crisis appears to be minimal.
A Cross-Country Quarterly Database of Real House Prices: A Methodological Note
Adrienne Mack and Enrique Martínez-García
Abstract: We build from (mainly) publicly available national sources a database of (nominal and real) house prices—complemented with data on private disposable income (PDI)—for 19 advanced countries at a quarterly frequency, starting in the first quarter of 1975. We select a house price index for each country that is consistent with the U.S. FHFA quarterly nationwide house price index for existing single-family houses (formerly called OFHEO house price index), and extend the country series back to 1975 with available historical data whenever necessary. Each house price index is seasonallyadjusted over the entire sample period and then rebased to 2005 = 100. The house price indexes are expressed in nominal terms, and also in real terms using the personal consumption expenditure (PCE) deflator of the corresponding country. PDIs are always quoted in per capita terms using working age population of the corresponding country and can be similarly expressed in real terms with the PCE deflator. We aggregate all 19 countries in our database, weighted by their purchasing power parity-adjusted GDP shares in 2005, to compute an average (nominal and real) house price series and an average (nominal and real) per capita PDI series.
Do Mood Swings Drive Business Cycles and is it Rational?
Paul Beaudry, Deokwoo Nam and Jian Wang
Abstract: This paper provides new evidence in support of the idea that bouts of optimism and pessimism drive much of US business cycles. In particular, we begin by using sign-restriction based identification schemes to isolate innovations in optimism or pessimism and we document the extent to which such episodes explain macroeconomic fluctuations. We then examine the link between these identified mood shocks and subsequent developments in fundamentals using alternative identification schemes (i.e., variants of the maximum forecast error variance approach). We find that there is a very close link between the two, suggesting that agents' feelings of optimism and pessimism are at least partially rational as total factor productivity (TFP) is observed to rise 8–10 quarters after an initial bout of optimism. While this later finding is consistent with some previous findings in the news shock literature, we cannot rule out that such episodes reflect self-fulfilling beliefs. Overall, we argue that mood swings account for over 50 percent of business-cycle fluctuations in hours and output.
Immigrant Language Barriers and House Prices
Andreas M. Fischer
Published as: Fischer, Andreas M. (2012), "Immigrant Language Barriers and House Prices," Regional Science and Urban Economics 42 (3): 389-395.
Abstract: Are language skills important in explaining the nexus between house prices and immigrant inflows? The language barrier hypothesis says immigrants from a non common language country value amenities more than immigrants from common language countries. In turn, immigrants from non common language countries are less price sensitive to house price changes than immigrants from a common language country. Tests of the language barrier hypothesis with Swiss house prices show that an immigration inflow from a non common language country equal to 1 percent of an area's population is coincident with an increase in prices for single-family homes of about 4.9 percent. Immigrant inflow from a common language country instead has no statistically significant impact.
A Real-Time Historical Database for the OECD
Adriana Z. Fernandez, Evan F. Koenig and Alex Nikolsko-Rzhevskyy
Abstract: Ongoing economic globalization makes real-time international data increasingly relevant, though little work has been done on collecting and analyzing real-time data for economies other than the U.S. In this paper, we introduce and examine a new international real-time dataset assembled from original quarterly releases of 13 quarterly variables presented in the OECD Main Economic Indicators from 1962 to 1998 for 26 OECD countries. By merging this data with the current OECD real-time dataset, which starts in 1999, researchers get access to a standard, up-to-date resource. To illustrate the importance of using real-time data in macroeconomic analysis, we consider five economic applications analyzed from a real-time perspective.
Borders and Big Macs
Published as: Landry, Anthony (2013), "Borders and Big Mac," Economics Letters 120 (2): 318-322.
Abstract: I measure the extent of international market segmentation using local, national, and international Big Mac prices. I show that the bulk of time-series price volatility observed across the United States arises between neighboring locations. Using these data, I provide new estimates of border frictions for 14 countries. I find that borders generally introduce only small price wedges, far smaller than those observed across neighboring locations. When expressing these wedges in terms of distance equivalents, I find that border widths are small in relation to price variations observed across the United States. This suggests that international markets are well integrated.
Product Durability and Trade Volatility
Dimitra Petropoulou and Kwok Tong Soo
Abstract: One of the main causes behind the trade collapse of 2008–09 was a significant fall in the demand for durable goods. This paper develops a small country, overlapping generations model of international trade in which goods durability gives rise to a more than proportional fall in trade volumes, as observed in 2008–09. The model has three goods—two durable, traded goods and one nondurable, nontraded good and two factors of production. The durability of goods affects consumers' lifetime wealth and their optimal consumption bundle across goods and time periods. A uniform productivity shock reduces consumers' lifetime wealth inducing a re-optimisation away from durables. This gives rise to a more than proportional effect on international trade, provided the nontraded sector is sufficiently capital intensive. The elasticity of trade flows to GDP is found to be increasing in both the degree of durability and the size of the shock. Thus the model provides microfoundations for the asymmetric shock to the demand for durable goods observed in recessions and clarifies the link between this endogenous shift in preferences and international trade flows. It also explains the observation that deeper downturns are associated with a higher elasticity of trade to GDP. Furthermore, the greater the degree of durability of traded goods, the larger is the share of domestically produced goods in consumption, for plausible factor intensities. This provides an alternative explanation for the home bias in consumption, and hence another explanation for Trefler's "missing trade."
How Much Asymmetry Is There in Bond Returns and Exchange Rates?
Ippei Fujiwara, Lena Mareen Körber and Daisuke Nagakura
Abstract: We measure asymmetries in the distribution of bond returns and exchange rates and test their statistical significance. Asymmetries are sizable when measured by the coefficient of skewness, a measure that is highly affected by outliers. In contrast, robustly measured asymmetries to outliers often disagree in sign or size, implying that much of the asymmetries measured by the coefficient of skewness can be attributed to extreme observations. Asymmetries in many government bonds returns are only statistically significant according to tests based on the coefficient of skewness. On the contrary, only tests based on robust measures indicate statistically significant asymmetries in the exchanges rates of Japanese yen, a major funding currency for carry trades, as well as in New Zealand dollar and Australian dollar, major investing currencies for carry trades. This observation suggests that sources of asymmetry in carry trades and in government bond returns can be fundamentally different.
Asian Financial Linkage: Macro-Finance Dissonance
Ippei Fujiwara and Koji Takahashi
Published as: Fujiwara, Ippei and Koji Takahashi (2012), "Asian Financial Linkage: Macro-Finance Dissonance," Pacific Economic Review 17 (1): 136-159.
Abstract: How are Asian financial markets interlinked and how are they linked to markets in developed countries? What is the main driver of fluctuations in Asian financial markets as well as real economic activities? In order to answer these questions, we estimate the spillover index proposed by Diebold and Yilmaz (2009) and gauge the degree of interactions in both financial markets and real economic activities among Asian economies. We first show that the degree of the international spillover in stock markets is like cookie-cutter products, namely, uniform, irrespective of the groups of countries, such as G3, NIEs and ASEAN4. This suggests the importance of the globally common shock in stock markets. We, then, discuss the macro-finance dissonance. In stock and bond markets, the US has been the main driver of fluctuations. Regarding real economic activities, China has emerged as an important source of fluctuations.
Indeterminacy and Forecastability
Ippei Fujiwara and Yasuo Hirose
Published as: Fujiwara, Ippei and Yasuo Hirose (2014), "Indeterminacy and Forecastability," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 46 (1): 243-251.
Abstract: Recent studies document the deteriorating performance of forecasting models during the Great Moderation. This conversely implies that forecastability is higher in the preceding era, when the economy was unexpectedly volatile. We offer an explanation for this phenomenon in the context of equilibrium indeterminacy in dynamic stochastic general equilibrium models. First, we analytically show that a model under indeterminacy exhibits richer dynamics that can improve forecastability. Then, using a prototypical New Keynesian model, we numerically demonstrate that indeterminacy due to passive monetary policy can yield superior forecastability as long as the degree of uncertainty about sunspot fluctuations is relatively small.
A Sentiment-Based Explanation of the Forward Premium Puzzle
Published as: Yu, Jianfeng (2013), "A Sentiment-Based Explanation of the Forward Premium Puzzle," Journal of Monetary Economics 60 (4): 474-491.
Abstract: This paper presents a sentiment-based explanation of the forward premium puzzle. Agents over- or underestimate the growth rate of the economy. All else equal, when perceived domestic growth is higher than perceived foreign growth, the domestic interest rate is higher than the foreign interest rate. At the same time, an econometrician would expect an increase in the home currency value. Together, the model with investor misperception can account for the forward premium puzzle. In addition, it helps explain the low correlation of consumption growth differentials and exchange rate growth and the high stock market correlation across countries, despite a low correlation of fundamentals. Finally, this paper provides direct empirical evidence supporting the mechanism in the sentiment-based explanation.
Financial Integration and International Business Cycle Co-movement: Wealth Effects vs. Balance Sheet Effects
Published as: Davis, J. Scott (2014), "Financial Integration and International Business Cycle Co-movement," Journal of Monetary Economics 64: 99-111.
Abstract: This paper investigates the effect of international financial integration on international business cycle co-movement. We first show with a reduced form empirical approach how capital market integration (equity) has a negative effect on business cycle co-movement while credit market integration (debt) has a positive effect. We then construct a model that can replicate these empirical results. In the model, capital market integration is modeled as crossborder equity ownership and involves wealth effects. Credit market integration is modeled as cross-border borrowing and lending between credit constrained entrepreneurs and banks, and thus involves balance sheet effects. The wealth effect tends to reduce cross-country output correlation, but balance sheet effects serve to increase correlation as a negative shock in one country causes loan losses on the balance sheets of foreign banks. In versions of the model with a financial accelerator and balance sheet effects, credit market integration has a positive effect on cyclical correlation. However, in versions of the model without the financial accelerator and balance sheet effects, credit market integration has a negative effect on cyclical correlation.
Global Asset Pricing
Karen K. Lewis
Abstract: Financial markets have become increasingly global in recent decades, yet the pricing of internationally traded assets continues to depend strongly upon local risk factors, leading to several observations that are difficult to explain with standard frameworks. Equity returns depend upon both domestic and global risk factors. Further, local investors tend to overweight their asset portfolios in local equity. The stock prices of firms that begin to trade across borders increase in response to this information. Foreign exchange markets also display anomalous relationships. The forward rate predicts the wrong sign of future movements in the exchange rate, implying that traders can make profits by borrowing in lower interest rate currencies and investing in higher interest rate currencies. Furthermore, the sign of the foreign exchange premium changes over time, a fact difficult to reconcile with consumption variability. In this review, I describe the implications of the current body of research for addressing these and other global asset pricing challenges.
Currency Blocs in the 21st Century
Abstract: Based on a classification of countries and territories according to their regime and anchor currency choice, the study considers the two major currency blocs of the present world. A nested logit regression suggests that long-term structural economic variables determine a given country's currency bloc affiliation. The dollar bloc differs from the euro bloc in that there exists a group of countries that peg temporarily to the U.S. dollar without having close economic affinities with the bloc. The estimated parameters are consistent with an additive random utility model interpretation. A currency bloc equilibrium in the spirit of Alesina and Barro (2002) is derived empirically.
Do Banking Shocks Matter for the U.S. Economy?
Naohisa Hirakata, Nao Sudo and Kozo Ueda
Published as: Hirakata, Naohisa, Nao Sudo and Kozo Ueda (2011), "Do Banking Shocks Matter for the U.S. Economy?" Journal of International Economic Dynamics and Control 35 (12): 2042-2063.
Abstract: The quantitative significance of shocks to the financial intermediary (FI) has not received much attention up to now. We estimate a DSGE model with what we describe as chained credit contracts, using Bayesian technique. In the model, credit-constrained FIs intermediate funds from investors to credit-constrained entrepreneurs through two types of credit contract. We find that the shocks to the FIs' net worth play an important role in the investment dynamics, accounting for 17 percent of its variations. In particular, in the Great Recession, they are the key determinants of the investment declines, accounting for 36 percent of the variations.
Optimal Monetary Policy Under Financial Sector Risk
Scott Davis and Kevin X.D. Huang
Abstract: We consider whether or not a central bank should respond directly to financial market conditions when setting monetary policy. Specifically, should a central bank put weight on interbank lending spreads in its Taylor rule policy function? Using a model with risk and balance sheet effects in both the real and financial sectors (Davis, "The Adverse Feedback Loop and the Effects of Risk in the both the Real and Financial Sectors" Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper No. 66, November 2010) we find that when the conventional parameters in the Taylor rule (the coefficients on the lagged interest rate, inflation, and the output gap) are optimally chosen, the central bank should not put any weight on endogenous fluctuations in the interbank lending spread. However, the central bank should adjust the risk free rate in response to fluctuations in the spread that occur because of exogenous financial shocks, but we find that the central bank should not be too aggressive in its easing policy. Optimal policy calls for a two-thirds of a percentage point cut in the risk free rate in response to a financial shock that causes a one percentage point increase in interbank lending spreads.
Sharing the Burden: Monetary and Fiscal Responses to a World Liquidity Trap
David Cook and Michael B. Devereux
Published as: Cook, David and Michael B. Devereux (2013), "Sharing the Burden: Monetary and Fiscal Responses to a World Liquidity Trap," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 5 (3): 190-228.
Abstract: With integrated trade and financial markets, a collapse in aggregate demand in a large country can cause "natural real interest rates" to fall below zero in all countries, giving rise to a global "liquidity trap." This paper explores the optimal policy response to this type of shock, when governments cooperate on both fiscal and monetary policy. Adjusting to a large negative demand shock requires raising world aggregate demand, as well as redirecting demand towards the source (home) country. The key feature of demand shocks in a liquidity trap is that relative prices respond perversely. A negative shock causes an appreciation of the home terms of trade, exacerbating the slump in the home country. At the zero bound, the home country cannot counter this shock. Because of this, it may be optimal for the foreign policymaker to raise interest rates. Strikingly, the foreign country may choose to have a positive policy interest rate, even though its natural real interest rate is below zero. A combination of relatively tight monetary policy in the foreign country combined with substantial fiscal expansion in the home country achieves the desired mix in terms of the level and composition of world expenditure. Thus, in response to conditions generating a global liquidity trap, there is a critical mutual interaction between monetary and fiscal policy.
Price Setting in a Leading Swiss Online Supermarket
Martin Berka, Michael B. Devereux and Thomas Rudolph
Abstract: We study a newly released data set of scanner prices for food products in a large Swiss online supermarket. We find that average prices change about every two months, but when we exclude temporary sales, prices are extremely sticky, changing on average once every three years. Non-sale price behavior is broadly consistent with menu cost models of sticky prices. When we focus specifically on the behavior of sale prices, however, we find that the characteristics of price adjustment seems to be substantially at odds with standard theory.
Oil Shocks through International Transport Costs: Evidence from U.S. Business Cycles
Abstract: The effects of oil shocks on output volatility through international transport costs are investigated in an open-economy DSGE model. Two versions of the model, with and without international transport costs, are structurally estimated for the U.S. economy by a Bayesian approach for moving windows of ten years. For model selection, the posterior odds ratios of the two versions are compared for each ten-year window. The version with international transport costs is selected during periods of high volatility in crude oil prices. The contribution of international transport costs to the volatility of U.S. GDP has been estimated as high as 36 percent during periods of oil crises.
Lessons for Monetary Policy: What Should the Consensus Be?
Abstract: This paper outlines important lessons for monetary policy. In particular, the role of inflation targeting, which was much acclaimed prior to the financial crisis and since then has not lost much of its endorsement, is critically reviewed. Ignoring the relation between monetary policy and asset prices, as is the case in this monetary policy approach, can lead to financial instability. In contrast, giving, inter alia, monetary factors a role in central banks' policy decisions, as is done in the ECB's encompassing approach, helps prevent these potentially harmful side effects and thus allows for fostering financial stability. Finally, this paper makes a case against increasing the central banks' inflation target.
Monetary Policy, Capital Inflows, and the Housing Boom
Filipa Sá and Tomasz Wieladek
Abstract: We estimate an open economy VAR model to quantify the effect of monetary policy and capital inflows shocks on the US housing market. The shocks are identified with sign restrictions derived from a standard DSGE model. We find that monetary policy shocks have a limited effect on house prices and residential investment. In contrast, capital inflows shocks driven by an increase in foreign savings have a positive and persistent effect on both housing variables. Other sources of capital inflows shocks, such as foreign monetary expansion or an increase in aggregate demand in the US, have a more limited role.
Low Interest Rates and Housing Booms: the Role of Capital Inflows, Monetary Policy and Financial Innovation
Filipa Sá, Pascal Towbin and Tomasz Wieladek
Abstract: A number of OECD countries experienced an environment of low interest rates and a rapid Increase in real house prices and residential investment during the past decade. Different explanations have been suggested for the housing boom: expansionary monetary policy, capital inflows due to a global savings glut and excessive financial innovation combined with inappropriately lax financial regulation. In this study we examine the effects of these three factors on the housing market. We estimate a panel VAR for a sample of OECD countries and identify monetary policy and capital inflows shocks using sign restrictions. To explore how the effects of these shocks change with the structure of the mortgage market and the degree of securitization, we allow the VAR coefficients to vary with mortgage market characteristics. Our results suggest that both types of shocks have a significant and positive effect on real house prices, real credit to the private sector and residential investment. The response of housing variables to both types of shocks is stronger in countries with more developed mortgage markets. The amplification effect of mortgage-backed securitization is particularly strong for capital inflows shocks.
Welfare Costs of Inflation and the Circulation of U.S. Currency Abroad
Alessandro Calza and Andrea Zaghini
Published as: Calza, Alessandro and Andrea Zaghini (2011), "Welfare Costs of Inflation and the Circulation of U.S. Currency Abroad," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics: Topics in Macroeconomics 2011 (1), Article 12.
Abstract: Empirical studies of the "shoe-leather" costs of inflation are typically computed using M1 as a measure of money. Yet, official data on M1 includes all currency issued, regardless of the country of residence of the holder. Using monetary data adjusted for U.S. dollars abroad, we show that the failure to control for currency held by nonresidents may lead to significantly overestimating the shoe-leather costs for the domestic economy. In particular, our estimates of shoe-leather costs are minimized for a positive but moderate value of the inflation rate, thereby justifying a deviation from the Friedman rule in favor of the Fed's current policy.
Export Basket and the Effects of Exchange Rates on Exports—Why Switzerland Is Special
Raphael Auer and Philip Saure
Abstract: Why has Swiss export performance been so strong during the past quarters despite the strong appreciation of the CHF? In this paper, we use historical data on exchange rates and trade at the sectoral level to document that a contributing factor behind the limited impact of the exchange rate is the unique composition of Swiss exports. In particular, we document that the Swiss export basket is heavily concentrated in price-insensitive goods such as machinery or pharmaceuticals, where prices and thus the exchange rate have relatively little importance for demand. This makes the aggregate volume of Swiss exports less responsive to exchange rate changes than exports of other OECD nations.
Information Costs, Networks and Intermediation in International Trade
Abstract: This paper is motivated by the observation that intermediaries play an important role in international trade. The matching role of intermediaries is examined in a pairwise matching model with two-sided information asymmetry, where intermediaries develop contacts. Intermediation expands the set of matching technologies available to traders, while convexity in network-building costs with respect to network size gives rise to both direct and indirect trade in equilibrium. The trade pattern depends on the relative responsiveness of the direct and indirect matching technologies to information costs, which for some parameter values generates a non-monotonic relationship between information frictions and trade.
International Liquidity Provision During the Financial Crisis: A View From Switzerland
Raphael Auer and Sébastien Kraenzlin
Abstract: We document the provision of CHF liquidity by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to banks domiciled outside Switzerland during the recent financial crisis. What makes the Swiss case special is the size of this liquidity provision—making up 80 percent of all short term CHF liquidity provided by the SNB—and also the measures that were adopted to distribute this liquidity. In addition to making CHF available to other central banks via SWAP facilities, the SNB also allows banks domiciled outside Switzerland to directly participate in its REPO transactions. Although this policy was adopted for reasons that predate the financial crisis, during the crisis it proved tremendously helpful as it gave the European banking system direct access to the primary funding facility for CHF.
A Redux of the Workhorse NOEM Model with Capital Accumulation and Incomplete Asset Markets
Abstract: I build a symmetric two-country model that incorporates nominal rigidities, local-currency pricing and monopolistic competition distorting the goods markets. The model is similar to the framework developed in Martínez-García and Søndergaard (2008a, 2008b), but it also introduces frictions in the assets markets by restricting the financial assets available to two uncontingent nominal bonds in zero-net supply and by adding quadratic costs on international borrowing (see, e.g., Benigno and Thoenissen (2008) and Benigno (2009). The technical part of the paper contains three basic calculations. First, I derive the equilibrium conditions of the open economy model under local-currency pricing and incomplete asset markets. Second, I compute the zero-inflation (deterministic) steady state and discuss what happens with a non-zero net foreign asset position. Third, I derive the log-linearization of the equilibrium conditions around the deterministic steady state. The quantitative part of the paper aims to give a broad overview of the role that incomplete international asset markets can play in accounting for the persistence and volatility of the real exchange rate. I find that the simulation of the incomplete and complete asset markets models is almost indistinguishable whenever the business cycle is driven primarily by either nonpersistent monetary or persistent productivity (but not permanent) shocks. In turn, asset market incompleteness has more sizeable wealth effects whenever the cycle is driven by persistent (but not permanent) investment-specific technology shocks, resulting in significantly lower real exchange rate volatility.
Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices
Saroj Bhattarai and Raphael Schoenle
Published as: Bhattarai, Saroj and Raphael Schoenle (2014), "Multiproduct Firms and Price-Setting: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Producer Prices," Journal of Monetary Economics 66: 178-192.
Abstract: In this paper, we establish three new facts about price-setting by multiproduct firms and contribute a model that can explain our findings. Our findings have important implications for real effects of nominal shocks and provide guidance for how to model pricing decisions of firms. On the empirical side, using micro-data on U.S. producer prices, we first show that firms selling more goods adjust their prices more frequently but on average by smaller amounts. Moreover, the higher the number of goods, the lower is the fraction of positive price changes and the more dispersed the distribution of price changes. Second, we document substantial synchronization of price changes within firms across products and show that synchronization plays a dominant role in explaining pricing dynamics. Third, we find that within-firm synchronization of price changes increases as the number of goods increases. On the theoretical side, we present a state-dependent pricing model where multiproduct firms face both aggregate and idiosyncratic shocks. When we allow for firm-specific menu costs and trend inflation, the model matches the empirical findings.
Global Banking and International Business Cycles
Robert Kollmann, Zeno Enders and Gernot J. Müller
Published as: Kollmann, Robert, Zeno Enders and Gernot J. Müller (2011), "Global Banking and International Business Cycles," European Economic Review 55 (3): 407-426.
Abstract: This paper incorporates a global bank into a two-country business cycle model. The bank collects deposits from households and makes loans to entrepreneurs, in both countries. It has to finance a fraction of loans using equity. We investigate how such a bank capital requirement affects the international transmission of productivity and loan default shocks. Three findings emerge. First, the bank's capital requirement has little effect on the international transmission of productivity shocks. Second, the contribution of loan default shocks to business cycle fluctuations is negligible under normal economic conditions. Third, an exceptionally large loan loss originating in one country induces a sizeable and simultaneous decline in economic activity in both countries. This is particularly noteworthy, as the 2007–09 global financial crisis was characterized by large credit losses in the US and a simultaneous sharp output reduction in the U.S. and the euro Area. Our results thus suggest that global banks may have played an important role in the international transmission of the crisis.
Vertical Specialization, Intermediate Tariffs, and the Pattern of Trade: Assessing the Role of Tariff Liberalization to U.S. Bilateral Trade 1989–2001
Abstract: How important are intermediate tariffs in determining trade patterns? Empirical work measuring the impact of tariff liberalization most commonly focuses on the effects of barriers imposed by importers, but exporter trade policy should also matter when exports are produced with imported intermediates. Guided by extensions of the Eaton and Kortum (2002) model, I study the impact of trade liberalizations on U.S. bilateral trade from 1989–2001. I estimate the impact on U.S. bilateral trade flows of both intermediate tariffs imposed by countries exporting to the United States and U.S. tariffs. My empirical estimates suggest that, especially for less developed countries, their own liberalizations have been quantitatively much more important in explaining changes in bilateral trade patterns, on average 4.2 times larger than the impact of U.S. liberalizations. For the entire sample of countries, countries' own liberalizations have been 2.2 times more important.
Exchange Rate Pass-through: Evidence Based on Vector Autoregression with Sign Restrictions
Lian An and Jian Wang
Published as: An, Lisa and Jian Wang (2012), "Exchange Rate Pass-through: Evidence Based on Vector Autoregression with Sign Restrictions," Open Economies Review 23 (2): 359-380.
Abstract: We estimate exchange rate pass-through (PT) into import, producer and consumer price indexes for nine OECD countries, using a method proposed by Uhlig (2005). In a Vector Autoregression (VAR) model, we identify the exchange rate shock by imposing restrictions on the signs of impulse responses for a small subset of variables. These restrictions are consistent with a large class of theoretical models and previous empirical findings. We find that exchange rate PT is less than one at both short and long horizons. Among three price indexes, exchange rate PT is greatest for import price index and smallest for consumer price index. In addition, greater exchange rate PT is found in an economy which has a smaller size, higher import share, more persistent exchange rate, more volatile monetary policy, higher inflation rate, and less volatile aggregate demand.
What Can EMU Countries' Sovereign Bond Spreads Tell Us About Market Perceptions of Default Probabilities During the Recent Financial Crisis?
Niko Dötz and Christoph Fisher
Abstract: This paper presents a new approach to analysing recent movements of EMU sovereign bond spreads. Based on a GARCH-in-mean model originally used in the exchange rate target zone literature, spreads are decomposed into a risk premium, an expected loss component and a liquidity premium. Time-varying probabilities of default are derived. The results suggest that the rise in sovereign spreads during the recent financial crisis mainly reflects an increased expected loss component. In addition, the rescue of Bear Stearns in March 2008 seems to mark a change in market perceptions of sovereign bond risk. The government bonds of some countries lost their former role as a safe haven. While price competitiveness always helps to explain sovereign spreads, it increasingly moved into investors' focus as financial sector soundness weakened.
Exchange Rate Pass-Through, Domestic Competition and Inflation: Evidence from the 2005/08 Revaluation of the Renminbi
Published as: Auer, Raphael (2015), "Exchange Rate Pass-Through, Domestic Competition and Inflation: Evidence from the 2005-08 Revaluation of the Renminbi," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 47 (8): 1617-1650.
Abstract: How important is the effect of exchange rate fluctuations on the competitive environment faced by domestic firms and the prices they charge? To answer this question, this paper examines the 17 percent appreciation of the yuan against the U.S. dollar from 2005 to 2008. In a monthly panel covering 110 sectors, a 1 percent appreciation of the Yuan increases U.S. import prices by roughly 0.8 percent. It is then shown that import prices, in turn, pass through into producer prices at an average rate of roughly 0.7, implying that a 1 percent Yuan appreciation increases the average U.S. producer price of tradable goods by 0.8 percent*0.7=0.56 percent. In contrast, exchange rate movements of other trade partners have much smaller effects on import prices and hardly any effect on producer prices. The paper next demonstrates that the pass through response into import prices is heterogeneous across sectors with different characteristics such as traded-input intensity or the shape of demand for the sector's goods. In contrast, the rate at which import prices pass through into domestic producer prices is found to be homogenous across the sectors. Finally, the insights of the analysis are employed to simulate the inflationary effect of a Yuan revaluation. For example, the relative price shock caused by a 25 percent appreciation of the Yuan spread evenly over 10 months is equivalent to a temporary increase of the U.S. PPI inflation rate by over five percentage points. Because such an appreciation would also influence the overall skewness of the distribution of price changes at the sectoral level, it would likely also impact U.S. equilibrium inflation.
Teams of Rivals: Endogenous Markups in a Ricardian World
Beatriz de Blas and Katheryn Niles Russ
Abstract: We show that an ostensibly disparate set of stylized facts regarding firm pricing behavior can arise in a Ricardian model with Bertrand competition. Generalizing the Bernard, Eaton, Jenson, and Kortum (2003) model allows firms' markups over marginal cost to fall under trade liberalization, but increase with FDI, matching empirical studies in international trade. We are able to mesh this dichotomy with the existence of pricing-to-market and imperfect pass-through, as well as to capture stylized facts regarding the frequency and synchronization of price adjustment across markets. The result is a well specified distribution for markups that previously could only be seen numerically and a way to quantify endogenous pricing rigidities emerging from a market structure governed by fierce competition among rivals.
The Adverse Feedback Loop and the Effects of Risk in Both the Real and Financial Sectors
Abstract: Recessions that are accompanied by financial crises tend to be more severe and are followed by slower recoveries than ordinary recessions. This paper introduces a new Keynesian model with financial frictions on both the demand and supply side of the credit markets that can explain this empirical finding. Following a shock that leads to a decline in economic activity, an adverse feedback loop arises where falling profits and asset values lead to increased defaults in the real sector, and these increased defaults lead to increased loan losses in the banking sector. Following this increase in loan losses, financial frictions in the banking sector imply that the banking sector itself may face difficulty obtaining funds. This disruption in the intermediation process leads to a further decline in output and asset prices in the real sector. In simulations of the model it is found that this feedback loop operating through the balance sheets of financial intermediaries can lead to as much as a 20 percent increase in business cycle volatility, and impulse response analysis shows that in the presence of financial frictions the path back to the steady state after a shock is much slower.
Globalization and Inflation in Europe
Raphael Auer, Kathrin Degen and Andreas M. Fischer
Published as: Auer, Raphael, Kathrin Degen and Andreas M. Fischer (2013), "Low-wage Import Competition, Inflationary Pressure, and Industry Dynamics in Europe," European Economic Review 59: 141-166.
Abstract: What is the impact of import competition from other low-wage countries (LWCs) on inflationary pressure in Western Europe? This paper seeks to understand whether labor-intensive exports from emerging Europe, Asia, and other global regions have a uniform impact on producer prices in Germany, France, Italy, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. In a panel covering 110 (4-digit) NACE industries from 1995 to 2008, IV estimates predict that LWC import competition is associated with strong price effects. More specifically, when Chinese exporters capture 1 percent of European market share, producer prices decrease about 2 percent. In contrast, no effect is present for import competition from low-wage countries in Central and Eastern Europe.
The Effects of News About Future Productivity on International Relative Prices: An Empirical Investigation
Deokwoo Nam and Jian Wang
Abstract: In this paper, we find that expected (news) and unexpected (contemporaneous) components of productivity changes have opposite effects on the U.S. real exchange rate. Following Barsky and Sims' (2010) identification method, we decompose U.S. total factor productivity (TFP) into news and contemporaneous productivity changes. The U.S. real exchange rate appreciates following a favorable news shock to TFP, while it depreciates in response to a positive contemporaneous shock. In addition, the identified news TFP shocks play a much more important role than the identified contemporaneous TFP shocks in driving the U.S. real exchange rate. These findings provide empirical guidance to important international macroeconomic issues, such as the international transmission of productivity shocks and the modeling of exchange rate volatility.
Export Shocks and the Zero Bound Trap
Abstract: When a small open economy experiences a sufficiently large negative export shock, it is vulnerable to falling into a zero bound trap. In addition, such a shock can have very large impact on the economy compared to the case when the zero bound is not a binding constraint. This could be one possible explanation as to why a country like Japan experienced much larger drop in output than the United States during the recent financial crisis.
Real Exchange Rate Dynamics Revisited: A Case with Financial Market Imperfections
Ippei Fujiwara and Yuki Teranishi
Published as: Fujiwara, Ippei and Yuki Teranishi (2011), "Real Exchange Rate Dynamics Revisited: A Case with Financial Market Imperfections," Journal of International Money and Finance 30 (7): 1562-1589.
Abstract: In this paper, we investigate the relationship between real exchange rate dynamics and financial market imperfections. For this purpose, we first construct a New Open Economy Macroeconomics (NOEM) model that incorporates staggered loan contracts as a simple form of the financial market imperfections. Our model with such a financial market friction replicates persistent, volatile, and realistic hump-shaped responses of real exchange rates, which have been thought very difficult to materialize in standard NOEM models. Remarkably, these realistic responses can materialize even with both supply and demand shocks, such as cost-push, loan rate and monetary policy shocks. This implies that the financial market developments is a key element for understanding real exchange rate dynamics.
Understanding the Effect of Productivity Changes on International Relative Prices: The Role of News Shocks
Deokwoo Nam and Jian Wang
Abstract: The terms of trade and the real exchange rate of the U.S. appreciate when the U.S. labor productivity increases relative to the rest of the world. This finding is at odds with predictions from standard international macroeconomic models. In this paper, we find that incorporating news shocks to total factor productivity (TFP) in an otherwise standard dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model with variable capital utilization can help the model replicate the above empirical finding. Labor productivity increases in our model after a positive news shock to TFP because of an increase in capital utilization. Under some plausible calibrations, the wealth effect of good news about future productivity can increase domestic demand strongly and induce an increase in home prices relative to foreign prices.
International Real Business Cycles with Endogenous Markup Variability
Scott Davis and Kevin X.D. Huang
Published as: Davis, Scott and Kevin X.D. Huang (2011), "International Real Business Cycles with Endogenous Markup Variability," Journal of International Economics 85 (2): 302-316.
Abstract: The aggregate impact of decisions made at the level of the individual firm has recently attracted a lot of attention in both the macro and trade literatures. We adapt the benchmark international real business cycle model to a game-theoretic environment to add a channel for the strategic interaction among domestic and foreign firms. We show how the sum of strategic pricing decisions made at the level of the individual firm can have significant effects on the volatility and cross country co-movement of GDP and its components. Specifically we show that the addition of this one channel for strategic interaction leads to a significant increase in the cross-country co-movement of production and investment, as well as a significant decrease in the volatility of investment and the trade balance over the benchmark IRBC model.
Are the Intraday Effects of Central Bank Intervention on Exchange Rate Spreads Asymmetric and State Dependent?
Rasmus Fatum, Jesper Pedersen, Peter Norman Sørensen
Abstract: This paper investigates the intraday effects of unannounced foreign exchange intervention on bid-ask exchange rate spreads using official intraday intervention data provided by the Danish central bank. Our starting point is a simple theoretical model of the bid-ask spread which we use to formulate testable hypotheses regarding how unannounced intervention purchases and intervention sales influence the market asymmetrically. To test these hypotheses we estimate weighted least squares (WLS) time-series models of the intraday bid-ask spread. Our main result is that intervention purchases and sales both exert a significant influence on the exchange rate spread, but in opposite directions: intervention purchases of the smaller currency, on average, reduce the spread while intervention sales, on average, increase the spread. We also show that intervention only affects the exchange rate spread when the state of the market is not abnormally volatile. Our results are consistent with the notion that illiquidity arises when traders fear speculative pressure against the smaller currency and confirms the asymmetry hypothesis of our theoretical model.
Banking Globalization and International Business Cycles
Published as: Ueda, Kozo (2012), "Banking Globalization and International Business Cycles: Cross-border Chained Credit Contracts and Financial Accelerators," Journal of International Economics 86 (1): 1-16.
Abstract: This paper constructs a two-country DSGE model to study the nature of the recent financial crisis and its effects that spread immediately throughout the world owing to the globalization of banking. In the model, financial intermediaries (FIs) enter into chained credit contracts at home and abroad, engaging in cross-border lending to entrepreneurs by undertaking crossborder borrowing from investors. The FIs as well as the entrepreneurs in two countries are credit constrained, so all of their net worths matter. Our model reveals that under FIs' globalization, adverse shocks that hit one country affect the other, yielding business-cycle synchronization on both the real and financial sides. It also suggests that the FIs' globalization, net worth shock, and credit constraints are key to understanding the recent financial crisis.
Foreign Exchange Intervention When Interest Rates Are Zero: Does the Portfolio Balance Channel Matter After All?
Abstract: The Japanese zero-interest rate period provides a "natural experiment" for investigating the effectiveness and transmission channels of sterilized intervention when traditional monetary policy options are constrained. This paper takes advantage of the fact that all interventions in the JPY/USD market during the zero-interest rate period are sterilized sales of JPY and, therefore, none of these interventions can signal a future interest rate decrease. In order to further assess through which transmission channel these interventions work, the analysis integrates official daily Japanese intervention data with a comprehensive set of rumors data that capture interventions of which the market is aware. Market awareness is a necessary condition for intervention to disseminate information and work through channels other than the portfolio balance channel. The results of the time series analysis show that intervention, on average, induces a statistically and economically significant same-day depreciation of the JPY. Market awareness is shown to be unimportant. Consequently, the effects of Japanese interventions during the zero-interest rate period are consistent only with the portfolio balance channel. This is a remarkable finding, demonstrating that sterilized intervention is, in principle, an independent policy instrument.
Global Liquidity Trap
Ippei Fujiwara, Nao Sudo, Tomoyuki Nakajima, Yuki Teranishi
Published as: Fujiwara, Ippei, Tomoyuki Nakajima, Nao Sudo and Yuki Teranishi (2013), "Global Liquidity Trap," Journal of Monetary Economics 60 (8): 936-949.
Abstract: In this paper we consider a two-country New Open Economy Macroeconomics model, and analyze the optimal monetary policy when countries cooperate in the face of a "global liquidity trap"— i.e., a situation where the two countries are simultaneously caught in liquidity traps. The notable features of the optimal policy in the face of a global liquidity trap are history dependence and international dependence. The optimality of history dependent policy is confirmed as in local liquidity trap. A new feature of monetary policy in global liquidity trap is whether or not a country's nominal interest rate is hitting the zero bound affects the target inflation rate of the other country. The direction of the effect depends on whether goods produced in the two countries are Edgeworth complements or substitutes. We also compare several classes of simple interest-rate rules. Our finding is that targeting the price level yields higher welfare than targeting the inflation rate, and that it is desirable to let the policy rate of each country respond not only to its own price level and output gap, but also to those in the other country.
Income Differences and Prices of Tradables
Abstract: This paper presents novel evidence of price discrimination, using prices of identical goods in 28 countries. I explain the observed phenomenon via non-homothetic preferences, in a model of trade with product differentiation and firm productivity heterogeneity. The model brings theory and data closer along a key dimension: it generates positively related prices of tradables and income, while preserving exporter behavior and trade flows of existing frameworks. It further captures observations that richer countries buy more per product and consume more diverse bundles. Quantitatively, the model suggests that variable markups account for 80 percent of the positive price-income relationship across 123 countries.
Some Alternative Perspectives on Macroeconomic Theory and Some Policy Implications
William R. White
Published as: White, William R. (2010), "The Mayekawa Lecture: Some Alternative Perspectives on Macroeconomic Theory and Some Policy Implications," Monetary and Economic Studies 28: 35-58.
Abstract: The macroeconomic theories and models favoured by academics, as well as those used more commonly by policymakers, effectively rule out by assumption economic and financial crises of the sort we are living through. In particular, the longer run dangers posed by the rapid expansion of credit and resulting private sector balance sheet developments were inadequately appreciated. As a result, the current crisis was neither anticipated nor prepared for, and the crisis was also less well managed than it might have been. At the level of macroeconomic theory and modelling, this experience suggests that basic Keynesian insights need to be complemented by some insights from the Austrian school as well as those of Minsky. Demand factors are important, but so too are supply side and financial considerations. Such a synthesis provides a reasonable explanation of the crisis and points to some of the difficulties likely to be faced in emerging from it. As for the policy implications in current circumstances, it needs to be better recognized that policies with positive short run effects can have negative effects over a longer time period. If, as a result, fiscal and monetary expansion have now reached their limits in some countries, supply side policies must be given greater emphasis. These would include measures to encourage investment, both private and public, as well as other structural measures to raise the potential growth rate of the economy. Such measures, along with more decisive efforts to reduce the "headwinds" of over indebtedness, should with time provide the foundations for a sustainable economic recovery.
Trends in U.S. Hours and the Labor Wedge
Simona E. Cociuba and Alexander Ueberfeldt
Abstract: From 1980 until 2007, U.S. average hours worked increased by 13 percent, due to a large increase in female hours. At the same time, the U.S. labor wedge, measured as the discrepancy between a representative household's marginal rate of substitution between consumption and leisure and the marginal product of labor, declined substantially. We examine these trends in a model with heterogeneous households: married couples, single males and single females. Our quantitative analysis shows that the shrinking gender wage gaps and increasing labor income taxes observed in U.S. data are key determinants of hours and the labor wedge. Changes in our model's labor wedge are driven by distortionary taxes and non-distortionary factors, such as cross-sectional differences in households' labor supply and productivity. We conclude that the labor wedge measured from a representative household model partly reflects imperfect household aggregation.
Financial Globalization, Financial Frictions and Optimal Monetary Policy
Ester Faia and Eleni Iliopulos
Abstract: How should monetary policy be optimally designed in an environment with high degrees of financial globalization? To answer this question we lay down an open economy model where net lending toward the rest of the world is constrained by a collateral constraint motivated by limited enforcement. Borrowing is secured by collateral in the form of durable goods whose accumulation is subject to adjustment costs. We demonstrate that, although this economy can generate persistent current account deficits, it can also deliver a stationary equilibrium. The comparison between different monetary policy regimes (floating versus pegged) shows that the impossible trinity is reversed: a higher degree of financial globalization, by inducing more persistent and volatile current account deficits, calls for exchange rate stabilization. Finally, we study the design of optimal (Ramsey) monetary policy. In this environment the policy maker faces the additional goal of stabilizing exchange rate movements, which exacerbate fluctuations in the wedges induced by the collateral constraint. In this context optimality requires deviations from price stability and calls for exchange rate stabilization.
The Fiscal Multiplier and Spillover in a Global Liquidity Trap
Ippei Fujiwara and Kozo Ueda
Published as: Fujiwara, Ippei and Kozo Ueda (2013), "The Fiscal Multiplier and Spillover in a Global Liquidity Trap," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 37 (7): 1264-1283.
Abstract: We consider the fiscal multiplier and spillover in an environment in which two countries are caught simultaneously in a liquidity trap. Using an optimizing two-country sticky price model, we show that the fiscal multiplier and spillover are contrary to those predicted in textbook economics. For the country with government expenditure, the fiscal multiplier exceeds one, the currency depreciates, and the terms of trade worsen. The fiscal spillover is negative if the intertemporal elasticity of substitution in consumption is less than one and positive if the parameter is greater than one. Incomplete stabilization of marginal costs due to the existence of the zero lower bound is a crucial factor in understanding the effects of fiscal policy in open economies.
Measuring Business Cycles by Saving for a Rainy Day
Mario J. Crucini and Mototsugu Shintani
Abstract: We propose a simple saving-based measure of the cyclical component in GDP. The measure is motivated by the prediction that the representative consumer changes savings in response to temporary deviations of income from its stochastic trend, while satisfying a present-value budget constraint. To evaluate our procedure, we employ the bivariate error correction model of Cochrane (1994) to the member countries of the G-7 and Australia. Our estimates reveal, that to a close approximation, the stochastic trend component of GDP is consumption and the transitory component is the error correction term, which justifies the use of our saving-based measure.
Asymmetries and State Dependence: The Impact of Macro Surprises on Intraday Exchange Rates
Rasmus Fatum, Michael Hutchison and Thomas Wu
Published as: Fatum, Rasmus, Michael Hutchison and Thomas Wu (2012), "Asymmetries and State Dependence: The Impact of Macro Surprises on Intraday Exchange Rates," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies 26 (4): 542-560.
Abstract: The impact of news surprises on exchange rates depends in principle upon a number of factors including the state of the economy, institutional setting and nature of the expected policy response. These characteristics may lead to state-contingent asymmetric responses to news. In this paper we investigate the possible asymmetric response of intraday exchange rates (5-minute intraday JPY/USD) to macroeconomic news announcements during a very unusual period—Japan during 1999–2006 when the money market interest rate was effectively zero. We may think of this period as a "natural experiment" consisting of an institutional setting when interest rates may rise but not decline, thereby constraining both endogenous policy reactions to news and private market expectations. Asymmetric responses to news, to the extent that they are important in exchange rate markets as they are in equity markets, would seem particularly likely to be evident during this period. We consider several ways asymmetric responses may be manifested and linked to macroeconomic news during the zero-interest rate period. We assess whether the intraday exchange rate responds differently depending on whether the news is emanating from Japan or the U.S.; we consider the state of the business cycle; and we distinguish between "good" and "bad" news.
Does Foreign Exchange Reserve Decumulation Lead to Currency Appreciation?
Kathryn M.E. Dominguez, Rasmus Fatum and Pavel Vacek
Abstract: Many developing countries have increased their foreign reserve stocks dramatically in recent years, often motivated by the desire for precautionary self-insurance. One of the negative consequences of large accumulations for these countries is the risk of valuation losses. In this paper we examine the implications of systematic reserve decumulation by the Czech authorities aimed at mitigating valuation losses on euro-denominated assets. The policy was explicitly not intended to influence the value of the koruna relative to the euro. Initially the timing and size of reserve sales was not predictable, eventually sales occurred on a daily basis (in three equal installments within the day). This project examines whether these reserve sales, both during the regime of discretionary timing as well as when sales occurred every day, had unintended consequences for the domestic currency. Our findings using intraday exchange rate data and time-stamped reserve sales indicate that when decumulation occurred every day these sales led to significant appreciation of the koruna. Overall, our results suggest that the manner in which reserve sales are carried out matters for whether reserve decumulation influences the relative value of the domestic currency.
The Quantitative Role of Capital-Goods Imports in U.S. Growth
Michele Cavallo and Anthony Landry
Published as: Cavallo, Michele and Anthony Landry (2010), "The Quantitative Role of Capital-Goods Imports in U.S. Growth," American Economic Review 100 (2): 78-82.
Abstract: Over the last 40 years, an increasing share of U.S. aggregate E&S investment expenditure has been allocated to capital-goods imports. While capital-goods imports were only 3.5 percent of E&S investment in 1967, by 2008 their share had risen tenfold to 36 percent. The goal of this paper is to measure the contribution of capital-goods imports to growth in U.S. output per hour using a simple growth accounting exercise. We find that capital-goods imports have contributed 20 to 30 percent to growth in U.S. output per hour between 1967 and 2008. More importantly, we find that capital-goods imports have been an increasing source of growth for the U.S. economy: the average contribution of capital-goods imports to growth in U.S. output per hour has increased noticeably since 1967.
What Determines European Real Exchange Rates?
Martin Berka and Michael B. Devereux
Abstract: We study a newly constructed panel data set of relative prices of a large number of consumer goods among 31 European countries. We find that there is a substantial and nondiminishing deviation from PPP at all levels of aggregation, even among euro zone members. However, real exchange rates are very closely tied to relative GDP per capita within Europe, both across countries and over time. This relationship is highly robust at all levels of aggregation. We construct a simple two-sector endowment economy model of real exchange rate determination. Simulating the model using the historical relative GDP per capita for each country, we find that for most (but not all) countries there is a very close fit between the actual and simulated real exchange rate.
Leverage Constraints and the International Transmission of Shocks
Michael B. Devereux and James Yetman
Published as: Devereux, Michael B. and James Yetman (2010), "Leverage Constraints and the International Transmission of Shocks," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 42 (s1): 71-105.
Abstract: Recent macroeconomic experience has drawn attention to the importance of interdependence among countries through financial markets and institutions, independently of traditional trade linkages. This paper develops a model of the international transmission of shocks due to interdependent portfolio holdings among leverage-constrained investors. In our model, without leverage constraints on investment, financial integration itself has no implication for international macro co-movements. When leverage constraints bind however, the presence of these constraints in combination with diversified portfolios introduces a powerful financial transmission channel which results in a positive comovement of production, independently of the size of international trade linkages. In addition, the paper shows that, with binding leverage constraints, the type of financial integration is critical for international co-movement. If international financial markets allow for trade only in non-contingent bonds, but not equities, then the international comovement of shocks is negative. Thus, with leverage constraints, moving from bond trade to equity trade reverses the sign of the international transmission of shocks.
Fiscal Deficits, Debt, and Monetary Policy in a Liquidity Trap
Michael B. Devereux
Published as: Devereux, Michael B. (2011), "Fiscal Deficits, Debt, and Monetary Policy in a Liquidity Trap," in Monetary Policy under Financial Turbulence, ed. Luis Felipe Céspedes, Roberto Change and Diego Saravia (Santiage, Chile: Central Bank of Chile), 369-410.
Abstract: The macroeconomic response to the economic crisis has revived old debates about the usefulness of monetary and fiscal policy in fighting recessions. Without the ability to further lower interest rates, policy authorities in many countries have turned to expansionary fiscal policies. Recent literature argues that government spending may be very effective in such environments. But a critical element of the stimulus packages in all countries was the use of deficit financing and tax reductions. This paper explores the role of government debt and deficits in an economy constrained by the zero bound on nominal interest rates. Given that the liquidity trap is generated by a large increase in the desire to save on the part of the private sector, the wealth effects of government deficits can provide a critical macroeconomic response to this. Government spending financed by deficits may be far more expansionary than that financed by tax increases in such an environment. In a liquidity trap, tax cuts may be much more effective than during normal times. Finally, monetary policies aimed at directly increasing monetary aggregates may be effective, even if interest rates are unchanged.
Transitional Dynamics of Output and Factor Income Shares: Lessons from East Germany
Simona E. Cociuba
Abstract: I evaluate the quantitative implications of technology change and government policies for output and factor income shares during East Germany's transition since 1990. I model an economy that gains access to a high productivity technology embodied in new plants. As existing low productivity plants decrease production, the capital income share varies due to variation in the profit share of these plants. Two policies—transfers and governmentmandated wage increases—have opposite effects on output growth, but both contribute to reducing the capital share during the transition. The model's output and capital share line up with counterparts in East German data.
Size and Composition of the Central Bank Balance Sheet: Revisiting Japan's Experience of the Quantitative Easing Policy
Published as: Shiratsuka, Shigenori (2010), "Size and Composition of the Central Bank Balance Sheet: Revisiting Japan's Experience of the Quantitative Easing Policy," Monetary and Economic Studies 28: 79-105.
Abstract: This paper re-examines Japan's experience of the quantitative easing policy in light of the policy responses against the current financial and economic crisis. Central banks use various unconventional measures in the range of financial assets being purchased and in the scale of such purchases. As the scope of such unconventional measures expands, it is often emphasized that the U.S. Federal Reserve policy reactions focus more on the asset side of its balance sheet, the so-called credit easing. By contrast, the Bank of Japan's quantitative easing policy from 2001 to 2006 set a target for the current account balances, the liability side of its balance sheet. It is crucial to understand that central banks combine the two elements of their balance sheets, size and composition, to enhance the overall effects of unconventional policy measures, given constraints on policy implementation.
Limited Asset Market Participation and the Consumption-Real Exchange Rate Anomaly
Published as: Kollmann, Robert (2012), "Limited Asset Market Participation and the Consumption-Real Exchange Rate Anomaly," Canadian Journal of Economics 45 (2): 556-584.
Abstract: Under efficient consumption risk sharing, as assumed in standard international business cycle models, a country's aggregate consumption rises relative to foreign consumption, when the country's real exchange rate depreciates. Yet, empirically, relative consumption and the real exchange rate are essentially uncorrelated. I show that this "consumption-real exchange rate anomaly" can be explained by a simple model in which a subset of households trade in complete financial markets, while the remaining households lead hand-to-mouth (HTM) lives. HTM behavior also generates greater volatility of the real exchange rate and of net exports, which likewise brings the model closer to the data.
Business Cycles and Remittances: Can the Beveridge-Nelson Decomposition Provide New Evidence?
Abstract: In this paper, I analyze the business cycle properties of remittances and output series for three pairs of countries: United States–Mexico, United States–El Salvador, and Germany–Turkey. Using an unobserved components state-space model (via the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition), I decompose the remittances and output series into stochastic permanent and cyclical components. I then use the resulting stationary cyclical components to estimate co-movements between remittances and output series. Empirical results indicate that remittances are countercyclical with all the home countries: Mexico, El Salvador, and Turkey. With respect to source countries, remittances to Mexico are countercyclical with the United States business cycle, while remittances from the United States to El Salvador and remittances from Germany to Turkey are strongly procyclical with output fluctuations in the source country. The contribution of this paper to the literature is twofold: (1) I use high-frequency data (quarterly) for a relatively long period of time; and (2) I employ more recent and sophisticated econometric techniques in the decomposition of the series into stochastic permanent and cyclical components. The existing literature lacks both of these important aspects of my analysis. I show that once both of these factors are incorporated into the analysis, empirical results are more aligned to those predicted by economic theory.
State-Dependent Pricing, Local-Currency Pricing, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through
Published as: Landry, Anthony (2010), "State-Dependent Pricing, Local-Currency Pricing, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 34 (10): 1859-1871.
Abstract: This paper presents a two-country DSGE model with state-dependent pricing as in Dotsey, King, and Wolman (1999) in which firms price-discriminate across countries by setting prices in local currency. In this model, a domestic monetary expansion has greater spillover effects to foreign prices and foreign economic activity than an otherwise identical model with time-dependent pricing. In addition, the predictions of the state-dependent pricing model match the business-cycle moments better than the predictions of the time-dependent pricing model when driven by monetary policy shocks.
A Model of International Cities: Implications for Real Exchange Rates
Mario J. Crucini and Hakan Yilmazkuday
Abstract: We develop a model of cities each inhabited by two agents, one specializing in manufacturing, the other in retail distribution. The distribution sector represents the physical transformation of all internationally traded goods from the factory gate to the final consumer. Using a panel of micro-prices at the city level, we decompose the cross-sectional variance of long-run LOP deviations into the fraction due to distribution costs, trade costs and a residual. For the median good, trade costs account for 50 percent of the variance, distribution costs account for 10 percent with 40 percent of the variance unexplained. Since the sample of items in the data are heavily skewed toward traded goods, we also decompose the variance based on the median good on an expenditure-weighted basis. Now the tables turn, with distribution costs accounting for 43 percent, trade costs 36 percent and 21 percent of the variance unexplained.
Global, Local, and Contagious Investor Sentiment
Malcolm Baker, Jeffrey Wurgler and Yu Yuan
Published as: Baker, Malcolm, Jeffrey Wurgler and Yu Yuan (2012), "Global, Local, and Contagious Investor Sentiment," Journal of Financial Economics 104 (2): 272-287.
Abstract: We construct indexes of investor sentiment for six major stock markets and decompose them into one global and six local indexes. Relative market sentiment is correlated with the relative prices of dual-listed companies, validating the indexes. Both global and local sentiment are contrarian predictors of the time series of major markets' returns. They are also contrarian predictors of the time series of cross-sectional returns within major markets: When sentiment from either global or local sources is high, future returns are low on various categories of difficult to arbitrage and difficult to value stocks. Sentiment appears to be contagious across markets based on tests involving capital flows, and this presumably contributes to the global component of sentiment.
Can Long-Horizon Forecasts Beat the Random Walk Under the Engel-West Explanation?
Charles Engel, Jian Wang and Jason Wu
Abstract: Engel and West (EW, 2005) argue that as the discount factor gets closer to one, present-value asset pricing models place greater weight on future fundamentals. Consequently, current fundamentals have very weak forecasting power and exchange rates appear to follow approximately a random walk. We connect the Engel-West explanation to the studies of exchange rates with long-horizon regressions. We find that under EW's assumption that fundamentals are I(1) and observable to the econometrician, long-horizon regressions generally do not have significant forecasting power. However, when EW's assumptions are violated in a particular way, our analytical results show that there can be substantial power improvements for long-horizon regressions, even if the power of the corresponding shorthorizon regression is low. We simulate population Rsquared for long-horizon regressions in the latter setting, using Monetary and Taylor Rule models of exchange rates calibrated to the data. Simulations show that long-horizon regression can have substantial forecasting power for exchange rates.
European Hoarding: Currency Use Among Immigrants in Switzerland
Andreas M. Fischer
Abstract: Do immigrants have a higher demand for large denominated banknotes than natives? This study examines whether cash orders for CHF 1000 notes, a banknote not used for daily transactions, is concentrated in Swiss cities with a high foreign-to-native ratio. Controlling for a range of socio-economic indicators across 250 Swiss cities, European immigrants in Switzerland are found to hoard less CHF 1000 banknotes than natives. A 1 percent increase in the immigrant-to-native ratio leads to a reduction in currency orders by CHF 4000. This negative correlation between immigrant-to-native ratio and currency orders for CHF 1000 notes holds irrespective of the European immigrants' country of origin. Hoarding of large denominated banknotes by natives is attributed tax avoidance.
Should Monetary Policy "Lean or Clean"?
William R. White
Published as: White, William R. (2009), "Should Monetary Policy Lean or Clean: A Reassessment," Central Banking 19 (4): 32-42.
Abstract: It has been contended by many in the central banking community that monetary policy would not be effective in "leaning" against the upswing of a credit cycle (the boom) but that lower interest rates would be effective in "cleaning" up (the bust) afterwards. In this paper, these two propositions (can't lean, but can clean) are examined and found seriously deficient. In particular, it is contended in this paper that monetary policies designed solely to deal with short term problems of insufficient demand could make medium term problems worse by encouraging a buildup of debt that cannot be sustained over time. The conclusion reached is that monetary policy should be more focused on "preemptive tightening" to moderate credit bubbles than on "preemptive easing" to deal with the after effects. There is a need for a new macrofinancial stability framework that would use both regulatory and monetary instruments to resist credit bubbles and thus promote sustainable economic growth over time.
Global Slack and Domestic Inflation Rates: A Structural Investigation for G-7 Countries
Published as: Milani, Fabio (2015), "Global Slack and Domestic Inflation Rates: A Structural Investigation for G-7 Countries," Journal of Macroeconomics 32 (4): 968-981.
Abstract: Recent papers have argued that one implication of globalization is that domestic inflation rates may have now become more a function of "global," rather than domestic, economic conditions, as postulated by closed-economy Phillips curves. This paper aims to assess the empirical importance of global output in determining domestic inflation rates by estimating a structural model for a sample of G-7 economies. The model can capture the potential effects of global output fluctuations on both the aggregate supply and the aggregate demand relations in the economy and it is estimated using full-information Bayesian methods. The empirical results reveal a significant effect of global output on aggregate demand in most countries. Through this channel, global economic conditions can indirectly affect inflation. The results, instead, do not seem to provide evidence in favor of altering domestic Phillips curves to include global slack as an additional driving variable for inflation.
Has Globalization Transformed U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics?
Published as: Milani, Fabio (2012), "Has Globalization Transformed U.S. Macroeconomic Dynamics?," Macroeconomic Dynamics 16 (2): 204-229.
Abstract: This paper estimates a structural New Keynesian model to test whether globalization has changed the behavior of U.S. macroeconomic variables. Several key coefficients in the model—such as the slopes of the Phillips and IS curves, the sensitivities of domestic inflation and output to "global" output, and so forth—are allowed in the estimation to depend on the extent of globalization (modeled as the changing degree of openness to trade of the economy), and, therefore, they become time-varying. The empirical results indicate that globalization can explain only a small part of the reduction in the slope of the Phillips curve. The sensitivity of U.S. inflation to global measures of output may have increased over the sample, but it remains very small. The changes in the IS curve caused by globalization are similarly modest. Globalization does not seem to have led to an attenuation in the effects of monetary policy shocks. The nested closed economy specification still appears to provide a substantially better fit of U.S. data than various open economy specifications with timevarying degrees of openness. Some time variation in the model coefficients over the postwar sample exists, particularly in the volatilities of the shocks, but it is unlikely to be related to globalization.
Fiscal Stabilization with Partial Exchange Rate Pass-Through
Erasmus K. Kersting
Published as: Kersting, Erasmus K. (2013), "Fiscal Stabilization with Partial Exchange Rate Pass-Through," Economic Inquiry 51 (1): 348-367.
Abstract: This paper examines the role of fiscal stabilization policy in a two-country framework that allows for a general degree of exchange rate pass-through. I derive analytical solutions for optimal monetary and fiscal policy which are shown to depend on the degree of pass-through. In the case of partial pass-through, an optimizing policy maker uses countercyclical fiscal stabilization in addition to monetary stabilization. However, in the extreme cases of complete or zero pass-through, the fiscal stabilization instrument is not employed. There is also no additional gain from the fiscal instrument in the case of coordination between the two countries. These results are due to the specific way the optimal fiscal policy rule affects marginal costs: Rather than being a substitute for monetary policy, fiscal policy complements it by increasing the correlation of the marginal cost terms within and across countries. This in turn makes monetary policy more effective at stabilizing them.
Insulation Impossible: Fiscal Spillovers in a Monetary Union
Russell Cooper, Hubert Kempf and Dan Peled
Published as: Cooper, Russell, Hubert Kempf and Dan Peled (2014), "Insulation Impossible: Monetary Policy and Regional Debt Spillovers in a Federal," Journal of the European Economic Association 12 (2): 465-491.
Abstract: This paper studies the effects of monetary policy rules in a monetary union. The focus of the analysis is on the interaction between the fiscal policy of member countries (regions) and the central monetary authority. When capital markets are integrated, the fiscal policy of one country will influence equilibrium wages and interest rates. Thus there are fiscal spillovers within a federation. The magnitude and direction of these spillovers, in particular the presence of a crowding out effect, can be influenced by the choice of monetary policy rules. We find that there does not exist a monetary policy rule which completely insulates agents in one region from fiscal policy in another. Some familiar policy rules, such as pegging an interest rate, can provide partial insulation.
Monetary Policy Strategy in a Global Environment
Philippe Moutot and Giovanni Vitale
Published as: Moutot, Philippe and Giovanni Vitale (2010), "Monetary Policy Strategy in a Global Environment," in Macroeconomic Performance in a Globalising Economy, ed. Robert Anderton and Geoff Kenny (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press), 235-268.
Abstract: Since the mid-1980s the world economy has gone through profound transformations of which the sources and effects are probably not yet completely understood. The process of continuous integration in trade, production and financial markets across countries and economic regions—which is what is generally defined as "globalisation"—affects directly the conduct of monetary policy in a variety of respects. The aim of this paper is to present an overview of the structural implications of globalisation for the domestic economies of developed countries and to deduct from these implications lessons for the conduct of monetary policy, and in particular the assessment of risks to price stability.
Investment and Trade Patterns in a Sticky-Price, Open-Economy Model
Enrique Martínez-García and Jens Søndergaard
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique and Jens Søndergaard (2009), "Investment and Trade Patterns in a Sticky-Price, Open-Economy Model," in The Economics of Imperfect Markets, ed. Giorgio Calcagnini and Enrico Saltari (Berlin: Springer), 183-212.
Abstract: This paper develops a tractable two-country DSGE model with sticky prices à la Calvo (1983) and local-currency pricing. We analyze the capital investment decision in the presence of adjustment costs of two types, the capital adjustment cost (CAC) specification and the investment adjustment cost (IAC) specification. We compare the investment and trade patterns with adjustment costs against those of a model without adjustment costs and with (quasi-) flexible prices. We show that having adjustment costs results into more volatile consumption and net exports, and less volatile investment. We document three important facts on U.S. trade: a) the S-shaped cross-correlation function between real GDP and the real net exports share, b) the J-curve between terms of trade and net exports, and c) the weak and S-shaped cross-correlation between real GDP and terms of trade. We find that adding adjustment costs tends to reduce the model's ability to match these stylized facts. Nominal rigidities cannot account for these features either.
International Portfolios, Capital Accumulation and Foreign Assets Dynamics
Nicolas Coeurdacier, Robert Kollmann and Philippe Martin
Published as: Coeurdacier, Nicolas, Robert Kollmann and Philippe Martin (2010), "International Portfolios, Capital Accumulation and Foreign Assets Dynamics," Journal of International Economics 80 (1): 100-112.
Abstract: Despite the liberalization of capital flows among OECD countries, equity home bias remains sizable. We depart from the two familiar explanations of equity home bias: transaction costs that impede international diversification, and terms of trade responses to supply shocks that provide risk sharing, so that there is little incentive to hold diversified portfolios. We show that the interaction of the following ingredients generates a realistic equity home bias: capital accumulation, shocks to the efficiency of physical investment, as well as international trade in stocks and bonds. In our model, domestic stocks are used to hedge fluctuations in local wage income. Terms of trade risk is hedged using bonds denominated in local goods and in foreign goods. In contrast to related models, the low level of international diversification does not depend on strongly countercyclical terms of trade. The model also reproduces the cyclical dynamics of foreign asset positions and of international capital flows.
Monthly Pass-Through Ratios
Marlene Amstad and Andreas M. Fischer
Published as: Amstad, Marlene and Andreas M. Fischer (2010), "Monthly Pass-Through Ratios," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 34 (7): 1202-1213.
Abstract: This paper estimates monthly pass-through ratios from import prices to consumer prices in real time. Conventional time series methods impose restrictions to generate exogenous shocks on exchange rates or import prices when estimating pass-through coefficients. Instead, a natural experiment based on data releases defines our shock to foreign prices. Our estimation strategy follows an event-study approach based on monthly releases in import prices. Projections from a dynamic common factor model with daily panels before and after monthly releases of import prices define the shock. This information shock allows us to recover a monthly pass-through ratio. We apply our identification procedure to Swiss prices and find strong evidence that the monthly pass-through ratio is around 0.3. Our real-time estimates yield higher pass-through ratios than time series estimates.
Do China and Oil Exporters Influence Major Currency Configurations?
Marcel Fratzscher and Arnaud Mehl
Published as: Fratzscher, Marcel and Arnaud Mehl (2009), "Do China and Oil Exporters Influence Major Currency Configurations?," Journal of Comparative Economics 37 (3): 335-358.
Abstract: This paper analyses the impact of the shift away from a U.S. dollar focus of systemically important emerging market economies (EMEs) on configurations between the U.S. dollar, the euro and the yen. Given the difficulty that fixed or managed U.S. dollar exchange rate regimes remain pervasive and reserve compositions mostly kept secret, the identification strategy of the paper is to analyse the market impact on major currency pairs of official statements made by EME policy-makers about their exchange rate regime and reserve composition. Developing a novel database for 18 EMEs, we find that such statements not only have a statistically but also an economically significant impact on the euro, and to a lesser extent the yen against the U.S. dollar. The findings suggest that communication hinting at a weakening of EMEs' U.S. dollar focus contributed substantially to the appreciation of the euro against the U.S. dollar in recent years. Interestingly, EME policy-makers appear to have become more cautious in their communication more recently. Overall, the results underscore the growing systemic importance of EMEs for global exchange rate configurations.
How Successful Is the G7 in Managing Exchange Rates?
Published as: Fratzscher, Marcel (2009), "How Successful Is the G7 in Managing Exchange Rates?," Journal of International Economics 79 (1): 78-88.
Abstract: The paper assesses the extent to which the Group of Seven (G7) has been successful in its management of major currencies since the 1970s. Using an event-study approach, the paper finds evidence that the G7 has been overall effective in moving the U.S. dollar, yen and euro in the intended direction at horizons of up to three months after G7 meetings, but not at longer horizons. While the success of the G7 is partly dependent on the market environment, it is also to a significant degree endogenous to the policy process itself. The findings indicate that the reputation and credibility of the G7, as well as its ability to form and communicate a consensus among individual G7 members, are important determinants for the G7's ability to manage major currencies. The paper concludes by analyzing the factors that help the G7 build reputation and consensus, and by discussing the implications for global economic governance.
Exchange Rate Pass-Through in a Competitive Model of Pricing-to-Market
Raphael Auer and Thomas Chaney
Published as: Auer, Raphael and Thomas Chaney (2009), "Exchange Rate Pass-Through in a Competitive Model of Pricing-to-Market," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 41 (s1): 151-175.
Abstract: This paper extends the Mussa and Rosen (1978) model of quality-pricing under perfect competition. Exporters sell goods of different qualities to consumers who have heterogeneous preferences for quality. Production is subject to decreasing returns to scale and, therefore, supply and the toughness of competition react to cost changes brought about by exchange rate fluctuations. First, we predict that exchange rate shocks are imperfectly passed through into prices. Second, prices of low quality goods are more sensitive to exchange rate shocks than prices of high quality goods. Third, in response to an exchange rate appreciation, the composition of exports shifts towards higher quality and more expensive goods. We test these predictions using highly disaggregated price and quantity U.S. import data. We find evidence that in response to an exchange rate appreciation, the composition of exports shifts towards high unit price goods. Therefore, exchange rate passthrough rates that are measured using aggregate data will tend to overstate the actual extent of pass-through.
The Taylor Rule and Forecast Intervals for Exchange Rates
Jian Wang and Jason J. Wu
Published as: Wang, Jian and Jason J. Wu (2012), "The Taylor Rule and Forecast Intervals for Exchange Rates," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking 44 (1): 103-144.
Abstract: This paper attacks the Meese-Rogoff (exchange rate disconnect) puzzle from a different perspective: out-of-sample interval forecasting. Most studies in the literature focus on point forecasts. In this paper, we apply Robust Semi-parametric (RS) interval forecasting to a group of Taylor rule models. Forecast intervals for twelve OECD exchange rates are generated and modified tests of Giacomini and White (2006) are conducted to compare the performance of Taylor rule models and the random walk. Our contribution is twofold. First, we find that in general, Taylor rule models generate tighter forecast intervals than the random walk, given that their intervals cover out-of-sample exchange rate realizations equally well. This result is more pronounced at longer horizons. Our results suggest a connection between exchange rates and economic fundamentals: economic variables contain information useful in forecasting the distributions of exchange rates. The benchmark Taylor rule model is also found to perform better than the monetary and PPP models. Second, the inference framework proposed in this paper for forecast-interval evaluation can be applied in a broader context, such as inflation forecasting, not just to the models and interval forecasting methods used in this paper.
Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization
Costas Arkolakis and Ananth Ramanarayanan
Published as: Arkolakis, Costas and Ananth Ramanarayanan (2009), "Vertical Specialization and International Business Cycle Synchronization," The Scandinavian Journal of Economics 111 (4): 655-680.
Abstract: We explore the impact of vertical specialization—trade in goods across multiple stages of production—on the relationship between trade and international business cycle synchronization. We develop a model in which the degree of vertical specialization is endogenously determined by comparative advantage across heterogeneous goods and varies with trade barriers between countries. We show analytically that fluctuations in measured productivity in our model are not linked across countries through trade, despite the greater transmission of technology shocks implied by higher degrees of vertical specialization. In numerical simulations, we find this transmission is insufficient in generating substantial dependence of business cycle synchronization on trade intensity.
An International Perspective on Oil Price Shocks and U.S. Economic Activity
Nathan S. Balke, Stephen P. A. Brown and Mine K. Yücel
Abstract: The effect of oil price shocks on U.S. economic activity seems to have changed since the mid-1990s. A variety of explanations have been offered for the seeming change—including better luck, the reduced energy intensity of the U.S. economy, a more flexible economy, more experience with oil price shocks and better monetary policy. These explanations point to a weakening of the relationship between oil prices shocks and economic activity rather than the fundamentally different response that may be evident since the mid-1990s. Using a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model of world economic activity, we employ Bayesian methods to assess how economic activity responds to oil price shocks arising from supply shocks and demand shocks originating in the United States or elsewhere in the world. We find that both oil supply and oil demand shocks have contributed significantly to oil price fluctuations and that U.S. output fluctuations are derived largely from domestic shocks.
Default and the Maturity Structure in Sovereign Bonds
Cristina Arellano and Ananth Ramanarayanan
Abstract: This paper studies the maturity composition and the term structure of interest rate spreads of government debt in emerging markets. We document that in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, and Russia, when interest rate spreads rise, debt maturity shortens and the spread on short-term bonds is higher than on long-term bonds. To account for this pattern, we build a dynamic model of international borrowing with endogenous default and multiple maturities of debt. Short-term debt can deliver higher immediate consumption than long-term debt; large longterm loans are not available because the borrower cannot commit to save in the near future towards repayment in the far future. However, issuing long-term debt can insure against the need to roll-over short-term debt at high interest rate spreads. The trade-off between these two benefits is quantitatively important for understanding the maturity composition in emerging markets. When calibrated to data from Brazil, the model matches the dynamics in the maturity of debt issuances and its comovement with the level of spreads across maturities.
Some Preliminary Evidence on the Globalization-Inflation Nexus
Sophie Guilloux and Enisse Kharroubi
Abstract: The aim of this paper is to evaluate the impact of globalization, if any, on inflation and the inflation process. We estimate standard Phillips curve equations on a panel of OECD countries over the last 25 years. While recent papers have concluded that globalization has had no significant impact, this paper highlights that trying to capture globalization effects through simple measures of import prices and/or imports to GDP ratios can be misleading. To do so, we try to extend the analysis following two different avenues. We first separate between commodity and non-commodity imports and show that the impact on inflation of commodity import price inflation is qualitatively different from the impact of noncommodity import price inflation, the former depending on the volume of commodity imports while the latter being independent of the volume of non-commodity imports. This first piece of evidence highlights the role of contestability and the insufficiency of trade volume statistics to properly describe the impact of globalization. This leads us to adopt a more systematic approach to capture the contents and not only the volume of trade. Focusing on the role of intra-industry trade, we provide preliminary evidence that this variable can account (i) for the low pass-through of import price to consumer price and (ii) for the flattening of the Phillips curve, i.e. the lower sensitivity of inflation to changes in output gap. We hence conclude that different facets of globalization, especially changes in the nature of goods traded, can be an important channel through which globalization affects the inflation process.
The Real Exchange Rate in Sticky Price Models: Does Investment Matter?
Enrique Martinez-Garcia and Jens Søndergaard
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique and Jens Søndergaard (2013), "Investment and Real Exchange in Sticky Price Models," Macroeconomic Dynamics17 (2): 195-234.
Abstract: This paper re-examines the ability of sticky-price models to generate volatile and persistent real exchange rates. We use a DSGE framework with pricing-to-market akin to those in Chari, et al. (2002) and Steinsson (2008) to illustrate the link between real exchange rate dynamics and what the model assumes about physical capital. We show that adding capital accumulation to the model facilitates consumption smoothing and significantly impedes the model's ability to generate volatile real exchange rates. Our analysis, therefore, caveats the results in Steinsson (2008) who shows how real shocks in a sticky-price model without capital can replicate the observed real exchange rate dynamics. Finally, we find that the CKM (2002) persistence anomaly remains robust to several alternative capital specifications including set-ups with variable capital utilization and investment adjustment costs (see, e.g., Christiano, et al., 2005). In summary, the PPP puzzle is still very much alive and well.
Technical Note on 'The Real Exchange Rate in Sticky Price Models: Does Investment Matter?'
Enrique Martinez-Garcia and Jens Søndergaard
Abstract: This technical note is developed as a mathematical companion to the paper "The Real Exchange Rate in Sticky Price Models: Does Investment Matter?" (Institute working paper no. 17). It contains three basic calculations. First, we derive the equilibrium conditions of the model. Second, we compute the zero-inflation, zero-trade balance (deterministic) steady state. Third, we describe the log-linearization of the equilibrium conditions around the deterministic steady state. Simultaneously, we explain the system of equations that constitutes the basis for the paper to broaden its scope. Commentary is provided whenever necessary to complement the model description and to place into context the assumptions embedded in our DSGE framework.
Variety, Globalization, and Social Efficiency
W. Michael Cox and Roy J. Ruffin
Published as: Cox, W. Michael and Roy J. Ruffin (2010), "Variety, Globalization, and Social Efficiency," Southern Economic Journal 76 (4): 1064-1075.
Abstract: This paper puts recent work on the benefits of variety into the context of a more complete quantitative analysis of the Dixit-Stiglitz-Krugman model of monopolistic competition. We show how the gains from globalization are reflected in the increase in variety and the exploitation of economies of scale, and that the social efficiency question is quantitatively insignificant. These results follow from examining a Bertrand-Nash equilibrium that allows for a finite number of varieties to affect the elasticity of demand facing each firm. We develop a precise expression for per capita real income with any number of sectors where globalization increases productivity through economies of scale.
The Effect of Trade with Low-Income Countries on U.S. Industry
Raphael Auer and Andreas M. Fischer
Published as: Auer, Raphael and Andreas M. Fischer (2010), "The Effect of Low-Wage Import Competition on U.S. Inflationary Pressure," Journal of Monetary Economics 57 (4): 491-503.
Abstract: When labor-abundant nations grow, their exports increase more in labor-intensive sectors than in capital-intensive sectors. We utilize this sectoral difference in how exports are affected by growth to identify the causal effect of trade with low-income countries (LICs) on U.S. industry. Our framework relates differences in sectoral inflation rates to differences in comparative advantageinduced import growth rates and abstracts from aggregate fluctuations and sector specific trends. In a panel covering 325 manufacturing industries from 1997 to 2006, we find that LIC exports are associated with strong downward pressure on U.S. producer prices and a large effect on productivity. When LIC exporters capture 1% U.S. market share, producer prices decrease by 3.1%, which is nearly fully accounted by a 2.4% increase in productivity and a 0.4% decrease in markups. We also document that while LICs on average find it easier to penetrate sectors with elastic demand, the price and productivity response to import competition is much stronger in industries with inelastic demand. Overall, between 1997 and 2006, the effect of LIC trade on manufacturing PPI inflation was around two percentage points per year, far too large to be neglected in macroeconomic analysis.
Globalisation, Domestic Inflation and Global Output Gaps: Evidence from the Euro Area
Published as: Calza, Alessandro (2009), "Globalisation, Domestic Inflation and Global Output Gaps: Evidence from the Euro Area," International Finance 12 (3): 301-320.
Abstract: This paper tests whether the proposition that globalisation has led to greater sensitivity of domestic inflation to the global output gap (the "global output gap hypothesis") holds for the euro area. The empirical analysis uses quarterly data over the period 1979–2003. Measures of the global output gap using two different weighting schemes (based on PPPs and trade data) are considered. We find little evidence that global capacity constraints have either explanatory or predictive power for domestic consumer price inflation in the euro area. Based on these findings, the prescription that central banks should specifically react to developments in global output gaps does not seem to be justified for the euro area.
Financial Globalization, Governance, and the Evolution of the Home Bias
Bong-Chan Kho, René M. Stulz, and Francis E. Warnock
Published as: Kho, Bong-Chan, René M. Stulz, and Francis E. Warnock (2009), "Financial Globalization, Governance, and the Evolution of the Home Bias," Journal of Accounting Research 47 (2): 597-635.
Abstract: Standard portfolio theories of the home bias are disconnected from corporate finance theories of insider ownership. We merge the two into what we call the optimal ownership theory of the home bias. The theory has the following components. In countries with poor governance, it is optimal for insiders to own large stakes in corporations and for large shareholders to monitor insiders. Foreign portfolio investors will exhibit a large home bias against such countries because their investment is limited by the shares held by insiders (the "direct effect" of poor governance) and domestic monitoring shareholders ("the indirect effect"). Foreigners can also enter as foreign direct investors; if they are from countries with good governance, they have a comparative advantage as insider monitors in countries with poor governance, so that the relative importance of foreign direct investment in total foreign equity investment is negatively related to the quality of governance. Using two datasets, we find strong evidence that the theory can help explain the evolution of the home bias. Using country-level U.S. data, we find that on average the home bias of U.S. investors towards the 46 countries with the largest equity markets did not fall over the past decade, but it decreased the most towards countries in which the ownership by corporate insiders decreased, and the importance of foreign direct investment fell in countries in which ownership by corporate insiders fell. Using firm-level data for Korea, we find evidence of the additional indirect effect of poor governance on portfolio equity investment by foreign investors.
Globalization and Monetary Policy: An Introduction
Abstract: Greater openness has become an almost universal feature of modern, developed economies. This paper develops a workhorse international model, and explores the role of standard monetary policy rules applied to an open economy. For this purpose, I build a two-country DSGE model with monopolistic competition, sticky prices, and pricing-to-market. I also derive the steady state and a log-linear approximation of the equilibrium conditions. The paper provides a lengthy explanation of the steps required to derive this benchmark model, and a discussion of: (a) how to account for certain well-known anomalies in the international literature, and (b) how to start "thinking" about monetary policy in this environment.
Michael B. Devereux and Shouyong Shi
Published as: Devereux, Michael B. and Shouyong Shi (2013), "Vehicle Currency," International Economic Review 54 (1): 97-133.
Abstract: While in principle, international payments could be carried out using any currency or set of currencies, in practice, the U.S. dollar is predominant in international trade and financial flows. The dollar acts as a "vehicle currency" in the sense that agents in nondollar economies will generally engage in currency trade indirectly using the U.S. dollar rather than using direct bilateral trade among their own currencies. Indirect trade is desirable when there are transactions costs of exchange. This paper constructs a dynamic general equilibrium model of a vehicle currency. We explore the nature of the efficiency gains arising from a vehicle currency, and show how this depends on the total number of currencies in existence, the size of the vehicle currency economy, and the monetary policy followed by the vehicle currency's government. We find that there can be very large welfare gains to a vehicle currency in a system of many independent currencies. But these gains are asymmetry weighted towards the residents of the vehicle currency country. The survival of a vehicle currency places natural limits on the monetary policy of the vehicle country.
Country Portfolios in Open Economy Macro Models
Michael B. Devereux and Alan Sutherland
Published as: Devereux, Michael B. and Alan Sutherland (2010), "Country Portfolios Dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 34 (7): 1325-1342.
Abstract: This paper develops a simple approximation method for computing equilibrium portfolios in dynamic general equilibrium open economy macro models. The method is widely applicable, simple to implement, and gives analytical solutions for equilibrium portfolio positions in any combination or types of asset. It can be used in models with any number of assets, whether markets are complete or incomplete, and can be applied to stochastic dynamic general equilibrium models of any dimension, so long as the model is amenable to a solution using standard approximation methods. We first illustrate the approach using a simple two-asset endowment economy model, and then show how the results extend to the case of any number of assets and general economic structure.
How Should Central Banks Define Price Stability?
Mark A. Wynne
Published as: Wynne, Mark A. (2009), "How Should Central Banks Define Price Stability?," in Designing Central Banks, eds. David Mayes and Geoffrey Wood (London: Routledge), 107-129.
Abstract: It is now generally accepted that the primary objective of central banks should be the maintenance of price stability. This paper considers the question of how central banks should define price stability. I address three specific questions. First, should central banks target broad or narrow measures of inflation? Second, should central banks target headline or core measure of inflation? And third, should central banks define price stability as prevailing at some positive measured rate of inflation?
Accounting for Persistence and Volatility of Good-Level Real Exchange Rates: The Role of Sticky Information
Mario J. Crucini, Mototsugu Shintani and Takayuki Tsuruga
Published as: Crucini, Mario E., Motosugu Shintani and Takayuki Tsuruga (2010), "Accounting for Persistence and Volatility of Good-Level Real Exchange Rates: The Role of Sticky Information," Journal of International Economics 81 (1): 48-60.
Abstract: Volatile and persistent real exchange rates are observed not only in aggregate series but also on the individual good level data. Kehoe and Midrigan (2007) recently showed that, under a standard assumption on nominal price stickiness, empirical frequencies of micro price adjustment cannot replicate the time-series properties of the law-of-one-price deviations. We extend their sticky price model by combining good specific price adjustment with information stickiness in the sense of Mankiw and Reis (2002). Under a reasonable assumption on the money growth process, we show that the model fully explains both persistence and volatility of the good-level real exchange rates. Furthermore, our framework allows for multiple cities within a country. Using a panel of U.S.-Canadian city pairs, we estimate a dynamic price adjustment process for each 165 individual goods. The empirical result suggests that the dispersion of average time of information update across goods is comparable to that of average time of price adjustment.
Driving Forces of the Canadian Economy: An Accounting Exercise
Simona E. Cociuba and Alexander Ueberfeldt
Abstract: This paper analyzes the Canadian economy for the post-1960 period. It uses an accounting procedure developed in Chari, Kehoe, and McGrattan (2006). The procedure identifies accounting factors that help align the predictions of the neoclassical growth model with macroeconomic variables observed in the data. The paper finds that total factor productivity and the consumption-leisure trade-off—the productivity and labor factors—are key to understanding the changes in output, labor supply and labor productivity observed in the Canadian economy. The paper performs a decomposition of the labor factor for Canada and the United States. It finds that the decline in the gender wage gap is a major driving force of the decrease in the labor market distortions. Moreover, the milder reduction in the labor market distortions observed in Canada, compared to the U.S., is due to a relative increase in effective labor taxes in Canada.
Production Sharing and Real Business Cycles in a Small Open Economy
José Joaquín López
Abstract: Production sharing and vertical specialization account for a significant share of trade between developed and developing countries. The Mexican maquiladora industry provides an ideal example of production sharing in a small open economy. The typical "maquila" imports most of its inputs from and exports all its output to the United States. This article tries to determine to what extent production sharing, as in the Mexican maquiladora, can serve as a transmission mechanism of business cycles in small open economies. We utilize a simple two-sector small open economy model of real business cycles that incorporates production sharing in the traded sector. The transmission channel of business cycles is introduced in the model via demand shocks to the traded sector, originated in the United States' manufacturing sector. The model is successful in replicating real business cycles statistics for the maquiladora sector, as well as some of the characteristics of the nontraded sector.
Cross-Border Returns Differentials
Stephanie E. Curcuru, Tomas Dvorak and Francis E. Warnock
Published as: Curcuru, Stephanie E., Tomas Dvorak and Francis E. Warnock (2008), "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," Quarterly Journal of Economics 123 (4): 1495-1530.
Abstract: Were the U.S. to persistently earn substantially more on its foreign investments ("U.S. claims") than foreigners earn on their U.S. investments ("U.S. liabilities"), the likelihood that the current environment of sizeable global imbalances will evolve in a benign manner increases. However, we find that the returns differential of U.S. claims over U.S. liabilities is far smaller than previously reported and, importantly, is near zero for portfolio equity and debt securities. For portfolio securities, we confirm our finding using a separate dataset on the actual foreign equity and bond portfolios of U.S. investors and the U.S. equity and bond portfolios of foreign investors; in the context of equity and bond portfolios we find no evidence that the U.S. can count on earning more on its claims than it pays on its liabilities. Finally, we reconcile our finding of a near zero returns differential with observed patterns of cumulated current account deficits, the net international investment position, and the net income balance.
International Trade in Durable Goods: Understanding Volatility, Cyclicality, and Elasticities
Charles Engel and Jian Wang
Published as: Engel, Charles and Jian Wang (2010), "International Trade in Durable Goods: Understanding Volatility, Cyclicality, and Elasticities," Journal of International Economics 83 (1): 37-52.
Abstract: Data for OECD countries document: 1. imports and exports are about three times as volatile as GDP; 2. imports and exports are pro-cyclical, and positively correlated with each other; 3. net exports are counter-cyclical. Standard models fail to replicate the behavior of imports and exports, though they can match net exports relatively well. Inspired by the fact that a large fraction of international trade is in durable goods, we propose a two-country two-sector model, in which durable goods are traded across countries. Our model can match the business cycle statistics on the volatility and comovement of the imports and exports relatively well. In addition, the model with trade in durables helps to understand the empirical regularity noted in the trade literature: home and foreign goods are highly substitutable in the long run, but the short-run elasticity of substitution is low. We note that durable consumption also has implications for the appropriate measures of consumption and prices to assess risk-sharing opportunities, as in the empirical work on the Backus-Smith puzzle. The fact that our model can match data better in multiple dimensions suggests that trade in durable goods may be an important element in open-economy macro models.
A Monetary Model of the Exchange Rate with Informational Frictions
Technical Appendix (For code and dataset files, contact the author )
Published as: Martínez-García, Enrique (2010), "A Model of the Exchange Rate with Informational Fractions," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics 10 (1), Contributions: Article 2.
Abstract: Data for the U.S. and the Euro area during the post-Bretton Woods period shows that nominal and real exchange rates are more volatile than consumption, very persistent, and highly correlated with each other. Standard models with nominal rigidities match reasonably well the volatility and persistence of the nominal exchange rate, but require an average contract duration above 4 quarters to approximate the real exchange rate counterparts. I propose a two-country model with financial intermediaries and argue that: First, sticky and asymmetric information introduces a lag in the consumption response to currently unobservable shocks, mostly foreign. Accordingly, the real exchange rate becomes more volatile to induce enough expenditure-switching across countries for all markets to clear. Second, differences in the degree of price stickiness across markets and firms weaken the correlation between the nominal exchange rate and the relative CPI price. This correlation is important to match the moments of the real exchange rate. The model suggests that asymmetric information and differences in price stickiness account better for the stylized facts without relying on an average contract duration for the U.S. larger than the current empirical estimates.
Is Openness Inflationary? Imperfect Competition and Monetary Market Power
Dataset | Code (Fig. 1) | Code (Fig.2)
Richard W. Evans
Abstract: Much empirical work has documented a negative correlation between different measures of globalization or openness and inflation levels across countries and across time. However, there is much less work exploring this relationship through structural international models based on explicit microeconomic foundations. This paper asks the question of how the degree of openness of an economy affects the equilibrium inflation level in a simple two-country OLG model with imperfect competition in which the monetary authority in each country chooses the money growth rate to maximize the welfare of its citizens. I find that a higher degree of openness in a country is associated with a higher equilibrium inflation rate. This result is driven by the fact that the monetary authority enjoys a degree of monopoly power in international markets as Foreign consumers have some degree of inelasticity in their demand for goods produced in the Home country. The decision of the monetary authority is then to balance the benefits of increased money growth that come from the open economy setting with the well-known consumption tax costs of inflation. In addition, I find that the level of imperfect competition among producers within a country is a perfect substitute for the international market power of the monetary authority in extracting the monopoly rents available in this international structure.