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 warnt vor neuer Bankenkrise
Die Corona-Rezession könnte das Aus für dutzende Banken bundesweit bedeuten – selbst wenn Deutschland die Wirtschaftskrise glimpflich übersteht. Gefährdet sind vor allem viele Sparkassen und Genossenschaftsbanken, zeigt eine Analyse des Leibniz-Instituts für Wirtschaftsforschung Halle (IWH). In den Bilanzen der betroffenen Geldinstitute stehen Kredite im dreistelligen Milliardenbereich. IWH-Präsident Gropp warnt vor einer möglichen hohen Zusatzlast für die ohnehin geschwächte Realwirtschaft.
The Effects of Graduating from High School in a Recession: College Investments, Skill Formation, and Labor-Market Outcomes
CESifo Working Paper,
We investigate the short- and long-term effects of economic conditions at high-school graduation as a source of exogenous variation in the labor-market opportunities of potential college entrants. Exploiting business cycle fluctuations across birth cohorts for 28 developed countries, we find that bad economic conditions at high-school graduation increase college enrollment and graduation. They also affect outcomes in later life, increasing cognitive skills and improving labor-market success. Outcomes are affected only by the economic conditions at high-school graduation, but not by those during earlier or later years. Recessions at high-school graduation narrow the gender gaps in numeracy skills and labor-market success.
Structural Stability of the Research & Development Sector in European Economies Despite the Economic Crisis
Journal of Evolutionary Economics,
When an external shock such as the economic crisis in 2008/2009 occurs, the interconnectedness of sectors can be affected. This paper investigates whether the R&D sector experienced changes in its sectoral integration through the recession. Based on an input-output analysis, it can be shown that the linkages of the R&D sector with other sectors remain stable. In some countries, the inter-sectoral integration becomes even stronger. Policy makers can be encouraged to use public R&D spending as a means of fiscal policy against an economic crisis.
Fiscal Stimulus and Consumer Debt
Review of Economics and Statistics,
In the aftermath of the consumer debt–induced recession, policymakers have questioned whether fiscal stimulus is effective during periods of high consumer indebtedness. This study empirically investigates this question. Using detailed data on Department of Defense spending for the 2007–2009 period, we document that the open-economy relative fiscal multiplier is higher in geographies with higher consumer debt. The results suggest that in the short term (2007–2009), fiscal policy can mitigate the adverse effect of consumer (over)leverage on real economic output during a recession. We then exploit detailed microdata to show that both heterogeneous marginal propensities to consume and slack-driven economic mechanisms contribute to the debt-dependent multiplier.
What Drives Discretion in Bank Lending? Some Evidence and a Link to Private Information
Journal of Banking and Finance,
We assess the extent to which discretion, unexplained variations in the terms of a loan contract, has varied across time and lending institutions and show that part of this discretion is due to private information that lenders have on their borrowers. We find that discretion is lower for secured loans and loans granted by a larger group of lenders, and is larger when the lenders are larger and more profitable. Over time, discretion is also lower around recessions although the private information content is higher. The results suggest that bank discretionary and private information acquisition behavior may be important features of the credit cycle.
On DSGE Models
Journal of Economic Perspectives,
The outcome of any important macroeconomic policy change is the net effect of forces operating on different parts of the economy. A central challenge facing policymakers is how to assess the relative strength of those forces. Economists have a range of tools that can be used to make such assessments. Dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) models are the leading tool for making such assessments in an open and transparent manner. We review the state of mainstream DSGE models before the financial crisis and the Great Recession. We then describe how DSGE models are estimated and evaluated. We address the question of why DSGE modelers—like most other economists and policymakers—failed to predict the financial crisis and the Great Recession, and how DSGE modelers responded to the financial crisis and its aftermath. We discuss how current DSGE models are actually used by policymakers. We then provide a brief response to some criticisms of DSGE models, with special emphasis on criticism by Joseph Stiglitz, and offer some concluding remarks.