Financial Factors in Macroeconometric Models
The important role of credit has long been identified as a key factor for economic development (see e.g. Wicksell (1898), Keynes (1931), Fisher (1933) and Minsky (1957, 1964)). Even before the financial crisis most researchers and policy makers agreed that financial frictions play an important role for business cycles and that financial turmoils can result in severe economic downturns (see e.g. Mishkin (1978), Bernanke (1981, 1983), Diamond (1984), Calomiris (1993) and Bernanke and Gertler (1995)). However, in practice researchers and policy makers mostly used simplified models for forecasting and simulation purposes. They often neglected the impact of financial frictions and emphasized other non financial market frictions when analyzing business cycle fluctuations (prominent exceptions include Kiyotaki and Moore (1997), Bernanke, Gertler, and Gilchrist (1999) and Christiano, Motto, and Rostagno (2010)). This has been due to the fact that most economic downturns did not seem to be closely related to financial market failures (see Eichenbaum (2011)). The outbreak of the subprime crises ― which caused panic in financial markets and led to the default of Lehman Brothers in September 2008 ― then led to a reconsideration of such macroeconomic frameworks (see Caballero (2010) and Trichet (2011)). To address the economic debate from a new perspective, it is therefore necessary to integrate the relevant frictions which help to explain what we have experienced during recent years. In this thesis, I analyze different ways to incorporate relevant frictions and financial variables in macroeconometric models. I discuss the potential consequences for standard statistical inference and macroeconomic policy. I cover three different aspects in this work. Each aspect presents an idea in a self-contained unit. The following paragraphs present more detail on the main topics covered.