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.
Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions
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.
Resolving the Missing Deflation Puzzle
in: Journal of Monetary Economics, forthcoming
A resolution of the missing deflation puzzle is proposed. Our resolution stresses the importance of nonlinearities in price- and wage-setting when the economy is exposed to large shocks. We show that a nonlinear macroeconomic model with real rigidities resolves the missing deflation puzzle, while a linearized version of the same underlying nonlinear model fails to do so. In addition, our nonlinear model reproduces the skewness of inflation and other macroeconomic variables observed in post-war U.S. data. All told, our results caution against the common practice of using linearized models to study inflation and output dynamics.
Inflation Puzzles, the Phillips Curve and Output Expectations: New Perspectives from the Euro Zone
in: Empirica, forthcoming
Confidence in the Phillips Curve (PC) as predictor of inflation developments along the business cycle has been shaken by recent “inflation puzzles” in advanced countries, such as the “missing disinflation” in the aftermath of the Great Recession and the “missing inflation” in the years of recovery, to which the Euro-Zone “excess deflation” during the post-crisis depression may be added. This paper proposes a newly specified Phillips Curve model, in which expected inflation, instead of being treated as an exogenous explanatory variable of actual inflation, is endogenized. The idea is simply that if the PC is used to foresee inflation, then its expectational component should in some way be the result of agents using the PC itself. As a consequence, the truly independent explanatory variables of inflation turn out to be the output gaps and the related forecast errors by agents, with notable empirical consequences. The model is tested with the Euro-Zone data 1999–2019 showing that it may provide a consistent explanation of the “inflation puzzles” by disentangling the structural component from the expectational effects of the PC.
Why They Keep Missing: An Empirical Investigation of Sovereign Bond Ratings and Their Timing
in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, forthcoming
Two contradictory strands of the rating literature criticize that rating agencies merely follow the market on the one hand, and emphasizing that rating changes affect capital movements on the other hand. Both focus on explaining rating levels rather than the timing of rating announcements. Contrarily, we explicitly differentiate between a decision to assess a country and the actual rating decision. We show that this differentiation significantly improves the estimation of the rating function. The three major rating agencies treat economic fundamentals similarly, while differing in their response to other factors such as strategic considerations. This reconciles the conflicting literature.
Monetary Policy through Exchange Rate Pegs: The Removal of the Swiss Franc‐Euro Floor and Stock Price Reactions
in: International Review of Finance, No. 4, 2021
The Swiss National Bank abolished the exchange rate floor versus the Euro in January 2015. Using a synthetic matching framework, we analyze the impact of this unexpected (and therefore exogenous) policy change on the stock market. The results reveal a significant level shift (decline) in asset prices following the discontinuation of the minimum exchange rate. As a novel finding in the literature, we document that the exchange‐rate elasticity of Swiss asset prices is around −0.75. Differentiating between sectors of the Swiss economy, we find that the industrial, financial and consumer goods sectors are most strongly affected by the abolition of the minimum exchange rate.
Economic Sentiment: Disentangling Private Information from Public Knowledge
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2021
This paper addresses a general problem with the use of surveys as source of information about the state of an economy: Answers to surveys are highly dependent on information that is publicly available, while only additional information that is not already publicly known has the potential to improve a professional forecast. We propose a simple procedure to disentangle the private information of agents from knowledge that is already publicly known for surveys that ask for general as well as for private prospects. Our results reveal the potential of our proposed technique for the usage of European Commissions‘ consumer surveys for economic forecasting for Germany.
Technology Adoption and the Bank Lending Channel of Monetary Policy Transmission
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2021
This paper studies whether and how banks‘ technology adoption affects the bank lending channel of monetary policy transmission. We construct a new measurement of bank-level technology adoption, which can tell whether the technology is related to the bank‘s lending business and which specific technology is adopted. We find that lending-related technology adoption significantly strengthens the transmission of the bank lending channel, meanwhile, adopting technologies that are not related to lending activities significantly mitigates that. By technology categories, the adoption of cloud computing technology displays the largest impact on strengthening the bank lending channel. Moreover, higher exposure to BigTech competition is significantly associated with a weaker reaction to monetary policy shocks.
Dilemma and Global Financial Cycle: Evidence from Capital Account Liberalisation Episodes
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 13, 2021
By focusing on the episodes of substantial capital account liberalisation and adopting a new methodology, this paper provides new evidence on the dilemma and global financial cycle theory. I first identify the capital account liberalisation episodes for 95 countries from 1970 to 2016, and then employ an augmented inverse propensity score weighted (AIPW) estimator to calculate the average treatment effect (ATE) of opening capital account on the interest rate comovements with the core country. Results show that opening capital account causes a country to lose its monetary policy independence, and a floating exchange rate regime cannot shield this effect. Moreover, the impact is stronger when liberalising outward and banking flows.
U.S. Monetary and Fiscal Policy Regime Changes and Their Interactions
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 12, 2021
We investigate U.S. monetary and fiscal policy interactions in a regime-switching model of monetary and fiscal policy rules where policy mixes are determined by a latent bivariate autoregressive process consisting of monetary and fiscal policy regime factors, each determining a respective policy regime. Both policy regime factors receive feedback from past policy disturbances, and interact contemporaneously and dynamically to determine policy regimes. We find strong feedback and dynamic interaction between monetary and fiscal authorities. The most salient features of these interactions are that past monetary policy disturbance strongly influences both monetary and fiscal policy regimes, and that monetary authority responds to past fiscal policy regime. We also find substantial evidence that the U.S. monetary and fiscal authorities have been interacting: central bank responds less aggressively to inflation when fiscal authority puts less attention on debt stabilisation, and vice versa.
Conditional Macroeconomic Forecasts: Disagreement, Revisions and Forecast Errors
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 7, 2021
Using data from the European Central Bank‘s Survey of Professional Forecasters, we analyse the role of ex-ante conditioning variables for macroeconomic forecasts. In particular, we test to which extent the heterogeneity, updating and ex-post performance of predictions for inflation, real GDP growth and the unemployment rate are related to assumptions about future oil prices, exchange rates, interest rates and wage growth. Our findings indicate that inflation forecasts are closely associated with oil price expectations, whereas expected interest rates are used primarily to predict output growth and unemployment. Expectations about exchange rates and wage growth also matter for macroeconomic forecasts, albeit less so than oil prices and interest rates. We show that survey participants can considerably improve forecast accuracy for macroeconomic outcomes by reducing prediction errors for external conditions. Our results contribute to a better understanding of the expectation formation process of experts.