Macroeconomics

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.

Your contact

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

Refereed Publications

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Does Machine Learning Help us Predict Banking Crises?

Johannes Beutel Sophia List Gregor von Schweinitz

in: Journal of Financial Stability, forthcoming

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Involuntary Unemployment and the Business Cycle

Lawrence J. Christiano Mathias Trabandt Karl Walentin

in: Review of Economic Dynamics, forthcoming

Abstract

Can a model with limited labor market insurance explain standard macro and labor market data jointly? We construct a monetary model in which: i) the unemployed are worse off than the employed, i.e. unemployment is involuntary and ii) the labor force participation rate varies with the business cycle. To illustrate key features of our model, we start with the simplest possible framework. We then integrate the model into a medium-sized DSGE model and show that the resulting model does as well as existing models at accounting for the response of standard macroeconomic variables to monetary policy shocks and two technology shocks. In addition, the model does well at accounting for the response of the labor force and unemployment rate to these three shocks.

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Nowcasting East German GDP Growth: a MIDAS Approach

João Carlos Claudio Katja Heinisch Oliver Holtemöller

in: Empirical Economics, forthcoming

Abstract

Economic forecasts are an important element of rational economic policy both on the federal and on the local or regional level. Solid budgetary plans for government expenditures and revenues rely on efficient macroeconomic projections. However, official data on quarterly regional GDP in Germany are not available, and hence, regional GDP forecasts do not play an important role in public budget planning. We provide a new quarterly time series for East German GDP and develop a forecasting approach for East German GDP that takes data availability in real time and regional economic indicators into account. Overall, we find that mixed-data sampling model forecasts for East German GDP in combination with model averaging outperform regional forecast models that only rely on aggregate national information.

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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

Abstract

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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Switching to Good Policy? The Case of Central and Eastern European Inflation Targeters

Andrej Drygalla

in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, forthcoming

Abstract

The paper analyzes how actual monetary policy changed following the official adoption of inflation targeting in the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland and how it affected the volatilities of important macroeconomic variables in the years thereafter. To disentangle the effects of the policy shift from exogenous changes in the volatilities of these variables, a Markov-switching dynamic stochastic general equilibrium model is estimated that allows for regime switches in the policy parameters and the volatilities of shocks hitting the economies. Whereas estimation results reveal periods of high and low volatility for all three economies, the presence of different policy regimes is supported by the underlying data for the Czech Republic and Poland, only. In both economies, monetary policy switched from weak and unsystematic to strong and systematic responses to inflation dynamics. Simulation results suggest that the policy shifts of both central banks successfully reduced inflation volatility in the following years. The observed reduction in output volatility, on the other hand, is attributed more to a reduction in the size of external shocks.

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Working Papers

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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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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

Abstract

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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Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions

Christiane Baumeister Dimitris Korobilis Thomas K. Lee

in: NBER Working Paper, No. 27001, 2020

Abstract

This paper evaluates alternative indicators of global economic activity and other market fundamentals in terms of their usefulness for forecasting real oil prices and global petroleum consumption. We find that world industrial production is one of the most useful indicators that has been proposed in the literature. However, by combining measures from a number of different sources we can do even better. Our analysis results in a new index of global economic conditions and new measures for assessing future tightness of energy demand and expected oil price pressures.

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