Inflation Expectations: Does the Market Beat Professional Forecasts?
The present paper compares expected inflation to (econometric) inflation forecasts
based on a number of forecasting techniques from the literature using a panel of
ten industrialized countries during the period of 1988 to 2007. To capture expected
inflation we develop a recursive filtering algorithm which extracts unexpected inflation from real interest rate data, even in the presence of diverse risks and a potential Mundell-Tobin-effect.
The extracted unexpected inflation is compared to the forecasting errors of ten
econometric forecasts. Beside the standard AR(p) and ARMA(1,1) models, which
are known to perform best on average, we also employ several Phillips curve based approaches, VAR, dynamic factor models and two simple model avering approaches.
Great Moderation at the Firm Level? Unconditional vs. Conditional Output Volatility
B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy,
We test whether there has been a “Great Moderation“ of output volatility at the firm level. The multifactor residual model proposed by Pesaran (2006) is used to isolate the idiosyncratic component of firms' sales growth from macroeconomic developments. This methodology is applied to a balanced panel of about 1,200 German firms covering a 35-year period (1971-2005). Our research has three main findings. First, unconditional firm-level volatility and aggregate output volatility have seen similar downward trends. Second, conditional, idiosyncratic firm-level volatility does not exhibit a downward trend. Third, there is a positive link between growth and volatility at the firm level.
FDI versus exports: Evidence from German banks
Journal of Banking & Finance,
We use a new bank-level dataset to study the FDI-versus-exports decision for German banks. We extend the literature on multinational firms in two directions. First, we simultaneously study FDI and the export of cross-border financial services. Second, we test recent theories on multinational firms which show the importance of firm heterogeneity [Helpman, E., Melitz, M.J., Yeaple, S.R., 2004. Export versus FDI. American Economic Review 94 (1), 300–316]. Our results show that FDI and cross-border services are complements rather than substitutes. Heterogeneity of banks has a significant impact on the internationalization decision. More profitable and larger banks are more likely to expand internationally than smaller banks. They have more extensive foreign activities, and they are more likely to engage in FDI in addition to cross-border financial services.
Signaling Currency Crises in South Africa
Currency crises episodes of 1996, 1998, and 2001 are used to identify common country specific causes of currency crises in South Africa. The paper identifies crises by the use of an Exchange Market Pressure (EMP) index as introduced by Eichengreen, Rose and Wyplosz (1996). It extends the Signals Approach introduced by Kaminsky and Reinhart (1996, 1998) by developing a composite indicator in order to measure the evolution of currency crisis risk in South Africa. The analysis considers the standard suspects from international currency crises and country specifics as identified by the Myburgh Commission (2002) and current literature as potentially relevant indicators.
Environmental policy under product differentiation and asymmetric costs - Does Leapfrogging occur and is it worth it?
This paper studies the influence of environmental policies on environmental quality, domestic firms, and welfare. Point of departure is Porter’s hypothesis that unilateral environmental regulation may enhance the competitiveness of domestic firms. This hypothesis has recently received considerable support in theoretical analyses, especially if imperfectly competitive markets with strategic behavior on behalf of the agents are taken into account. Our work contributes to this literature by explicitely investigating the implications of asymmetric cost structures between a domestic and a foreign firm sector. We use a partial-equilibrium model of vertical product differentiation, where the consumption of a product causes environmental harm. Allowing for differentiated products, the domestic industry can either assume the market leader position or lag behind in terms of the environmental quality of the produced product. Assuming as a benchmark case that the domestic industry lags behind, we investigate the possibility of the government to induce leapfrogging of the domestic firm, i.e. a higher quality produced by the domestic firm after regulation than that of the competitor prior to regulation. It is shown that in the case of a cost advantage for the domestic firm in the production process the imposition of a binding minimum quality standard can serve as a tool to induce leapfrogging. In case of a cost disadvantage the same result can be achieved through an adequate subsidization of quality dependend production costs. Thus, careful regulation enables the domestic firm in both scenarios to better its competitive position against foreign competitors and to earn larger profits. Additionally, environmental quality and welfare can be enhanced.