The department of macroeconomics analyses economic fluctuations of important economic indicators as GDP, employment, and interest rates in the short and medium horizon, the impact of economic policy on these, and the institutional framework that determines long term growth and the business cycle. Founded on this research, the department offers policy advice.

The department covers a wide range of macroeconomic issues. The research is focused on development, implementation and application of quantitative macroeconomic models and the analysis of the interaction between the financial markets and the real economy.

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Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller
Professor Dr Oliver Holtemöller
Leiter - Department Macroeconomics
Send Message +49 345 7753-800 Personal page

Refereed Publications


Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions

Christiane Baumeister Dimitris Korobilis Thomas K. Lee

in: Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming


We evaluate alternative indicators of global economic activity and other market funda-mentals in terms of their usefulness for forecasting real oil prices and global petroleum consumption. World industrial production is one of the most useful indicators. However, by combining measures from several different sources we can do even better. Our analysis results in a new index of global economic conditions and measures for assessing future energy demand and oil price pressures. We illustrate their usefulness for quantifying the main factors behind the severe contraction of the global economy and the price risks faced by shale oil producers in early 2020.

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The Appropriateness of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure for Central and Eastern European Countries

Geraldine Dany-Knedlik Martina Kämpfe Tobias Knedlik

in: Empirica, forthcoming


The European Commission’s Scoreboard of Macroeconomic Imbalances is a rare case of a publicly released early warning system. It was published first time in 2012 by the European Commission as a reaction to public debt crises in Europe. So far, the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure takes a one-size-fits-all approach with regard to the identification of thresholds. The experience of Central and Eastern European Countries during the global financial crisis and in the resulting public debt crises has been largely different from that of other European countries. This paper looks at the appropriateness of scoreboard of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure of the European Commission for this group of catching-up countries. It is shown that while some of the indicators of the scoreboard are helpful to predict crises in the region, thresholds are in most cases set too narrow since it largely disregarded the specifics of catching-up economies, in particular higher and more volatile growth rates of various macroeconomic variables.

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Fiscal Policy and Fiscal Fragility: Empirical Evidence from the OECD

Makram El-Shagi Gregor von Schweinitz

in: Journal of International Money and Finance, forthcoming


In this paper, we use local projections to investigate the impact of consolidation shocks on GDP growth, conditional on the fragility of government finances. Based on a database of fiscal plans in OECD countries, we show that spending shocks are less detrimental than tax-based consolidation. In times of fiscal fragility, our results indicate strongly that governments should consolidate through surprise policy changes rather than announcements of consolidation at a later horizon.

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(Since when) are East and West German Business Cycles Synchronised?

Stefan Gießler Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller

in: Jahrbücher für Nationalökonomie und Statistik, forthcoming


We analyze whether, and since when, East and West German business cycles are synchronised. We investigate real GDP, unemployment rates and survey data as business cycle indicators and we employ several empirical methods. Overall, we find that the regional business cycles have synchronised over time. GDP-based indicators and survey data show a higher degree of synchronisation than the indicators based on unemployment rates. However, synchronisation among East and West German business cycles seems to have become weaker again recently.

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Power Generation and Structural Change: Quantifying Economic Effects of the Coal Phase-out in Germany

Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller Christoph Schult

in: Energy Economics, forthcoming


In the fight against global warming, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is a major objective. In particular, a decrease in electricity generation by coal could contribute to reducing CO2 emissions. We study potential economic consequences of a coal phase-out in Germany, using a multi-region dynamic general equilibrium model. Four regional phase-out scenarios before the end of 2040 are simulated. We find that the worst case phase-out scenario would lead to an increase in the aggregate unemployment rate by about 0.13 [0.09 minimum; 0.18 maximum] percentage points from 2020 to 2040. The effect on regional unemployment rates varies between 0.18 [0.13; 0.22] and 1.07 [1.00; 1.13] percentage points in the lignite regions. A faster coal phase-out can lead to a faster recovery. The coal phase-out leads to migration from German lignite regions to German non-lignite regions and reduces the labour force in the lignite regions by 10,100 [6300; 12,300] people by 2040. A coal phase-out until 2035 is not worse in terms of welfare, consumption and employment compared to a coal-exit until 2040.

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Working Papers


Financial Technologies and the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy Transmission

Iftekhar Hasan Boreum Kwak Xiang Li

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 26, 2020


This study investigates whether and how financial technologies (FinTech) influence the effectiveness of monetary policy transmission. We examine regional-level FinTech adoption and use an interacted panel vector autoregression model to explore how the effects of monetary policy shocks change with FinTech adoption. The results indicate that FinTech adoption generally enhances monetary policy transmission to real GDP, bank loans, and housing prices, while the evidence of transmission to consumer prices is mixed. A subcategorical analysis shows that the enhanced effectiveness is the most pronounced in the adoption of FinTech payment, compared to that of insurance and credit.

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On the International Dissemination of Technology News Shocks

João Carlos Claudio Gregor von Schweinitz

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 25, 2020


This paper investigates the propagation of technology news shocks within and across industrialised economies. We construct quarterly utilisation-adjusted total factor productivity (TFP) for thirteen OECD countries. Based on country-specific structural vector autoregressions (VARs), we document that (i) the identified technology news shocks induce a quite homogeneous response pattern of key macroeconomic variables in each country; and (ii) the identified technology news shock processes display a significant degree of correlation across several countries. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we find that the US are only one of many different sources of technological innovations diffusing across advanced economies. Technology news propagate through the endogenous reaction of monetary policy and via trade-related variables. That is, our results imply that financial markets and trade are key channels for the dissemination of technology.

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Surges and Instability: The Maturity Shortening Channel

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 23, 2020


Capital inflow surges destabilise the economy through a maturity shortening mechanism. Our main findings are threefold. First, surges are not just scaled-up normal flows, as they change the shape of the interest rate term structure. Second, corporate debt maturity shortens substantially during surges, especially for firms with foreign bank relationships. Third, the probability of a crisis following surges with a widened term spread is at least twice that after surges without one. Our work suggests that financial globalisation is not merely an equalisation of interest rate differentials, and debt maturity is key to understanding the consequences of capital inflow bonanzas.

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Sovereign Default Risk, Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Monetary-Fiscal Stabilisation

Markus Kirchner Malte Rieth

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 22, 2020


This paper examines the role of sovereign default beliefs for macroeconomic fluctuations and stabilisation policy in a small open economy where fiscal solvency is a critical problem. We set up and estimate a DSGE model on Turkish data and show that accounting for sovereign risk significantly improves the fit of the model through an endogenous amplication between default beliefs, exchange rate and inflation movements. We then use the estimated model to study the implications of sovereign risk for stability, fiscal and monetary policy, and their interaction. We find that a relatively strong fiscal feedback from deficits to taxes, some exchange rate targeting, or a monetary response to default premia are more effective and efficient stabilisation tools than hawkish inflation targeting.

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Exchange Rates and the Information Channel of Monetary Policy

Oliver Holtemöller Alexander Kriwoluzky Boreum Kwak

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2020


We disentangle the effects of monetary policy announcements on real economic variables into an interest rate shock component and a central bank information shock component. We identify both components using changes in interest rate futures and in exchange rates around monetary policy announcements. While the volatility of interest rate surprises declines around the Great Recession, the volatility of exchange rate changes increases. Making use of this heteroskedasticity, we estimate that a contractionary interest rate shock appreciates the dollar, increases the excess bond premium, and leads to a decline in prices and output, while a positive information shock appreciates the dollar, decreases prices and the excess bond premium, and increases output.

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