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.
Employing 20 experts, the department is able to cover 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.
The Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Estimated DSGE Model – The Case of the German Stimulus Packages During the Great Recession
in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, forthcoming
In this paper, we analyse the effects of the stimulus packages adopted by the German government during the Great Recession. We employ a standard medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model extended by non-optimising households and a detailed fiscal sector. In particular, the dynamics of spending and revenue variables are modeled as feedback rules with respect to the cyclical component of output. Based on the estimated rules, fiscal shocks are identified. According to the results, fiscal policy, in particular public consumption, investment, transfers and changes in labour tax rates including social security contributions prevented a sharper and prolonged decline of German output at the beginning of the Great Recession, suggesting a timely response of fiscal policy. The overall effects, however, are small when compared to other domestic and international shocks that contributed to the economic downturn. Our overall findings are not sensitive to the allowance of fiscal foresight.
Bank Response to Higher Capital Requirements: Evidence from a Quasi-natural Experiment
in: Review of Financial Studies, forthcoming
We study the impact of higher capital requirements on banks’ balance sheets and its transmission to the real economy. The 2011 EBA capital exercise provides an almost ideal quasi-natural experiment, which allows us to identify the effect of higher capital requirements using a difference-in-differences matching estimator. We find that treated banks increase their capital ratios not by raising their levels of equity, but by reducing their credit supply. We also show that this reduction in credit supply results in lower firm-, investment-, and sales growth for firms which obtain a larger share of their bank credit from the treated banks.
Deleveraging and Consumer Credit Supply in the Wake of the 2008-2009 Financial Crisis
in: International Journal of Central Banking, forthcomingread publication
For How Long Do IMF Forecasts of World Economic Growth Stay Up-to-date?
in: Applied Economics Letters, forthcoming
This study analyses the performance of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) World Economic Outlook output forecasts for the world and for both the advanced economies and the emerging and developing economies. With a focus on the forecast for the current year and the next year, we examine the durability of IMF forecasts, looking at how much time has to pass so that IMF forecasts can be improved by using leading indicators with monthly updates. Using a real-time data set for GDP and for indicators, we find that some simple single-indicator forecasts on the basis of data that are available at higher frequency can significantly outperform the IMF forecasts as soon as the publication of the IMF’s Outlook is only a few months old. In particular, there is an obvious gain using leading indicators from January to March for the forecast of the current year.
Should Forecasters Use Real‐time Data to Evaluate Leading Indicator Models for GDP Prediction? German Evidence
in: German Economic Review, forthcoming
In this paper, we investigate whether differences exist among forecasts using real‐time or latest‐available data to predict gross domestic product (GDP). We employ mixed‐frequency models and real‐time data to reassess the role of surveys and financial data relative to industrial production and orders in Germany. Although we find evidence that forecast characteristics based on real‐time and final data releases differ, we also observe minimal impacts on the relative forecasting performance of indicator models. However, when obtaining the optimal combination of soft and hard data, the use of final release data may understate the role of survey information.
Expectation Formation, Financial Frictions, and Forecasting Performance of Dynamic Stochastic General Equilibrium Models
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2018
In this paper, we document the forecasting performance of estimated basic dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models and compare this to extended versions which consider alternative expectation formation assumptions and financial frictions. We also show how standard model features, such as price and wage rigidities, contribute to forecasting performance. It turns out that neither alternative expectation formation behaviour nor financial frictions can systematically increase the forecasting performance of basic DSGE models. Financial frictions improve forecasts only during periods of financial crises. However, traditional price and wage rigidities systematically help to increase the forecasting performance.
Did the Swiss Exchange Rate Shock Shock the Market?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2018
The Swiss National Bank abolished the exchange rate floor versus the Euro in January 2015. Based on a synthetic matching framework, we analyse the impact of this unexpected (and therefore exogenous) shock on the stock market. The results reveal a significant level shift (decline) in asset prices in Switzerland following the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate. While adjustments in stock market returns were most pronounced directly after the news announcement, the variance was elevated for some weeks, indicating signs of increased uncertainty and potentially negative consequences for the real economy.
On the Empirics of Reserve Requirements and Economic Growth
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2018
Reserve requirements, as a tool of macroprudential policy, have been increasingly employed since the outbreak of the great financial crisis. We conduct an analysis of the effect of reserve requirements in tranquil and crisis times on credit and GDP growth making use of Bayesian model averaging methods. In terms of credit growth, we can show that initial negative effects of higher reserve requirements (which are often reported in the literature) tend to be short-lived and turn positive in the longer run. In terms of GDP per capita growth, we find on average a negative but not robust effect of regulation in tranquil times, which is only partly offset by a positive but also not robust effect in crisis times.
The Economic Development of Saxony-Anhalt since 1990
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 6, 2018
This article describes the economic development of Saxony-Anhalt since 1990 in the context of the East German transition from a centrally planned economy to a market economy. In the early 1990s the economy of Saxony-Anhalt caught up quickly with West Germany, mainly because the capital stock was modernized and expanded. Convergence, however, has almost come to a halt for some time now and gross domestic product per employed person is still about 20% below the West German level. The challenge for economic policy is to further the catching-up process by fostering research and innovation and improving the skills of the workforce.
Zu den rentenpolitischen Plänen im Koalitionsvertrag 2018 von CDU, CSU und SPD: Konsequenzen, Finanzierungsoptionen und Reformbedarf
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 5, 2018
In the coalition agreement from February 7, 2018, the new German federal government drafts its public pension policy, which has to be evaluated against the background of demographic dynamics in Germany. From the year 2020 onwards, the age structure of the German population will change significantly. In this paper, the consequences of public pensions related policy measures from the coalition agreement for the German public pension insurance are illustrated using a simulation model. In the long run, the intended extensions of benefits would lead to an increase in the contribution rate to the German public pension insurance of about two and a half percentage points. Referring to pension systems of other countries, we discuss measures in order to limit this increase in the contribution rate.