Volatility, Growth and Financial Crises
This research group analyses the build-up of financial vulnerabilities and real consequences of financial crises. Different policy shocks and the causal reaction of macroeconomic aggregates are identified. Early-warning models describe the cyclical nature of financial vulnerabilities.
IWH Data Project: Financial Stability Indicators in Europe
Research ClusterFinancial Stability and Regulation
01.2018 ‐ 12.2018
International Monetary Policy Transmission
01.2017 ‐ 12.2018
Early-warning Models for Systemic Banking Crises
German Research Foundation (DFG)
Tracking Weekly State-Level Economic Conditions
in: Review of Economics and Statistics, forthcoming
This paper develops a novel dataset of weekly economic conditions indices for the 50 U.S. states going back to 1987 based on mixed-frequency dynamic factor models with weekly, monthly, and quarterly variables that cover multiple dimensions of state economies. We find considerable cross-state heterogeneity in the length, depth, and timing of business cycles. We illustrate the usefulness of these state-level indices for quantifying the main contributors to the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for evaluating the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program. We also propose an aggregate indicator that gauges the overall weakness of the U.S. 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.
Why They Keep Missing: An Empirical Investigation of Sovereign Bond Ratings and Their Timing
in: Scottish Journal of Political Economy, No. 2, 2022
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.
A Comparison of Monthly Global Indicators for Forecasting Growth
in: International Journal of Forecasting, No. 3, 2021
This paper evaluates the predictive content of a set of alternative monthly indicators of global economic activity for nowcasting and forecasting quarterly world real GDP growth using mixed-frequency models. It shows that a recently proposed indicator that covers multiple dimensions of the global economy consistently produces substantial improvements in forecasting accuracy, while other monthly measures have more mixed success. Specifically, the best-performing model yields impressive gains with MSPE reductions of up to 34% at short horizons and up to 13% at long horizons relative to an autoregressive benchmark. The global economic conditions indicator also contains valuable information for assessing the current and future state of the economy for a set of individual countries and groups of countries. This indicator is used to track the evolution of the nowcasts for the U.S., the OECD area, and the world economy during the COVID-19 pandemic and the main factors that drive the nowcasts are quantified.
The Impact of Active Aggregate Demand on Utilisation-adjusted TFP
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 9, 2022
Non-clearing goods markets are an important driver of capacity utilisation and total factor productivity (TFP). The trade-off between goods prices and household search effort is central to goods market matching and therefore drives TFP over the business cycle. In this paper, I develop a New-Keynesian DSGE model with capital utilisation, worker effort, and expand it with<i> goods market search-and-matching (SaM)</i> to model non-clearing goods markets. I conduct a horse-race between the different capacity utilisation channels using Bayesian estimation and capacity utilisation survey data. Models that include goods market SaM improve the data fit, while the capital utilisation and worker effort channels are rendered less important compared to the literature. It follows that TFP fluctuations increase for demand and goods market mismatch shocks, while they decrease for technology shocks. This pattern increases as goods market frictions increase and as prices become stickier. The paper shows the importance of non-clearing goods markets in explaining the difference between technology and TFP over the business cycle.
The Effects of Sovereign Risk: A High Frequency Identification Based on News Ticker Data
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 8, 2022
This paper uses novel news ticker data to evaluate the effect of sovereign risk on economic and financial outcomes. The use of intraday news enables me to derive policy events and respective timestamps that potentially alter investors’ beliefs about a sovereign’s willingness to service its debt and thereby sovereign risk. Following the high frequency identification literature, in the tradition of Kuttner (2001) and Guerkaynak et al. (2005), associated variation in sovereign risk is then obtained by capturing bond price movements within narrowly defined time windows around the event time. I conduct the outlined identification for Italy since its large bond market and its frequent coverage in the news render it a suitable candidate country. Using the identified shocks in an instrumental variable local projection setting yields a strong instrument and robust results in line with theoretical predictions. I document a dampening effect of sovereign risk on output. Also, borrowing costs for the private sector increase and inflation rises in response to higher sovereign risk.
Measuring Market Expectations
in: NBER WORKING PAPER SERIES, 2021
Asset prices are a valuable source of information about financial market participants' expectations about key macroeconomic variables. However, the presence of time-varying risk premia requires an adjustment of market prices to obtain the market's rational assessment of future price and policy developments. This paper reviews empirical approaches for recovering market-based expectations. It starts by laying out the two canonical modeling frameworks that form the backbone for estimating risk premia and highlights the proliferation of risk pricing factors that result in a wide range of different asset-price-based expectation measures. It then describes a key methodological innovation to evaluate the empirical plausibility of risk premium estimates and to identify the most accurate market-based expectation measure. The usefulness of this general approach is illustrated for price expectations in the global oil market. Then, the paper provides an overview of the body of empirical evidence for monetary policy and inflation expectations with a special emphasis on market-specific characteristics that complicate the quest for the best possible market-based expectation measure. Finally, it discusses a number of economic applications where market expectations play a key role for evaluating economic models, guiding policy analysis, and deriving shock measures.
On the International Dissemination of Technology News Shocks
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 25, 2020
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.
Sovereign Stress, Banking Stress, and the Monetary Transmission Mechanism in the Euro Area
in: IWH Discussion Papers, No. 3, 2018
In this paper, we investigate to what extent sovereign stress and banking stress have contributed to the increase in the level and in the heterogeneity of nonfinancial firms’ refinancing costs in the Euro area during the European debt crisis and how they did affect the monetary transmission mechanism. We identify the increasing effect of government bond yield spreads (sovereign stress) and the share of non-performing loans (banking stress) on firms’ financing costs using an instrumental-variable approach. Moreover, we estimate both sources of stress to have significantly impaired the monetary transmission mechanism during the European debt crisis.