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.

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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


Does Machine Learning Help us Predict Banking Crises?

Johannes Beutel 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


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


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


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


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


Energy Markets and Global Economic Conditions

Christiane Baumeister Dimitris Korobilis Thomas K. Lee

in: NBER Working Paper, No. 27001, 2020


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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Epidemics in the Neoclassical and New Keynesian Models

Martin S. Eichenbaum Sergio Rebelo Mathias Trabandt

in: NBER Working Paper, No. 27430, 2020


We analyze the effects of an epidemic in three standard macroeconomic models. We find that the neoclassical model does not rationalize the positive comovement of consumption and investment observed in recessions associated with an epidemic. Introducing monopolistic competition into the neoclassical model remedies this shortcoming even when prices are completely flexible. Finally, sticky prices lead to a larger recession but do not fundamentally alter the predictions of the monopolistic competition model.

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The Evolution of Monetary Policy in Latin American Economies: Responsiveness to Inflation under Different Degrees of Credibility

Stefan Gießler

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2020


This paper investigates the forward-lookingness of monetary policy related to stabilising inflation over time under different degrees of central bank credibility in the four largest Latin American economies, which experienced a different transition path to the full-fledged inflation targeting regime. The analysis is based on an interest rate-based hybrid monetary policy rule with time-varying coefficients, which captures possible shifts from a backward-looking to a forward-looking monetary policy rule related to inflation stabilisation. The main results show that monetary policy is fully forward-looking and exclusively reacts to expected inflation under nearly perfect central bank credibility. Under a partially credible central bank, monetary policy is both backward-looking and forward-looking in terms of stabilising inflation. Moreover, monetary authorities put increasingly more priority on stabilising expected inflation relative to actual inflation if central bank credibility tends to improve over time.

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How Does Economic Policy Uncertainty Affect Corporate Debt Maturity?

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 6, 2020


This paper investigates whether and how economic policy uncertainty affects corporate debt maturity. Using a cross-country firm-level dataset for France, Germany, Spain, and Italy from 1996 to 2010, we find that an increase in economic policy uncertainty is significantly associated with a shortened debt maturity. Specifically, a 1% increase in economic policy uncertainty is associated with a 0.22% decrease in the long-term debt-to-assets ratio and a 0.08% decrease in debt maturity. Moreover, the impacts of economic policy uncertainty are stronger for innovation-intensive firms. We use firms‘ flexibility in changing debt maturity and the deviation to leverage target to gauge the causal relationship, and identify the reduced investment and steepened term structure as transmission mechanisms.

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Capital Account Liberalisation Does Worsen Income Inequality

Xiang Li Dan Su

in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 7, 2020


This study examines the relationship between capital account liberalisation and income inequality. Adopting a novel identification strategy, namely a difference-in-difference estimation combined with propensity score matching between the liberalised and closed countries, we provide robust evidence that opening the capital account is associated with an adverse impact on income inequality in developing countries. The main findings are threefold. First, fully liberalising the capital account is associated with a small rise of 0.07-0.30 standard deviations in the Gini coefficient in the short-run and a rise as large as 0.32-0.62 standard deviations in the ten years after liberalisation, on average. Second, widening income inequality is the outcome of the growing income share of the rich at the cost of the poor. The long-term effect of capital account liberalisation includes a reduction in the income share of the poorest half by 2.66-3.79 percentage points and an increase in the income share of the richest 10% by 5.19-8.76 percentage points. Third, the directions and categories of capital account liberalisation matter. Inward capital account liberalisation is more detrimental to income equality than outward capital account liberalisation, and free access to the international equity market exacerbates income inequality the most, while foreign direct investment has an insignificant impact on inequality.

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