On the Low-frequency Relationship Between Public Deficits and Inflation
Journal of Applied Econometrics,
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.
16.03.2016 • 10/2016
German Economy Stays Stable Despite Shaky Environment
The German economy had a good start into the year 2016, in spite of heightened risks for the world economy and political turmoil in Europe. Employment and incomes are expanding, as is internal de-mand, additionally supported by government spending related to the high number of newly arrived refugees. However, sliding sentiment indicates a temporary slow down of the economy during this spring. We assume that the present political tensions inside the European Union can be mitigated in the coming months and that confidence will rise again. All in all, gross domestic product (GDP) is forecast to rise by 1.5% in 2016.
Read press release
To Separate or not to Separate Investment from Commercial Banking? An Empirical Analysis of Attention Distortion under Multiple Tasks
IWH Discussion Papers,
In the wake of the 2008/2009 financial crisis, a number of policy reports (Vickers, Liikanen, Volcker) proposed to separate investment banking from commercial banking to increase financial stability. This paper empirically examines one theoretical justification for these proposals, namely attention distortion under multiple tasks as in Holmstrom and Milgrom (1991). Universal banks can be viewed as combining two different tasks (investment banking and commercial banking) in the same organization. We estimate pay-performance sensitivities for different segments within universal banks and for pure investment and commercial banks. We show that the pay-performance sensitivity is higher in investment banking than in commercial banking, no matter whether it is organized as part of a universal bank or in a separate institution. Next, the paper shows that relative pay-performance sensitivities of investment and commercial banking are negatively related to the quality of the loan portfolio in universal banks. Depending on the specification, we obtain a reduction in problem loans when investment banking is removed from commercial banks of up to 12 percent. We interpret the evidence to imply that the higher pay-performance sensitivity in investment banking directs the attention of managers away from commercial banking within universal banks, consistent with Holmstrom and Milgrom (1991). Separation of investment banking and commercial banking may indeed be associated with a reduction in risk in commercial banking.
Real Effective Exchange Rate Misalignment in the Euro Area: A Counterfactual Analysis
Review of International Economics,
The European debt crisis has revealed severe imbalances within the Euro area, sparking a debate about the magnitude of those imbalances, in particular concerning real effective exchange rate misalignments. We use synthetic matching to construct a counterfactual economy for each member state in order to identify the degree of these misalignments. We find that crisis countries are best described as a combination of advanced and emerging economies. Comparing the actual real effective exchange rate with those of the counterfactuals gives evidence of misalignments before the outbreak of the crisis: all peripheral countries appear strongly and significantly overvalued.
Unemployment in the Great Recession: A Comparison of Germany, Canada, and the United States
Journal of Labor Economics,
S1 Part 2
This paper looks at the surprisingly different labor market performance of the United States, Canada, Germany, and several other OECD countries during and after the Great Recession of 2008–9. A first important finding is that the large employment swings in the construction sector linked to the boom and bust in US housing markets is an important factor behind the different labor market performances of the three countries. We also find that cross-country differences among OECD countries are consistent with a conventional Okun relationship linking gross domestic product growth to employment performance.
How Effective is Macroprudential Policy during Financial Downturns? Evidence from Caps on Banks' Leverage
Working Papers of Eesti Pank,
This paper investigates the effect of a macroprudential policy instrument, caps on banks' leverage, on domestic credit to the private sector since the Global Financial Crisis. Applying a difference-in-differences approach to a panel of 69 advanced and emerging economies over 2002–2014, we show that real credit grew after the crisis at considerably higher rates in countries which had implemented the leverage cap prior to the crisis. This stabilising effect is more pronounced for countries in which banks had a higher pre-crisis capital ratio, which suggests that after the crisis, banks were able to draw on buffers built up prior to the crisis due to the regulation. The results are robust to different choices of subsamples as well as to competing explanations such as standard adjustment to the pre-crisis credit boom.
16.12.2015 • 45/2015
German Economy: Strong domestic demand compensates for weak exports
The upturn of the German economy is expected to gain further momentum as a consequence of strong domestic demand. Real gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.6% in 2016. Consumer prices are expected to rise by 0.9%. Unemployment is expected to rise slightly because it will take time to integrate refugees into the labour market.
Read press release