Monetary Aggregates, Asset Prices and Real Outcomes
Paying close attention to money, credit, and asset prices shall improve the IWH's macroeconomic policy work, especially in terms of forecasting macroeconomic developments and risks, but also in terms of assessing the stance of monetary policy. To this end, it is necessary to understand the relationship between monetary and financial developments, on the one hand, and macroeconomic dynamics and stability, on the other hand. Money and credit are important determinants of the macroeconomic performance of a market economy. Research in this group contributes to the literature on quantitative macroeconomic models to be applied for forecasting and policy analysis that incorporate monetary and financial aspects.
Research ClusterMacroeconomic Dynamics and Stability
01.2017 ‐ 12.2017
Effects of exchange rate changes on production and inflation
On the Low-frequency Relationship Between Public Deficits and Inflation
in: Journal of Applied Econometrics, No. 3, 2016
We estimate the low-frequency relationship between fiscal deficits and inflation and pay special attention to its potential time variation by estimating a time-varying vector autoregression model for US data from 1900 to 2011. We find the strongest relationship neither in times of crisis nor in times of high public deficits, but from the mid 1960s up to 1980. Employing a structural decomposition of the low-frequency relationship and further narrative evidence, we interpret our results such that the low-frequency relationship between fiscal deficits and inflation is strongly related to the conduct of monetary policy and its interaction with fiscal policy after World War II.
Nested Models and Model Uncertainty
in: Scandinavian Journal of Economics, No. 2, 2016
Uncertainty about the appropriate choice among nested models is a concern for optimal policy when policy prescriptions from those models differ. The standard procedure is to specify a prior over the parameter space, ignoring the special status of submodels (e.g., those resulting from zero restrictions). Following Sims (2008, Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 32, 2460–2475), we treat nested submodels as probability models, and we formalize a procedure that ensures that submodels are not discarded too easily and do matter for optimal policy. For the United States, we find that optimal policy based on our procedure leads to substantial welfare gains compared to the standard procedure.
The Diablo 3 Economy: An Agent Based Approach
in: Computational Economics, No. 2, 2016
Designers of MMOs such as Diablo 3 face economic problems much like policy makers in the real world, e.g. inflation and distributional issues. Solving economic problems through regular updates (patches) became as important to those games as traditional gameplay issues. In this paper we provide an agent framework inspired by the economic features of Diablo 3 and analyze the effect of monetary policy in the game. Our model reproduces a number of features known from the Diablo 3 economy such as a heterogeneous price development, driven almost exclusively by goods of high quality, a highly unequal wealth distribution and strongly decreasing economic mobility. The basic framework presented in this paper is meant as a stepping stone to further research, where our evidence is used to deepen our understanding of the real-world counterparts of such problems. The advantage of our model is that it combines simplicity that is inherent to model economies with a similarly simple observable counterpart (namely the game environment where real agents interact). By matching the dynamics of the game economy we can thus easily verify that our behavioral assumptions are good approximations to reality.
Monetary Policy and the Transaction Role of Money in the US
in: The Economic Journal, No. 587, 2015
The declining importance of money in transactions can explain the well-known fact that US interest rate policy was passive in the pre-Volcker period and active after 1982. We generalise a standard cashless new Keynesian model (Woodford, 2003) by incorporating an explicit transaction role for money. In the pre-Volcker period, we estimate that money did play an important role and determinacy required a passive interest rate policy. However, after 1982, money no longer played an important role in facilitating transactions. Correspondingly, the conventional view prevails and an active policy ensured equilibrium determinacy.
The Quantity Theory Revisited: A New Structural Approach
in: Macroeconomic Dynamics, No. 1, 2015
We propose a unified identification scheme to identify monetary shocks and track their propagation through the economy. We combine three approaches dealing with the consequences of monetary shocks. First, we adjust a state space version of the P-star type model employing money overhang as the driving force of inflation. Second, we identify the contemporaneous impact of monetary policy shocks by applying a sign restriction identification scheme to the reduced form given by the state space signal equations. Third, to ensure that our results are not distorted by the measurement error exhibited by the official monetary data, we employ the Divisia M4 monetary aggregate provided by the Center for Financial Stability. Our approach overcomes one of the major difficulties of previous models by using a data-driven identification of equilibrium velocity. Thus, we are able to show that a P-star model can fit U.S. data and money did indeed matter in the United States.
The Appropriateness of the Macroeconomic Imbalance Procedure for Central and Eastern European Countries
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 16, 2017
The experience of Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) during the global financial crisis and in the resulting European debt crises has been largely different from that of other European countries. This paper looks at the specifics of the CEEC in recent history and focuses in particular on the appropriateness of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure for this group of countries. In doing so, the macroeconomic situation in the CEEC is highlighted and macroeconomic problems faced by these countries are extracted. The findings are compared to the results of the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure of the European Commission. It is shown that while the Macroeconomic Imbalances Procedure correctly identifies some of the problems, it understates or overstates other problems. This is due to the specific construction of the broadened surveillance procedure, which largely disregarded the specifics of catching-up economies.
U.S. Monetary-Fiscal Regime Changes in the Presence of Endogenous Feedback in Policy Rules
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 15, 2017
We investigate U.S. monetary and fiscal policy regime interactions in a model, where regimes are determined by latent autoregressive policy factors with endogenous feedback. Policy regimes interact strongly: Shocks that switch one policy from active to passive tend to induce the other policy to switch from passive to active, consistently with existence of a unique equilibrium, though both policies are active and government debt grows rapidly in some periods. We observe relatively strong interactions between monetary and fiscal policy regimes after the recent financial crisis. Finally, latent policy regime factors exhibit patterns of correlation with macroeconomic time series, suggesting that policy regime change is endogenous.
Monetary Policy in an Oil-dependent Economy in the Presence of Multiple Shocks
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 14, 2017
Russian monetary policy has been challenged by large and continuous private capital outflows and a sharp drop in oil prices during 2014, with both ongoings having put a significant depreciation pressure on the ruble and having led the central bank to eventually give up its exchange rate management strategy. Against this background, this paper estimates a small open economy model for Russia, featuring an oil price sector and extended by a specification of the foreign exchange market to correctly account for systematic central bank interventions. We find that shocks to the oil price and private capital flows substantially affect domestic variables such as inflation, output and the exchange rate. Simulations of the model for the estimated actual strategy and five alternative regimes suggest that the vulnerability of the Russian economy to external shocks can substantially be lowered by adopting some form of an inflation targeting strategy. Foreign exchange intervention-based policy strategies to target the nominal exchange rate or the ruble price of oil, on the other hand, prove inferior to the policy in place.
Same, but Different: Testing Monetary Policy Shock Measures
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2017
In this study, we test whether three popular measures for monetary policy, that is, Romer and Romer (2004), Barakchian and Crowe (2013), and Gertler and Karadi (2015), constitute suitable proxy variables for monetary policy shocks. To this end, we employ different test statistics used in the literature to detect weak proxy variables. We find that the measure derived by Gertler and Karadi (2015) is the most suitable in this regard.
Do We Need New Modelling Approaches in Macroeconomics?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2014
The economic and financial crisis that emerged in 2008 also initiated an intense discussion on macroeconomic research and the role of economists in society. The debate focuses on three main issues. Firstly, it is argued that economists failed to predict the crisis and to design early warning systems. Secondly, it is claimed that economists use models of the macroeconomy which fail to integrate financial markets and which are inadequate to model large economic crises. Thirdly, the issue has been raised that economists invoke unrealistic assumptions concerning human behaviour by assuming that all agents are self-centred, rationally optimizing individuals. In this paper, we focus on the first two issues. Overall, our thrust is that the above statements are a caricature of modern economic theory and empirics. A rich field of research developed already before the crisis and picked up shortcomings of previous models.