What drives the Commodity-Sovereign-Risk-Dependence in Emerging Market Economies?
Journal of International Money and Finance,
Using daily data for 34 emerging markets in the period 1994–2016, we find robust evidence that higher export commodity prices are associated with lower sovereign default risk, as measured by lower EMBI spreads. The economic effect is especially pronounced for heavy commodity exporters. Examining the drivers, we find that, first, commodity dependence is higher for countries that export large volumes of commodities, whereas other portfolio characteristics like volatility or concentration are less important. Second, commodity-sovereign risk dependence increases in times of recessions and expansionary U.S. monetary policy. Third, the importance of raw material prices for sovereign financing can likely be mitigated if a country improves institutions and tax systems, attracts FDI inflows, invests in manufacturing, machinery and infrastructure, builds up reserve assets and opens capital and trade accounts. Fourth, the country’s government indebtedness or amount of received development assistance appear to be only of secondary importance for commodity dependence.
01.02.2021 • 4/2021
During Corona, households are saving more – not for fear of unemployment but for lack of spending opportunities
During the Corona crisis, European households increased their savings dramatically. According to an analysis carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), the increase in savings is largely due to the inability of households to consume in the face of government lockdown measures, rather than other factors such as economic uncertainty. IWH President Reint Gropp therefore sees potential for a significant catch-up effect in consumption as soon as the lockdown is lifted.
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Why Are Households Saving so much During the Corona Recession?
IWH Policy Notes,
Savings rates among European households have reached record levels during the Corona recession. We investigate three possible explanations for the increase in household savings: precautionary motivations induced by increased economic uncertainty, reduced consumption opportunities due to lockdown measures, and Ricardian Equivalence, i.e. increases in the expected future tax-burden of households driven by increases in government debt. To test these explanations, we compile a monthly panel of euro area countries from January 2019 to August 2020. Our findings indicate that the chief driver of the increase in household savings is supply: As governments restrict households’ opportunities to spend, households spend less. We estimate that going from no lockdown measures to that of Italy’s in March, would have resulted in the growth of Germany’s deposit to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio being 0.6 percentage points higher each month. This would be equivalent to the volume of deposits increasing by roughly 14.3 billion euros or 348 euros per house monthly. Demand effects, driven by either fears of unemployment or fear of infection from COVID-19, appear to only have a weak impact on household savings, whereas changes in government debt are unrelated or even negatively related to savings rates. The analysis suggests that there is some pent-up demand for consumption that may unravel after lockdown measures are abolished and may result in a significant increase in consumption in the late spring/early summer 2021.
17.12.2020 • 27/2020
Much more bankruptcies expected than currently observed in Germany
In a recession, the number of bankruptcies usually increases with some delay. However, despite the corona crisis, the number of bankruptcies in Germany is lower than predicted based on the long-term trend. The state aid packages and the suspension of the insolvency rules have led to fewer bankruptcies than expected. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) has estimated how many bankruptcies would actually have been likely to occur by industry because of the corona recession if the typical economic pattern had been in place. The results indicate that after the end of the state aid and exception rules bankruptcies are likely to pick up.
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Executive Compensation, Macroeconomic Conditions, and Cash Flow Cyclicality
Finance Research Letters,
I model the joint effects of debt, macroeconomic conditions, and cash flow cyclicality on risk-shifting behavior and managerial wealth-for-performance sensitivity. The model shows that risk-shifting incentives rise during recessions and that the shareholders can eliminate such adverse incentives by reducing the equity-based compensation in managerial contracts. Moreover, this reduction should be larger in highly procyclical firms. These novel, testable predictions provide insights into optimal shareholder responses to agency costs of debt throughout the business cycle.
Exchange Rates and the Information Channel of Monetary Policy
IWH Discussion Papers,
We disentangle the effects of monetary policy announcements on real economic variables into an interest rate shock component and a central bank information shock component. We identify both components using changes in interest rate futures and in exchange rates around monetary policy announcements. While the volatility of interest rate surprises declines around the Great Recession, the volatility of exchange rate changes increases. Making use of this heteroskedasticity, we estimate that a contractionary interest rate shock appreciates the dollar, increases the excess bond premium, and leads to a decline in prices and output, while a positive information shock appreciates the dollar, decreases prices and the excess bond premium, and increases output.
Epidemics in the Neoclassical and New Keynesian Models
NBER Working Paper,
We analyze the effects of an epidemic in three standard macroeconomic models. We find that the neoclassical model does not rationalize the positive comovement of consumption and investment observed in recessions associated with an epidemic. Introducing monopolistic competition into the neoclassical model remedies this shortcoming even when prices are completely flexible. Finally, sticky prices lead to a larger recession but do not fundamentally alter the predictions of the monopolistic competition model.
16.09.2020 • 18/2020
Economy recovers from the shutdown – but a quick return to pre-crisis normality is unlikely
The German economy has bounced back strongly over the summer, recovering a considerable part of the production slump caused by the shutdown in spring. Nevertheless, real gross domestic product in 2020 is likely to contract by 5.7%. In 2021, growth is expected to average 3.2% according to IWH autumn economic forecast. The decline in production in 2020 is likely to be less pronounced in East Germany com¬pared to Germany as a whole.
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The Effects of Fiscal Policy in an Estimated DSGE Model – The Case of the German Stimulus Packages During the Great Recession
In this paper, we analyze the effects of the stimulus packages adopted by the German government during the Great Recession. We employ a standard medium-scale dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model extended by non-optimizing households and a detailed fiscal sector. In particular, the dynamics of spending and revenue variables are modeled as feedback rules with respect to the cyclical components of output, hours worked and private investment. Based on the estimated rules, fiscal shocks are identified. According to the results, fiscal policy, in particular public consumption, investment, and transfers prevented a sharper and prolonged decline of German output at the beginning of the Great Recession, suggesting a timely response of fiscal policy. The overall effects, however, are small when compared to other domestic and international shocks that contributed to the economic downturn. Our overall findings are not sensitive to considering fiscal foresight.
06.07.2020 • 13/2020
IWH issues warning of a new banking crisis
The coronavirus recession could mean the end for dozens of banks across Germany – even if Germany survives the economic crisis relatively unscathed. An analysis by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) shows that many savings banks and cooperative banks are particularly at risk. Loans worth hundreds of billions of euros are on the balance sheets of the financial institutions concerned. IWH President Gropp warns of a potentially high additional burden for the already weakened real economy.
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