In der Abteilung Makroökonomik werden kurz- und mittelfristige Schwankungen gesamtwirtschaftlicher Variablen (zum Beispiel des Bruttoinlandsprodukts, der Beschäftigung, der Preise und der Zinsen), die Wirkungen wirtschaftspolitischer Maßnahmen auf diese Größen und die institutionellen Rahmenbedingungen für Konjunktur und langfristiges Wirtschaftswachstum erforscht. Auf Basis dieser Forschung bietet die Abteilung wissenschaftlich fundierte und evidenzbasierte wirtschaftspolitische Beratung an.
Die Abteilung deckt ein breites Spektrum makroökonomischer Fragestellungen ab. Die Forschungsschwerpunkte liegen in der Entwicklung, Implementierung und Anwendung quantitativer makroökonomischer Modelle sowie in der Analyse der Interaktion von Finanzsystem und realwirtschaftlicher Entwicklung.
Advances in Using Vector Autoregressions to Estimate Structural Magnitudes
in: Econometric Theory, im Erscheinen
This paper surveys recent advances in drawing structural conclusions from vector autoregressions (VARs), providing a unified perspective on the role of prior knowledge. We describe the traditional approach to identification as a claim to have exact prior information about the structural model and propose Bayesian inference as a way to acknowledge that prior information is imperfect or subject to error. We raise concerns from both a frequentist and a Bayesian perspective about the way that results are typically reported for VARs that are set-identified using sign and other restrictions. We call attention to a common but previously unrecognized error in estimating structural elasticities and show how to correctly estimate elasticities even in the case when one only knows the effects of a single structural shock.
Tracking Weekly State-Level Economic Conditions
in: Review of Economics and Statistics, im Erscheinen
This paper develops a novel dataset of weekly economic conditions indices for the 50 U.S. states going back to 1987 based on mixed-frequency dynamic factor models with weekly, monthly, and quarterly variables that cover multiple dimensions of state economies. We find considerable cross-state heterogeneity in the length, depth, and timing of business cycles. We illustrate the usefulness of these state-level indices for quantifying the main contributors to the economic collapse caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and for evaluating the effectiveness of the Paycheck Protection Program. We also propose an aggregate indicator that gauges the overall weakness of the U.S. economy.
Understanding Post-Covid Inflation Dynamics
in: Journal of Monetary Economics, im Erscheinen
We propose a macroeconomic model with a nonlinear Phillips curve that has a flat slope when inflationary pressures are subdued and steepens when inflationary pressures are elevated. The nonlinear Phillips curve in our model arises due to a quasi-kinked demand schedule for goods produced by firms. Our model can jointly account for the modest decline in inflation during the Great Recession and the surge in inflation during the post-COVID period. Because our model implies a stronger transmission of shocks when inflation is high, it generates conditional heteroskedasticity in inflation and inflation risk. Hence, our model can generate more sizeable inflation surges due to cost-push and demand shocks than a standard linearized model. Finally, our model implies that the central bank faces a more severe trade-off between inflation and output stabilization when inflation is elevated.
Surges and Instability: The Maturity Shortening Channel
in: Journal of International Economics, im Erscheinen
Capital inflow surges destabilize the economy through a maturity shortening mechanism. The underlying reason is that firms have incentives to redeem their debt on demand to accommodate the potential liquidity needs of global investors, which makes international borrowing endogenously fragile. Based on a theoretical model and empirical evidence at both the firm and macro levels, our main findings are twofold. First, a significant association exists between surges and shortened corporate debt maturity, especially for firms with foreign bank relationships and higher redeployability. Second, the probability of a crisis following surges with a flattened yield curve is significantly higher than that following surges without one. Our study suggests that debt maturity is the key to understand the financial instability consequences of capital inflow bonanzas.
Total Factor Productivity Growth at the Firm-level: The Effects of Capital Account Liberalization
in: Journal of International Economics, im Erscheinen
This study provides firm-level evidence on the effect of capital account liberalization on total factor productivity (TFP) growth. We find that a one standard deviation increase in the capital account openness indicator constructed by Fernández et al. (2016) is significantly associated with a 0.18 standard deviation increase in firms’ TFP growth rates. The productivity-enhancing effects are stronger for sectors with higher external finance dependence and capital-skill complementarity, and are persistent five years after liberalization. Moreover, we show that potential transmission mechanisms include improved financing conditions, greater skilled labor utilization, and technology upgrades. Finally, we document heterogeneous effects across firm size and tradability, and threshold effects with respect to the country's institutional quality.
What Explains International Interest Rate Co-Movement?
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 3, 2023
We show that global supply and demand shocks are important drivers of interest rate co-movement across seven advanced economies. Beyond that, local structural shocks transmit internationally via aggregate demand channels, and central banks react predominantly to domestic macroeconomic developments: unexpected monetary policy tightening decreases most foreign interest rates, while expansionary local supply and demand shocks increase them. To disentangle determinants of international interest rate co-movement, we use a Bayesian structural panel vector autoregressive model accounting for latent global supply and demand shocks. We identify country-specific structural shocks via informative prior distributions based on a standard theoretical multi-country open economy model.
BigTech Credit and Monetary Policy Transmission: Micro-level Evidence from China
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 18, 2022
This paper studies monetary policy transmission through BigTech and traditional banks. By comparing business loans made by a BigTech bank with those made by traditional banks, it finds that BigTech credit amplifies monetary policy transmission mainly through the extensive margin. Specifically, the BigTech bank is more likely to grant credit to new borrowers compared with conventional banks in response to expansionary monetary policy. The BigTech bank‘s advantages in information, monitoring, and risk management are the potential mechanisms. In addition, monetary policy has a stronger impact on the real economy through BigTech lending.
Expectations, Infections, and Economic Activity
in: NBER Working Paper, Nr. 27988, April 2022
The Covid epidemic had a large impact on economic activity. In contrast, the dramatic decline in mortality from infectious diseases over the past 120 years had a small economic impact. We argue that people's response to successive Covid waves helps reconcile these two findings. Our analysis uses a unique administrative data set with anonymized monthly expenditures at the individual level that covers the first three Covid waves. Consumer expenditures fell by about the same amount in the first and third waves, even though the risk of getting infected was larger in the third wave. We find that people had pessimistic prior beliefs about the case-fatality rates that converged over time to the true case-fatality rates. Using a model where Covid is endemic, we show that the impact of Covid is small when people know the true case-fatality rate but large when people have empirically-plausible pessimistic prior beliefs about the case-fatality rate. These results reconcile the large economic impact of Covid with the small effect of the secular decline in mortality from infectious diseases estimated in the literature.
The Impact of Active Aggregate Demand on Utilisation-adjusted TFP
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 9, 2022
Non-clearing goods markets are an important driver of capacity utilisation and total factor productivity (TFP). The trade-off between goods prices and household search effort is central to goods market matching and therefore drives TFP over the business cycle. In this paper, I develop a New-Keynesian DSGE model with capital utilisation, worker effort, and expand it with<i> goods market search-and-matching (SaM)</i> to model non-clearing goods markets. I conduct a horse-race between the different capacity utilisation channels using Bayesian estimation and capacity utilisation survey data. Models that include goods market SaM improve the data fit, while the capital utilisation and worker effort channels are rendered less important compared to the literature. It follows that TFP fluctuations increase for demand and goods market mismatch shocks, while they decrease for technology shocks. This pattern increases as goods market frictions increase and as prices become stickier. The paper shows the importance of non-clearing goods markets in explaining the difference between technology and TFP over the business cycle.
The Effects of Sovereign Risk: A High Frequency Identification Based on News Ticker Data
in: IWH Discussion Papers, Nr. 8, 2022
This paper uses novel news ticker data to evaluate the effect of sovereign risk on economic and financial outcomes. The use of intraday news enables me to derive policy events and respective timestamps that potentially alter investors’ beliefs about a sovereign’s willingness to service its debt and thereby sovereign risk. Following the high frequency identification literature, in the tradition of Kuttner (2001) and Guerkaynak et al. (2005), associated variation in sovereign risk is then obtained by capturing bond price movements within narrowly defined time windows around the event time. I conduct the outlined identification for Italy since its large bond market and its frequent coverage in the news render it a suitable candidate country. Using the identified shocks in an instrumental variable local projection setting yields a strong instrument and robust results in line with theoretical predictions. I document a dampening effect of sovereign risk on output. Also, borrowing costs for the private sector increase and inflation rises in response to higher sovereign risk.