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Bruno Albuquerque

6 March 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1643
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Abstract
The balance sheet adjustment in the household sector was a prominent feature of the Great Recession that is widely believed to have held back the cyclical recovery of the US economy. A key question for the US outlook is therefore whether household deleveraging has ended or whether further adjustment is needed. The novelty of this paper is to estimate a time-varying equilibrium household debt-to-income ratio determined by economic fundamentals to examine this question. The paper uses state-level data for household debt from the FRBNY Consumer Credit Panel over the period 1999Q1 to 2012Q4 and employs the Pooled Mean Group (PMG) estimator developed by Pesaran et al. (1999), adjusted for cross-section dependence. The results support the view that, despite signifiant progress in household balance sheet repair, household deleveraging still had some way to go as of 2012Q4, as the actual debt-to-income-ratio continued to exceed its estimated equilibrium. The baseline conclusions are rather robust to a set of alternative specifications. Going forward, our model suggests that part of this debt gap could, however, be closed by improving economic conditions rather than only by further declines in actual debt. Nevertheless, the normalisation of the monetary policy stance may imply challenges for the deleveraging process by making a given level of household debt less affordable and therefore less sustainable.
JEL Code
C13 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Estimation: General
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
H31 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→Household
11 June 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1803
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Abstract
We analyse the forecasting power of different monetary aggregates and credit variables for US GDP. Special attention is paid to the influence of the recent financial market crisis. For that purpose, in the first step we use a three-variable single-equation framework with real GDP, an interest rate spread and a monetary or credit variable, in forecasting horizons of one to eight quarters. This first stage thus serves to pre-select the variables with the highest forecasting content. In a second step, we use the selected monetary and credit variables within different VAR models, and compare their forecasting properties against a benchmark VAR model with GDP and the term spread. Our findings suggest that narrow monetary aggregates, as well as different credit variables, comprise useful predictive information for economic dynamics beyond that contained in the term spread. However, this finding only holds true in a sample that includes the most recent financial crisis. Looking forward, an open question is whether this change in the relationship between money, credit, the term spread and economic activity has been the result of a permanent structural break or whether we might go back to the previous relationships.
JEL Code
E41 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Demand for Money
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
24 August 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1843
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Abstract
Using a novel dataset for the US states, this paper examines whether household debt and the protracted debt deleveraging help explain the dismal performance of US consumption since 2007 in the aftermath of the housing bubble. By separating the concepts of deleveraging and debt overhang - a flow and a stock effect - we find that excessive indebtedness exerted a meaningful drag on consumption over and beyond income and wealth effects. The overall impact, however, is modest - around one-sixth of the slowdown in consumption between 2000-06 and 2007-12 - and mostly driven by states with particularly large imbalances in their household sector. This might be indicative of non-linearities, whereby indebtedness begins to bite only when misalignments from sustainable debt dynamics become excessive.
JEL Code
C13 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Estimation: General
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
H31 : Public Economics→Fiscal Policies and Behavior of Economic Agents→Household
25 January 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2001
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Abstract
The response of US inflation to the high levels of spare capacity during the Great Recession of 2007-09 was rather muted. At the same time, it has been argued that the short-term unemployment gap has a more prominent role in determining inflation, and either the closing of this gap or non-linearities in the Phillips curve could lead to a sudden pick-up in inflation. We revisit these issues by estimating Phillips curves over 1992Q1 to 2015Q1. Our main findings suggest that a Phillips curve model that takes into account inflation persistence, inflation expectations, supply shocks and labour market slack as determinants explains rather well the behaviour of inflation after the Great Recession, with little evidence of a "missing deflation puzzle". More important than the choice of the slack measure is the consideration of time-variation in the slope. In fact, we find that Phillips curve models with time-varying slope coefficients are able to outperform significantly the constant-slope model as well as other non-linear models over 2008Q1-2015Q1.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
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