Estimating Monetary Policy Rules when the Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates is Approached
Kiel Working Papers, No. 1898,
Monetary policy rule parameters estimated with conventional estimation techniques can be severely biased if the estimation sample includes periods of low interest rates. Nominal interest rates cannot be negative, so that censored regression methods like Tobit estimation have to be used to achieve unbiased estimates. We use IV-Tobit regression to estimate monetary policy responses for Japan, the US and the Euro area. The estimation results show that the bias of conventional estimation methods is sizeable for the inflation response parameter, while it is very small for the output gap response and the interest rate smoothing parameter. We demonstrate how IV-Tobit estimation can be used to study how policy responses change when the zero lower bound is approached. Further, we show how one can use the IV-Tobit approach to distinguish between desired policy responses, that the central bank would implement if there was no zero lower bound, and the actual ones and provide estimates of both.
Macroeconomic Factors and Micro-Level Bank Risk
Bundesbank Discussion Paper 20/2010,
The interplay between banks and the macroeconomy is of key importance for financial and economic stability. We analyze this link using a factor-augmented vector autoregressive model (FAVAR) which extends a standard VAR for the U.S. macroeconomy. The model includes GDP growth, inflation, the Federal Funds rate, house price inflation, and a set of factors summarizing conditions in the banking sector. We use data of more than 1,500 commercial banks from the U.S. call reports to address the following questions. How are macroeconomic shocks transmitted to bank risk and other banking variables? What are the sources of bank heterogeneity, and what explains differences in individual banks’ responses to macroeconomic shocks? Our paper has two main findings: (i) Average bank risk declines, and average bank lending increases following expansionary shocks. (ii) The heterogeneity of banks is characterized by idiosyncratic shocks and the asymmetric transmission of common shocks. Risk of about 1/3 of all banks rises in response to a monetary loosening. The lending response of small, illiquid, and domestic banks is relatively large, and risk of banks with a low degree of capitalization and a high exposure to real estate loans decreases relatively strongly after expansionary monetary policy shocks. Also, lending of larger banks increases less while risk of riskier and domestic banks reacts more in response to house price shocks.
German Economy Recovering – Long-Term Approach Needed to Economic Policy: Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2013
Dienstleistungsauftrag des Bundesministeriums für Wirtschaft und Technologie,
An upwards tendency re-emerged in the German economy in spring 2013. The situation in the financial markets has eased thanks to subsiding uncertainty regarding the future of the European Monetary Union. The headwind in the world economy has also tailed off somewhat. The institutes expect gross domestic product in Germany to increase by 0.8% this year (68%-projection interval: 0.1% to 1.5%) and by 1.9% next year. The number of unemployed should continue to fall to an annual average of 2.9 million this year and 2.7 million in 2014. The inflation rate is expected to drop to 1.7% this year and edge up to 2.0% next year on the back of rising capacity utilisation. The public budget will be almost balanced in 2013 and should show a surplus of 0.5% in relation to gross domestic product in 2014 thanks to more favourable economic conditions. It is now time to readopt a longer-term approach to economic policy. Although structural adjustment processes implemented in the crisis-afflicted countries have started to deal with institutional problems in the euro area, they are far from resolved. The German public budget also faces massive long-term burdens related to demographic factors.
Money and Inflation: Consequences of the Recent Monetary Policy
Journal of Policy Modeling,
We use a multivariate state space framework to analyze the short run impact of money on prices in the United States. The key contribution of this approach is that it allows to identify the impact of money growth on inflation without having to model money demand explicitly.
Using our results, that provide evidence for a substantial impact of money on prices in the US, we analyze the consequences of the Fed's response to the financial crisis. Our results indicate a raise of US inflation above 5% for more than a decade. Alternative exit strategies that we simulate cannot fully compensate for the monetary pressure without risking serious repercussions on the real economy. Further simulations of a double dip in the United States indicate that a repetition of the unusually expansive monetary policy – in addition to increased inflation – might cause growth losses exceeding the contemporary easing of the crisis.
Evidence on the Effects of Inflation on Price Dispersion under Indexation
Distortionary effects of inflation on relative prices are the main argument for inflation stabilization in macro models with sticky prices. Under indexation of non-optimized prices, those models imply a nonlinear and dynamic impact of inflation on the cross-sectional price dispersion (relative price or inflation variability, RPV). Using US sectoral price data, we estimate such a relationship between inflation and RPV, also taking into account the endogeneity of inflation by using two- and three-stage least-squares and GMM techniques, which turns out to be relevant. We find an effect of (expected) inflation on RPV, and our results indicate that average (“trend”) inflation is important for the RPV-inflation relationship. Lagged inflation matters for indexation in the CPI data, but is not important empirically in the PPI data.
Monetary Policy in a World Where Money (Also) Matters
IWH Discussion Papers,
While the long-run relation between money and inflation as predicted by the quantity theory is well established, empirical studies of the short-run adjustment process have been inconclusive at best. The literature regarding the validity of the quantity theory within a given economy is mixed. Previous research has found support for quantity theory within a given economy by combining the P-Star, the structural VAR and the monetary aggregation literature. However, these models lack precise modelling of the short-run dynamics by ignoring interest rates as the main policy instrument. Contrarily, most New Keynesian approaches, while excellently modeling the short-run dynamics transmitted through interest rates, ignore the role of money and thus the potential mid-and long-run effects of monetary policy. We propose a parsimonious and fairly unrestrictive econometric model that allows a detailed look into the dynamics of a monetary policy shock by accounting for changes in economic equilibria, such as potential output and money demand, in a framework that allows for both monetarist and New Keynesian transmission mechanisms, while also considering the Barnett critique. While we confirm most New Keynesian findings concerning the short-run dynamics, we also find strong evidence for a substantial role of the quantity of money for price movements.