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Kai Christoffel

Economics

Division

Forecasting and Policy Modelling

Current Position

Senior Lead Economist

Fields of interest

Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics,Mathematical and Quantitative Methods,Labour Economics

Email

kai.christoffel@ecb.europa.eu

Other current responsibilities
2017-2020

Development of the ECB-MC multi country model

Education
2001-2005

PhD in Economics at Goethe University Frankfurt (Adviser: Volker Wieland)

1997-1999

Postgraduate Studies in Economics at Institute for Advanced Studies in Vienna

Professional experience
2020

Senior Lead Economist - Forecasting and Policy Modelling Division, Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

2017-2019

Principal Economist - Forecasting and Policy Modelling Division, Directorate General Economics, European Central Bank

2012-2017

Principal Economist - Monetary Research Division, Directorate General Research, European Central Bank

2011-2012

Senior Economist - Monetary Research Division, Directorate General Research, European Central Bank

2009-2011

Senior Economist - Econometric Modelling Division, Monetary Research Division, Directorate General Research, European Central Bank

2004-2009

Economist - Econometric Modelling Division, Monetary Research Division, Directorate General Research, European Central Bank

2003-2004

Researcher (part-time) - Research Center of Deutsche Bundesbank, Frankfurt, Germany

2001-2004

Research and Teaching Assistant - Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany

1999-2001

Economist - Modelling and Forecasting Unit; Directorate Economics, Austrian Nationalbank, Vienna

6 December 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2623
Details
Abstract
This paper attempts to gauge the effects of various fiscal and monetary policy rules on macroeconomic outcomes in the euro area. It consists of two major parts – a historical assessment and an assessment based on an extended scenario until 2030 – and it builds on the ECB-BASE –a semistructural model for the euro area. The historical analysis (until end-2019, `pre-pandemic´) demonstrates that a consistently countercyclical fiscal policy could have created a fiscal buffer in good economic times and it would have been able to eliminate a large portion of the second downturn in the euro area. In turn, the post-pandemic simulations until 2030 reveal that certain combinations of policy rules can be particularly powerful in reaching favourable macroeconomic outcomes (i.e. recovering pandemic output losses and bringing inflation close to the ECB target). These consist of expansionary-for-longer fiscal policy, which maintains support for longer than usually prescribed, and lower-for-longer monetary policy, which keeps the rates lower for longer than stipulated by a standard reaction function of a central bank. Moreover, we demonstrate that in the current macroeconomic situation, fiscal and monetary policies reinforce each other and mutually create space for each other. This provides a strong case for coordination of the two policies in this situation.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 273
Details
Abstract
The last review of the ECB’s monetary policy strategy in 2003 followed a period of predominantly upside risks to price stability. Experience following the 2008 financial crisis has focused renewed attention on the question of how monetary and fiscal policy should best interact, in particular in an environment of structurally low interest rates and persistent downside risks to price stability. This debate has been further intensified by the economic impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. In the euro area, the unique architecture of a monetary union consisting of sovereign Member States, with cross-country heterogeneities and weaknesses in its overall construction, poses important challenges. Against this background, this report revisits monetary-fiscal policy interactions in the euro area from a monetary policy perspective and with a focus on the ramifications for price stability and maintaining central bank independence and credibility. The report consists of three parts. The first chapter presents a conceptual framework for thinking about monetary-fiscal policy interactions, thereby setting the stage for a discussion of specifically euro area aspects and challenges in subsequent parts of the report. In particular, it reviews the main ingredients of the pre-global financial crisis consensus on monetary-fiscal policy interactions and addresses significant new insights and refinements which have gained prominence since 2003. In doing so, the chapter distinguishes between general conceptual aspects – i.e. those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and a single fiscal authority and those aspects that pertain to an environment characterised by a single central bank and many fiscal authorities (a multi-country monetary union). ...
JEL Code
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
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
F45 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
21 September 2021
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 267
Details
Abstract
This paper provides an assessment of the macroeconomic models regularly used for forecasting and policy analysis in the Eurosystem. These include semi-structural, structural and time-series models covering specific jurisdictions and the euro area within a closed economy, small open economy, multi-country or global setting. Models are used as analytical frameworks for building baseline projections and for supporting the preparation of monetary policy decisions. The paper delivers four main contributions. First, it provides a survey of the macroeconomic modelling portfolios currently used or under development within the Eurosystem. Second, it explores the analytical gaps in the Eurosystem models and investigates the scope for further enhancement of the main projection and policy models, and the creation of new models. Third, it reviews current practices in model-based analysis for monetary policy preparation and forecasting and provides recommendations and suggestions for improvement. Finally, it reviews existing cooperation modalities on model development and proposes alternative sourcing and organisational strategies to remedy any knowledge or analytical gaps identified.
JEL Code
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
E47 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
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
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
27 November 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2495
Details
Abstract
We estimate the effects of interest rate forward guidance (FG) using a parsimonious VAR, augmented with survey forecast data. The identification strategy of FG shocks via sign and zero restrictions is successfully tested by the recovery of true IRFs from simulated data. The identified shocks from the VAR suggest that FG has a stronger effect on macro variables and deviations are more instantaneous compared to the hump-shaped response following unanticipated changes in monetary policy. We apply this evidence to calibrate free parameters of an otherwise estimated DSGE model in order to dampen the FG Puzzle.
JEL Code
C54 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Quantitative Policy Modeling
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
23 June 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2424
Details
Abstract
Forward guidance operates via the expectations formation process of the agents in the economy. In standard quantitative macroeconomic models, the expectations are unobserved state variables and little scrutiny is devoted to analysing the dynamic behaviour of these expectations. We show that the introduction of survey and financial market-based forecasts in the estimation of the model disciplines the expectations formation process in DSGE models. When the model-implied expectations are matched to observed expectations, the additional information of the forecasts restrains the agents’ expectations formation. We argue that the reduced volatility of the agents’ expectations dampens the model reactions to forward guidance shocks and improves the out-of-sample forecast accuracy of the model. Furthermore, we evaluate the case for introducing a discount factor as a reduced form proxy for a variety of microfounded approaches, proposed to mitigate the forward guidance puzzle. Once data on expectations is considered, the empirical support to introduce a discount factor dissipates.
JEL Code
C13 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Estimation: General
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E47 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
16 September 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2315
Details
Abstract
This paper presents the blueprint of a new ECB multi-country model. The version documentedin the following pages is estimated on euro area data. As a prelude to the countrymodels, this version is meant to enhance the understanding of the main model mechanisms,enlarge the suite of area wide tools, and provide a tool for a top down approach betweeneuro area and country modelling. The model converges to a well-de ned steady state and itsproperties are in line with macroeconomic theory and standard empirical benchmarks. Thedesign is aligned to its role as workhorse model in the context of the forecasting and policysimulation exercises at the ECB.
JEL Code
C3 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
E1 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models
E2 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
19 May 2015
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1791
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Abstract
This paper examines monetary transmission and macroeconomic shocks in a medium scale macroeconomic model with costly banking estimated for euro area data. In addition to data on measures of real activity and prices, we include data on bank loans, loan rates, and reserves for the estimation of the model with Bayesian techniques. We find that loans and holdings of reserves affect banking costs to a small but significant extent. Furthermore, shocks to reserve holdings are found to contribute more to variations in the policy rate, inflation and output than shocks to the feedback rule for the policy rate. Hence, holdings of central bank money, which is typically neglected in the literature, plays a substantial role for macroeconomics dynamics. The analysis further shows that exogenous shifts in banking costs hardly play a role for fluctuations in real activity and prices, even during the recent financial crisis.
JEL Code
C54 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Quantitative Policy Modeling
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
23 April 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1536
Details
Abstract
This paper shows how to compute the h-step-ahead predictive likelihood for any subset of the observed variables in parametric discrete time series models estimated with Bayesian methods. The subset of variables may vary across forecast horizons and the problem thereby covers marginal and joint predictive likelihoods for a fixed subset as special cases. The basic idea is to utilize well-known techniques for handling missing data when computing the likelihood function, such as a missing observations consistent Kalman filter for linear Gaussian models, but it also extends to nonlinear, nonnormal state-space models. The predictive likelihood can thereafter be calculated via Monte Carlo integration using draws from the posterior distribution. As an empirical illustration, we use euro area data and compare the forecasting performance of the New Area-Wide Model, a small-open-economy DSGE model, to DSGEVARs, and to reduced-form linear Gaussian models.
JEL Code
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
C52 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
20 December 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1411
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Abstract
We introduce a specification of habit formation featuring non-separability between consumption and leisure into an otherwise standard New Keynesian model. The model can be estimated with standard Bayesian techniques and the bond pricing implications are evaluated using higher-order approximations. The model is able to reproduce a sizeable risk premium on long-term bonds and the cyclicality of fiscal policy has an impact on the bond premium that is quantitatively important. Technology, government spending, and mark-up shocks are the main drivers of the time-variation in bond premia.
JEL Code
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
E6 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
5 May 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1185
Details
Abstract
In this paper we review the methodology of forecasting with log-linearised DSGE models using Bayesian methods. We focus on the estimation of their predictive distributions, with special attention being paid to the mean and the covariance matrix of h-step ahead forecasts. In the empirical analysis, we examine the forecasting performance of the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) that has been designed for use in the macroeconomic projections at the European Central Bank. The forecast sample covers the period following the introduction of the euro and the out-of-sample performance of the NAWM is compared to nonstructural benchmarks, such as Bayesian vector autoregressions (BVARs). Overall, the empirical evidence indicates that the NAWM compares quite well with the reduced-form models and the results are therefore in line with previous studies. Yet there is scope for improving the NAWM’s forecasting performance. For example, the model is not able to explain the moderation in wage growth over the forecast evaluation period and, therefore, it tends to overestimate nominal wages. As a consequence, both the multivariate point and density forecasts using the log determinant and the log predictive score, respectively, suggest that a large BVAR can outperform the NAWM.
JEL Code
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
15 May 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1053
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Abstract
This paper reviews recent approaches to modelling the labour market and assesses their implications for inflation dynamics through both their effect on marginal cost and on price-setting behaviour. In a search and matching environment, we consider the following modelling set-ups: right-to-manage bargaining vs. efficient bargaining, wage stickiness in new and existing matches, interactions at the firm level between price and wage-setting, alternative forms of hiring frictions, search on-the-job and endogenous job separation. We find that most specifications imply too little real rigidity and, so, too volatile inflation. Models with wage stickiness and right-to-manage bargaining or with firm-specific labour emerge as the most promising candidates.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
Network
Wage dynamics network
24 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1035
Details
Abstract
In this paper, we explore the role of labour markets for monetary policy in the euro area in a New Keynesian model in which labour markets are characterized by search and matching frictions. We first investigate to which extent a more flexible labour market would alter the business cycle behaviour and the transmission of monetary policy. We find that while a lower degree of wage rigidity makes monetary policy more effective, i.e. a monetary policy shock transmits faster onto inflation, the importance of other labour market rigidities for the transmission of shocks is rather limited. Second, having estimated the model by Bayesian techniques we analyse to which extent labour market shocks, such as disturbances in the vacancy posting process, shocks to the separation rate and variations in bargaining power are important determinants of business cycle fluctuations. Our results point primarily towards disturbances in the bargaining process as a significant contributor to inflation and output fluctuations. In sum, the paper supports current central bank practice which appears to put considerable effort into monitoring euro area wage dynamics and which appears to treat some of the other labour market information as less important for monetary policy.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
Network
Wage dynamics network
13 October 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 944
Details
Abstract
In this paper, we outline a version of the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) of the euro area designed for use in the (Broad) Macroeconomic Projection Exercises regularly undertaken by ECB/Eurosystem staff. We present estimation results for the NAWM that are obtained by employing Bayesian inference methods and document the properties of the estimated model by reporting its impulse-response functions and forecast-error-variance decompositions, by inspecting the model-based sample moments, and by examining the model's forecasting performance relative to a number of benchmarks, including a Bayesian VAR. We finally consider several applications to illustrate the potential contributions the NAWM can make to forecasting and policy analysis.
JEL Code
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
Annexes
26 August 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 923
Details
Abstract
All else equal, higher wages translate into higher inflation. More rigid wages imply a weaker response of inflation to shocks. This view of the wage channel is deeply entrenched in central banks' views and models of their economies. In this paper, we present a model with equilibrium unemployment which has three distinctive properties. First, using a search and matching model with right-to-manage wage bargaining, a proper wage channel obtains. Second, accounting for fixed costs associated with maintaining an existing job greatly magnifies profit fluctuations for any given degree of wage fluctuations, which allows the model to reproduce the fluctuations of unemployment over the business cycle. And third, the model implies a reasonable elasticity of steady state unemployment with respect to changes in benefits. The calibration of the model implies low profits, but does not require a small gap between the value of working and the value of unemployment for the worker.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
Network
Wage dynamics network
9 June 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 635
Details
Abstract
We focus on a quantitative assessment of rigid labor markets in an environment of stable monetary policy. We ask how wages and labor market shocks feed into the inflation process and derive monetary policy implications. Towards that aim, we structurally model matching frictions and rigid wages in line with an optimizing rationale in a New Keynesian closed economy DSGE model. We estimate the model using Bayesian techniques for German data from the late 1970s to present. Given the pre-euro heterogeneity in wage bargaining we take this as the first-best approximation at hand for modelling monetary policy in the presence of labor market frictions in the current European regime. In our framework, we find that labor market structure is of prime importance for the evolution of the business cycle, and for monetary policy in particular. Yet shocks originating in the labor market itself may contain only limited information for the conduct of stabilization policy.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
25 November 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 556
Details
Abstract
In this paper we incorporate a labor market with matching frictions and wage rigidities into the New Keynesian business cycle model. In particular, we analyze the effect of a monetary policy shock and investigate how labor market frictions affect the transmission process of monetary policy. The model allows real wage rigidities to interact with adjustments in employment and hours affecting inflation dynamics via marginal costs. We find that the response of unemployment and inflation to an interest rate innovation depends on the degree of wage rigidity. Generally, more rigid wages translate into more persistent movements of aggregate inflation. Moreover, the impact of a monetary policy shock on unemployment and inflation depends also on labor market fundamentals such as bargaining power and the flows in and out of employment.
JEL Code
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
J64 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
2016
Journal of Applied Econometrics
  • Warne A., Coenen G. and Christoffel K.
2010
Journal of Money, Credit, and Banking
  • Christoffel K. and Linzert T.
2010
SERIEs, Journal of the Spanish Economic Society
  • Smets F., Christoffel K., Coenen G., Motto R. and Rostagno M.
2010
European Economic Review
  • Christoffel K., Kuester K. and Linzert T.
2009
Economics Letters
  • Christoffel K. and Kuester K.
2008
Journal of Monetary Economics
  • Christoffel K. and Kuester K.
2007
Journal of Monetary Economics
  • Coenen G., Levin A., and Christoffel K.
2011
Oxford Handbook on Economic Forecasting
  • Christoffel K., Coenen G. and Warne A.