Business Cycle Characteristics of Mediterranean Economies: a Secular Trend and Cycle Dynamics Perspective
Anna Solms, Bernd Süssmuth
International Economics and Economic Policy,
This study analyzes business cycle characteristics for all 20 major contemporaneous economies bordering the Mediterranean Sea based on annual real gross domestic product series for the period from 1960 to 2019. The region we investigate corresponds to the Mare Internum region of the Imperial Roman Empire during the Nerva-Antonine and early Severan dynasty, i.e., at the time of the maximum extent of the Roman Empire around 100 to 200 CE. The covered area encircles the Mediterranean, including economies now belonging to the European Union as well as acceding countries, Turkey, and the Middle East and North African economies. Using a components-deviation-cycle approach, we assess level trends and relative volatility of output. We also quantify the contribution of various factors to the business cycle variability within a region. We find cyclic commonalities and idiosyncrasies are related to ancient and colonial history and to contemporaneous trade relationships. Caliphate and Ottoman Empire membership as well as colonial rule in the twentieth century and contemporary Muslim share of population are the most promising predictors of business cycle commonalities in the region.
Why is Unemployment so Countercyclical?
Lawrence J. Christiano, Martin S. Eichenbaum, Mathias Trabandt
Review of Economic Dynamics,
We argue that wage inertia plays a pivotal role in allowing empirically plausible variants of the standard search and matching model to account for the large countercyclical response of unemployment to shocks.
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.
Do Employers Have More Monopsony Power in Slack Labor Markets?
Boris Hirsch, Elke J. Jahn, Claus Schnabel
This article confronts monopsony theory’s predictions regarding workers’ wages with observed wage patterns over the business cycle. Using German administrative data for the years 1985 to 2010 and an estimation framework based on duration models, the authors construct a time series of the labor supply elasticity to the firm and estimate its relationship to the unemployment rate. They find that firms possess more monopsony power during economic downturns. Half of this cyclicality stems from workers’ job separations being less wage driven when unemployment rises, and the other half mirrors that firms find it relatively easier to poach workers. Results show that the cyclicality is more pronounced in tight labor markets with low unemployment, and that the findings are robust to controlling for time-invariant unobserved worker or plant heterogeneity. The authors further document that cyclical changes in workers’ entry wages are of similar magnitude as those predicted under pure monopsonistic wage setting.
Financial Constraints of Private Firms and Bank Lending Behavior
Patrick Behr, L. Norden, Felix Noth
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We investigate whether and how financial constraints of private firms depend on bank lending behavior. Bank lending behavior, especially its scale, scope and timing, is largely driven by bank business models which differ between privately owned and state-owned banks. Using a unique dataset on private small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) we find that an increase in relative borrowings from local state-owned banks significantly reduces firms’ financial constraints, while there is no such effect for privately owned banks. Improved credit availability and private information production are the main channels that explain our result. We also show that the lending behavior of local state-owned banks can be sustainable because it is less cyclical and neither leads to more risk taking nor underperformance.