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
Qual VAR Revisited: Good Forecast, Bad Story
in: Journal of Applied Economics, No. 2, 2016
Due to the recent financial crisis, the interest in econometric models that allow to incorporate binary variables (such as the occurrence of a crisis) experienced a huge surge. This paper evaluates the performance of the Qual VAR, originally proposed by Dueker (2005). The Qual VAR is a VAR model including a latent variable that governs the behavior of an observable binary variable. While we find that the Qual VAR performs reasonable well in forecasting (outperforming a probit benchmark), there are substantial identification problems even in a simple VAR specification. Typically, identification in economic applications is far more difficult than in our simple benchmark. Therefore, when the economic interpretation of the dynamic behavior of the latent variable and the chain of causality matter, use of the Qual VAR is inadvisable.
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: 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.
Financial Technologies and the Effectiveness of Monetary Policy Transmission
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 26, 2020
This study investigates whether and how financial technologies (FinTech) influence the effectiveness of monetary policy transmission. We use an interacted panel vector autoregression model to explore how the effects of monetary policy shocks change with regional-level FinTech adoption. Results indicate that FinTech adoption generally mitigates monetary policy transmission to real GDP, consumer prices, bank loans, and housing prices. A subcategorical analysis shows that the muted transmission is the most pronounced in the adoption of FinTech payment and credit, compared to that of insurance. The regulatory arbitrage and competition between FinTech and banks are the possible mechanisms leading a mitigated monetary policy transmission.
Sovereign Default Risk, Macroeconomic Fluctuations and Monetary-Fiscal Stabilisation
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 22, 2020
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.
Exchange Rates and the Information Channel of Monetary Policy
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 17, 2020
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.
The Evolution of Monetary Policy in Latin American Economies: Responsiveness to Inflation under Different Degrees of Credibility
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.
Why is Unemployment so Countercyclical?
in: NBER Working Paper No. 26723, 2020
We argue that wage inertia plays a pivotal role in allowing empirically plausible variants of the standard search and matching model to account for the large countercyclical response of unemployment to shocks.