Macroeconomic Shocks and Banks' Foreign Assets
Journal of Money, Credit and Banking,
Recent developments in international financial markets have highlighted the role of banks in the transmission of shocks across borders. We employ dynamic panel methods for a sample of OECD countries to analyze whether banks' foreign assets react to macroeconomic shocks at home and abroad. We find that banks reduce their foreign assets in response to a relative increase in domestic interest rates, and they increase their foreign assets when the growth rate of world energy prices rises. The responses are characterized by a temporal overshooting and a dynamic adjustment process that extends over several quarters.
Low Skill but High Volatility?
CESifo Working Paper No. 2665,
Globalization may impose a double-burden on low-skilled workers. On the one hand, the relative supply of low-skilled labor increases. This suppresses wages of low-skilled workers and/or increases their unemployment rates. On the other hand, low-skilled workers typically face more limited access to financial markets than high-skilled workers. This limits their ability to smooth shocks to income intertemporally and to share risks across borders. Using cross-country, industry-level data for the years 1970 - 2004, we document how the volatility of hours worked and of wages of workers at different skill levels has changed over time. We develop a stylized theoretical model that is consistent with the empirical evidence, and we test the predictions of the model. Our results show that greater financial globalization and development increases the volatility of employment, and this effect is strongest for low-skilled workers. A higher share of low-skilled employment has a dampening impact.
Regional origins of employment volatility: evidence from German states
CES IFO Working Paper No. 2296,
Greater openness for trade can have positive welfare effects in terms of higher growth. But increased openness may also increase uncertainty through a higher volatility of employment. We use regional data from Germany to test whether openness for trade has an impact on volatility. We find a downward trend in the unconditional volatility of employment, paralleling patterns for output volatility. The conditional volatility of employment, measuring idiosyncratic developments across states, in contrast, has remained fairly unchanged. In contrast to evidence for the US, we do not find a significant link between employment volatility and trade openness.
International Banking and the Allocation of Risk
IAW Discussion Paper No. 32,
Macroeconomic risks could magnify individual bank risk. Mitigating the influence of economy-wide risks on banks could therefore be very important to maintain a smooth-running banking system. In this paper, we explore the extent to which macroeconomic risks affect banks. We use a bank-level dataset on over 2,000 banks worldwide for the years 1995-2002 to study the effect of macroeconomic volatility, the openness of the banking system, and banking regulations on bank risks. Our measure of bank risk is the volatility of banks' pre-tax profits. We find that macroeconomic volatility increases banks' profit volatility and that international openness of the banking system lowers bank risk. We find no impact of banking regulation on profit volatility. Our findings suggest that if policymakers want to lower bank risk, they should seek to lower macroeconomic volatility as well as increase openness in the banking system.
The integration of imperfect financial markets: Implications for business cycle volatility
Journal of Policy Modeling,
During the last two decades, the degree of openness of national financial systems has increased substantially. At the same time, asymmetries in information and other financial market frictions have remained prevalent. We study the implications of the opening up of national financial systems in the presence of financial market frictions for business cycle volatility. In our empirical analysis, we show that countries with more developed financial systems have lower business cycle volatility. Financial openness has no strong impact on business cycle volatility, in contrast. In our theoretical analysis, we study the implications of the opening up of national financial markets and of financial market frictions for business cycle volatility using a dynamic macroeconomic model of an open economy. We find that the implications of opening up national financial markets for business cycle volatility are largely unaffected by the presence of financial market frictions.
Financial Openness and Business Cycle Volatility
Journal of International Money and Finance,
This paper discusses whether the integration of international financial markets affects business cycle volatility. In the framework of a new open economy macro-model, we show that the link between financial openness and business cycle volatility depends on the nature of the underlying shock. Empirical evidence supports this conclusion. Our results also show that the link between business cycle volatility and financial openness has not been stable over time.
A glimpse on sectoral convergence of productivity levels
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper examines the presence of sectoral convergence of labor productivity between 14 OECD countries. Using the OECD International Sectoral Data Base (ISDB), the paper looks at the developments within 12 distinct sectors during the period 1970-1995. The change of the coefficients of variance suggests that there is strong sectoral convergence within most service sectors while the evidence of convergence for Manufacturing as well as for Communication is rather weak. These findings are in line with most studies undertaken on this subject so far. It is concluded that economic theories at hand to explain growth and convergence (or divergence respectively) are of different importance for the sectors concerned. While models of the New Growth Theory seemed to be useful to explain growth mechanisms within Manufacturing and Communication, traditional models seemed to apply to most other sectors.