Advances in Using Vector Autoregressions to Estimate Structural Magnitudes
This paper surveys recent advances in drawing structural conclusions from vector autoregressions (VARs), providing a unified perspective on the role of prior knowledge. We describe the traditional approach to identification as a claim to have exact prior information about the structural model and propose Bayesian inference as a way to acknowledge that prior information is imperfect or subject to error. We raise concerns from both a frequentist and a Bayesian perspective about the way that results are typically reported for VARs that are set-identified using sign and other restrictions. We call attention to a common but previously unrecognized error in estimating structural elasticities and show how to correctly estimate elasticities even in the case when one only knows the effects of a single structural shock.
Is Risk the Fuel of the Business Cycle? Financial Frictions and Oil Market Disturbances
IWH Discussion Papers,
I estimate a dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model for the United States that incorporates oil market shocks and risk shocks working through credit market frictions. The findings of this analysis indicate that risk shocks play a crucial role during the Great Recession and the Dot-Com bubble but not during other economic downturns. Credit market frictions do not amplify persistent oil market shocks. This result holds as long as entry and exit rates of entrepreneurs are independent of the business cycle.
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Regionale Effekte einer durch einen Lieferstopp für russisches Gas ausgelösten Rezession in Deutschland
IWH Policy Notes,
Ein Stopp der russischen Gaslieferungen würde zu einer Rezession der deutschen Wirtschaft führen. Nicht alle Regionen wären davon gleich betroffen: Vor allem wäre dort, wo das Verarbeitende Gewerbe ein großes Gewicht hat, mit einem deutlich stärkeren Einbruch der Wirtschaftsleistung zu rechnen als andernorts. Deshalb wäre Westdeutschland und dort insbesondere der Süden stärker betroffen als der Osten Deutschlands. Dagegen spielt für die Frage, wie viele Arbeitsplätze durch einen bestimmten Rückgang der Wertschöpfung gefährdet sind, die Höhe der Arbeitsproduktivität eine ausschlaggebende Rolle.
Structural Interpretation of Vector Autoregressions with Incomplete Identification: Revisiting the Role of Oil Supply and Demand Shocks
American Economic Review,
Traditional approaches to structural vector autoregressions (VARs) can be viewed as special cases of Bayesian inference arising from very strong prior beliefs. These methods can be generalized with a less restrictive formulation that incorporates uncertainty about the identifying assumptions themselves. We use this approach to revisit the importance of shocks to oil supply and demand. Supply disruptions turn out to be a bigger factor in historical oil price movements and inventory accumulation a smaller factor than implied by earlier estimates. Supply shocks lead to a reduction in global economic activity after a significant lag, whereas shocks to oil demand do not.
Liberalization of Electricity Markets in Selected European Countries
Diskussionsbeiträge des Europäischen Instituts für Internationale Wirtschaftsbeziehungen (EIIW), Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Nr. 124,
We look into liberalization issues in the context of the EU Electricity Liberalization. Taking a look at principal issues reveals that the Community Directive 96/92/EC does not really take into account the interdependencies of energy markets. Moreover, third party access is not effectively enforced, particularly not in Germany, where mergers between a major electricity company and the dominant gas company have raised particular issues. Electricity liberalization in Scandinavia is working relatively well. EU accession countries are considered potential electricity exporters in the long run as full restructuring will drive down both energy intensities and electricity intensities. Russia would be wise to quickly become a member country of WTO, not in the least to gain access to Western Europe’s electricity market; the role of Russia so far has been neglected in the discussion of electricity liberalization. Excess capacities in EU-27 can be expected in the medium term. There is considerable doubt that politicians – often with ambitious goals in the field of environmental policy – will allow for a pan-European liberalization of electricity. We also take a closer look at regulatory policy issues.