Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey: Survey Methodology and Performance
Jesus Cañas and Emily Kerr
Abstract: The Texas Manufacturing Outlook Survey (TMOS) is a monthly survey of area manufacturers conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. TMOS indexes provide timely information on manufacturing activity in Texas, which is useful for understanding broader changes in regional economic conditions. This paper describes the survey methodology and analyzes the explanatory and predictive power of TMOS indexes with regard to other measures of state economic activity. Regression analysis shows that several TMOS indexes successfully explain monthly changes in Texas employment and quarterly changes in gross state product. Forecasting exercises show that several TMOS indexes, particularly general business activity and growth rate of orders, are useful in predicting changes in Texas employment.
The Impact of Temporary Protected Status on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes
Pia Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny
Published as: Orrenius, Pia M. and Madeline Zavodny (2015), "The Impact of Temporary Protected Status on Immigrants’ Labor Market Outcomes," American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 105 (5): 576-580.
Abstract: The United States currently provides Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to more than 300,000 immigrants from selected countries. TPS is typically granted if dangerous conditions prevail in the home country due to armed conflict or a natural disaster. Individuals with TPS cannot be deported and are allowed to stay and work in the United States temporarily. Despite the increased use of TPS in recent years, little is known about how TPS affects labor market outcomes for beneficiaries, most of whom are unauthorized prior to receiving TPS. This study examines how migrants from El Salvador who are likely to have received TPS fare in the labor market compared with other migrants. The results suggest that TPS eligibility leads to higher employment rates among women and higher earnings among men. The results have implications for recent programs that allow some unauthorized immigrants to receive temporary permission to remain and work in the United States.
150 Years of Boom and Bust: What Drives Mineral Commodity Prices?
Abstract: My paper provides long-run evidence on the dynamic effects of supply and demand shocks on mineral commodity prices. I assemble and analyze a new data set of price and production levels of copper, lead, tin, and zinc from 1840 to 2010. Price fluctuations are primarily driven by demand rather than supply shocks. Demand shocks affect the price persistently for up to five-teen years, whereas the effect of mineral supply shocks persists for a maximum of five years. My paper shows that price surges caused by rapid industrialization are a recurrent phenomenon throughout history. Mineral commodity prices return to their declining or stable trends in the long run.
Industrialization and the Demand for Mineral Commodities
Abstract: This paper uses a new data set extending back to 1840 to investigate how industrialization affects the derived demand for mineral commodities. I establish that there is substantial heterogeneity in the long-run effect of manufacturing output on demand across five commodities after controlling for sectoral change, substitution and technological development. My results imply substantial differences across commodities with regard to future demand from industrializing countries and with regard to the effect of demand shocks on prices. Models should include non-Gormand preferences to account for this heterogeneity.
Macroelasticities and the U.S. Sequestration Budget Cuts
Abstract: Microeconomic studies keep reporting that the intertemporal substitution in consumption and the Frisch elasticity of aggregate labor supply have signi ficantly lower values than macroeconomic models find consistent with the dynamics of aggregate variables. The paper argues that in the U.S. such dynamics have been influenced since 2013 by the temporary spending cuts imposed by the so-called budget sequestration. The paper exploits the "policy experiment" features of that measure to gauge macroelasticity values from the evidence associated with it, adopting to that effect a macroeconomic model constructed according to the methodological principles advocated by the real business cycle literature. Readings of the preliminary evidence available at the time of this writing with such a measuring device do not particularly favor high values for either of the two macroelasticities under study. Although its too early to be conclusive, this finding illustrates how existing disagreements about the value of key macroelasticities can eventually be narrowed down by applying the approach proposed in this paper to the evidence coming out of the budget sequestration policy, as it unfolds over time.
Asymmetric Firm Dynamics under Rational Inattention
Anton Cheremukhin and Antonella Tutino
Abstract: We study the link between business failures, markups and business cycle asymmetry in the U.S. economy with a model of optimal rm exit under rational inattention. We show that the models predictions of lagged, counter-cyclical and positively skewed markups together with counter-cyclical exit rates are consistent with the empirical evidence. Moreover, our model uncovers a new mechanism that links information processing with the business cycle. It predicts countercyclical attention to economic conditions consistent with survey evidence.
Do Restrictions on Home Equity Extraction Contribute to Lower Mortgage Defaults? Evidence from a Policy Discontinuity at the Texas’ Border
Abstract: Texas is the only US state that limits home equity borrowing to 80 percent of home value. This paper exploits this policy discontinuity around the Texas’ interstate borders and uses a multidimensional regression discontinuity design framework to find that limits on home equity borrowing in Texas lowered the likelihood of mortgage default by about 1 percentage point for all mortgages and 2-4 percentage points for nonprime mortgages. Estimated nonprime mortgage default hazards within 25 to 100 miles on either side of the Texas’ border are about 15 percent smaller as one crosses into Texas.
A Closer Look at the Phillips Curve Using State Level Data
Anil Kumar and Pia Orrenius
Published as: Kumar, Anil and Pia M. Orrenius (2016), "A Closer Look at the Phillips Curve Using State-Level Data," Journal of Macroeconomics 47 (Part A): 84-102.
Abstract: Studies that estimate the Phillips curve for the U.S. use mainly national-level data and find mixed evidence of nonlinearity, with some recent studies either rejecting nonlinearity or estimating only modest convexity. In addition, most studies do not make a distinction between the relative impacts of short-term vs. long-term unemployment on wage inflation. Using state-level data from1982 to 2013, we find strong evidence that the wage-price Phillips curve is nonlinear and convex; declines in the unemployment rate below the average unemployment rate exert significantly higher wage pressure than changes in the unemployment rate above the historical average. We also find that the short-term unemployment rate has a strong relationship with both average and median wage growth, while the long-term unemployment rate appears to influence only median wage growth.
Income Inequality and Political Polarization: Time Series Evidence Over Nine Decades
John V. Duca and Jason L. Saving
Published as: Duca, John V. and Jason L. Saving (2016), "Income Inequality and Political Polarization: Time Series Evidence Over Nine Decades," Review of Income and Wealth 62 (3): 445-466.
Abstract: Rising income inequality and political polarization have led some to hypothesize that the two are causally linked. Properly interpreting such correlations is complicated by the multiple factors that drive each of these phenomena, potential feedbacks between inequality and polarization, measurement issues, and statistical challenges for modeling non-stationary variables. We find that a more precise measure of inequality (the inverted Pareto-Lorenz coefficient) is statistically related to polarization while a less precise one (top 1% income share) is not, and that there are bi-directional feedbacks between polarization and inequality. Findings support a nuanced view of the links between polarization and inequality.
Fuel Subsidies, the Oil Market and the World Economy
Nathan Balke, Michael Plante and Mine Yücel
Published as: Balke, Nathan S., Michael D. Plante and Mine K. Yücel (2015), "Fuel Subsidies, the Oil Market and the World Economy," The Energy Journal 36 (S): 99-127.
Abstract: This paper studies the effects of oil producing countries' fuel subsidies on the oil market and the world economy. We identify 24 oil producing countries with fuel subsidies where retail fuel prices are about 34 percent of the world price. We construct a two-country model where one country represents the oil-exporting subsidizers and the second the oil-importing bloc, and calibrate the model to match recent data. We find that the removal of subsidies would reduce the world price of oil by six percent. The removal of subsidies is unambiguously welfare enhancing for the oil-importing countries. Welfare can also improve in the oil-exporting countries, depending upon the extent to which they are net exporters of oil and on oil supply and demand elasticities.
Deposit Interest Rate Ceilings as Credit Supply Shifters:
Bank Level Evidence on the Effects of Regulation Q
Published as: Koch, Christoffer (2015), "Deposit Interest Rate Ceilings as Credit Supply Shifters: Bank Level evidence on the Effects of Regulation Q," Journal of Banking & Finance 61: 316-326.
Abstract: Shocks emanating from and propagating through the banking system have recently gained interest in the macroeconomics literature, yet they are not a feature unique to the 2008/09 financial crisis. Banking disintermediation shocks occured frequently during the Great Inflation era due to fixed deposit rate ceilings. I estimate the effect of deposit rate ceilings inscribed in Regulation Q on the transmission of federal funds rate changes to bank level credit growth using a historic bank level data set spanning half a century from 1959 to 2013 with about two million observations. Measures of the degree of bindingness of Regulation Q suggest that individual banks’ lending growth was smaller the more binding the legally fixed rate ceiling. Interaction terms with monetary policy suggest that the policy impact on bank level credit growth was non-linear at the ceiling “kink” and significantly larger when rate ceilings were in place. At the bank level, short-term interest rates exceeding the legally fixed deposit rate ceilings identify bank loan supply shifts that disappeared with deposit rate deregulation and thus weakened the credit channel of monetary transmission since the early 1980s.
The Zero Lower Bound and Endogenous Uncertainty
Michael Plante, Alexander W. Richter and Nathaniel A. Throckmorton
Abstract: This paper documents a strong negative correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth since the Great Recession. Prior to that event the correlation was weak, even when conditioning on recessions. At the same time, many central banks reduced their policy rate to its zero lower bound (ZLB), which we contend contributed to the strong correlation between macroeconomic uncertainty and real GDP growth. To test that theory, we use a model where the ZLB occasionally binds. The model roughly matches the correlation in the data—away from the ZLB the correlation is weak but strongly negative when the ZLB binds.
Heterogeneous Bank Lending Responses to Monetary Policy: New Evidence from a Real-time Identification
John C. Bluedorn, Christopher Bowdler and Christoffer Koch
Abstract: We present new evidence on how heterogeneity in banks interacts with monetary policy changes to impact bank lending, at both the bank and U.S. state levels. Using an exogenous policy measure identified from narratives on FOMC intentions and real-time economic forecasts, we find much stronger dynamic effects and greater heterogeneity in U.S. bank lending responses than that found in previous research based on realized federal funds rate changes. Our findings suggest that studies using realized monetary policy changes confound monetary policy’s effects with those of changes in expected macrofundamentals. In fact, estimates from identified monetary policy changes lead to a reversal of U.S. states’ ranking by credit’s sensitivity to policy. We also extend Romer and Romer (2004)’s identification scheme, and expand the time and balance sheet coverage of the U.S. banking sample.
How Do E-Verify Mandates Affect Unauthorized Immigrant Workers?
Pia M. Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny
Published as: Orrenius, Pia M. and Madeline Zavodny (2015), "The Impact of E-Verify Mandates on Labor Market Outcomes," Southern Economic Journal 81 (4): 947-959.
Abstract: A number of states have adopted laws that require employers to use the federal government’s E-Verify program to check workers’ eligibility to work legally in the United States. Using data from the Current Population Survey, this study examines whether such laws affect labor market outcomes among Mexican immigrants who are likely to be unauthorized. We find evidence that E-Verify mandates reduce average hourly earnings among likely unauthorized male Mexican immigrants while increasing labor force participation and employment among likely unauthorized female Mexican immigrants. In contrast, the mandates appear to lead to better labor market outcomes among workers likely to compete with unauthorized immigrants. Employment and earnings rise among male Mexican immigrants who are naturalized citizens in states that adopt E-Verify mandates, and earnings rise among U.S.-born Hispanic men.
A Theory of Targeted Search
Anton Cheremukhin, Antonella Tutino and Paulina Restrepo-Echavarria
Abstract: We present a theory of targeted search, where people with a finite information processing capacity search for a match. Our theory explicitly accounts for both the quantity and the quality of matches. It delivers a unique equilibrium that resides in between the random matching and the directed search outcomes. The equilibrium that emerges from this middle ground is inefficient relative to the constrained Pareto allocation. Our theory encompasses the outcomes of the random matching and the directed search literature as limiting cases.
What Drives the Shadow Banking
System in the Short and Long Run?
John V. Duca
Abstract: This paper analyzes how risk and other factors altered the relative use of short-term business debt funded by the shadow banking system since the early 1960s. Results indicate that the share was affected over the long-run not only by changing information and reserve requirement costs, but also by shifts in the impact of regulations on bank versus nonbank credit sources—such as Basel I in 1990 and reregulation in 2010. In the short-run, the shadow share rose when deposit interest rate ceilings were binding, the economic outlook improved, or risk premia declined, and fell when event risks disrupted financial markets.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.