Trade Effects of Silver Price Fluctuations in 19th-Century China: A Macro Approach
China Economic Journal,
We assess the role of silver price fluctuations in Chinese trade and GDP during the late Qing dynasty, when China still had a bimetallic (silver/copper) monetary system, in which silver was mostly used for international trade. Using a structural VAR (SVAR) with blockwise recursive identification, we identify the impact of silver price shocks on the Chinese economy from 1867, when trade data became available, to 1910, one year before the Qing dynasty collapsed. We find that silver price shocks had a sizable impact on both imports and exports but only a very minor effect on the trade balance, only a marginal impact on growth, and almost no effect on domestic prices. Stronger effects were partly mitigated by inelastic export quantities. Generally, the effect of silver price shocks, while considerable, was only short-lived, displaying no persistence in either direction. We find that the bimetallic system in Qing China might have mitigated a potential positive effect of silver depreciation but did not reverse the effect, which – contrary to claims made in the previous literature – was responsible for neither the worsening trade balance nor the inflation and the quickly increasing imports that occurred during our sample period.
The Evolution of Monetary Policy in Latin American Economies: Responsiveness to Inflation under Different Degrees of Credibility
IWH Discussion Papers,
This paper investigates the forward-lookingness of monetary policy related to stabilising inflation over time under different degrees of central bank credibility in the four largest Latin American economies, which experienced a different transition path to the full-fledged inflation targeting regime. The analysis is based on an interest rate-based hybrid monetary policy rule with time-varying coefficients, which captures possible shifts from a backward-looking to a forward-looking monetary policy rule related to inflation stabilisation. The main results show that monetary policy is fully forward-looking and exclusively reacts to expected inflation under nearly perfect central bank credibility. Under a partially credible central bank, monetary policy is both backward-looking and forward-looking in terms of stabilising inflation. Moreover, monetary authorities put increasingly more priority on stabilising expected inflation relative to actual inflation if central bank credibility tends to improve over time.
12.12.2019 • 24/2019
Global economy slowly gains momentum – but Germany still stuck in a downturn
In 2020, the global economy is likely to benefit from the recent thaw in trade disputes. Germany’s manufacturing sector, however, will recover only slowly. “In 2020, the German economy will probably grow at a rate of 1.1%, and adjusted for the unusually high number of working days the growth rate will only be 0.7%”, says Oliver Holtemöller, head of the Department Macroeconomics and vice president at Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH). With an estimated growth rate of 1.3%, production in East Germany will outpace total German production growth.
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04.04.2019 • 9/2019
Joint Economic Forecast Spring 2019: Significant cooling of the economy – Political risks high
Berlin, April 4 – Germany’s leading economics research institutes have revised their forecasts for economic growth in 2019 significantly downward. They expect Germany’s gross domestic product to increase by 0.8%. This is more than one percentage point less than in autumn 2018, when the forecast was still for 1.9% growth. In contrast, the institutes confirm their previous forecast for the year 2020: gross domestic product is expected to increase by 1.8%. These are the results of the Joint Economic Forecast for spring 2019, which will be presented in Berlin on Thursday.
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Inference in Structural Vector Autoregressions when the Identifying Assumptions are not Fully Believed: Re-evaluating the Role of Monetary Policy in Economic Fluctuations
Journal of Monetary Economics,
Point estimates and error bands for SVARs that are set identified are only justified if the researcher is persuaded that some parameter values are a priori more plausible than others. When such prior information exists, traditional approaches can be generalized to allow for doubts about the identifying assumptions. We use information about both structural coefficients and impacts of shocks and propose a new asymmetric t-distribution for incorporating information about signs in a nondogmatic way. We apply these methods to a three-variable macroeconomic model and conclude that monetary policy shocks are not the major driver of output, inflation, or interest rates.
A Market-based Measure for Currency Risk in Managed Exchange Rate Regimes
Journal of International Financial Markets, Institutions and Money,
We introduce a novel currency risk measure based on American Depositary Receipts (ADRs). Using an augmented ADR pricing model, we exploit investors’ exposure to potential devaluation losses to derive an indicator of currency risk. Using weekly data for a sample of 807 ADRs located in 21 emerging markets over the 1994–2014 period, we find that a deterioration in the fiscal balance and higher inflation increase currency risk. Interaction models reveal that the fiscal balance and inflation drive the determination of currency risk for countries with poor sovereign rating, low foreign reserves, low capital account openness and managed float regimes.