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Marcel Fratzscher

1 March 2001
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 48
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the integration process of European equity markets since the 1980s. Its central focus is on the role that EMU, and specifically, changes in exchange rate volatility, has played in this process of financial integration. Building on an uncovered interest rate parity condition to measure financial integration, a trivariate GARCH model with time-varying coefficients yields three key results: first, European equity markets have become highly integrated only since 1996. Second, the Euro area market has gained considerably in importance in world financial markets and has taken over from the US as the dominant market in Europe. And third, the integration of European equity markets is in large part explained by the drive towards EMU, and in particular the elimination of exchange rate volatility and uncertainty in the process of monetary unification
JEL Code
C32 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models, Diffusion Processes
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
1 April 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 139
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Abstract
This paper analyzes the role of contagion in the currency crises in emerging markets during the 1990s. It employs a non-linear Markov-switching model to conduct a systematic comparison and evaluation of three distinct causes of currency crises: contagion, weak economic fundamentals, and sunspots, i.e. unobservable shifts in agents' beliefs. Testing this model empirically through Markov-switching and panel data models reveals that contagion, i.e. a high degree of real integration and financial interdependence among countries, is a core explanation for recent emerging market crises. The model has a remarkably good predictive power for the 1997-98 Asian crisis. The findings suggest that in particular the degree of financial interdependence and also real integration among emerging markets are crucial not only in explaining past crises but also in predicting the transmission of future financial crises.
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
E60 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→General
E65 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Studies of Particular Policy Episodes
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
1 May 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 145
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Abstract
This paper develops a new Early Warning System (EWS) model for predicting financial crises, based on a multinomial logit model. It is shown that EWS approaches based on binomial discrete-dependent-variable models can be subject to what we call a post-crisis bias. This bias arises when no distinction is made between tranquil periods, when economic fundamentals are largely sound and sustainable, and crisis/post-crisis periods, when economic variables go through an adjustment process before reaching a more sustainable level or growth path. We show that applying a multinomial logit model, which allows distinguishing between more than two states, is a valid way of solving this problem and constitutes a substantial improvement in the ability to forecast financial crises. The empirical results reveal that, for a set of 32 open emerging markets from 1993 till the present, the model would have correctly predicted a large majority of crises in emerging markets. Moreover, we derive general results about the optimal design of EWS models, which allows policy-makers to make an optimal choice based on their degree of risk-aversion against unanticipated financial crises.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F47 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
1 June 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 154
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Abstract
The paper analyses the trade-off between exchange rate flexibility and monetary policy autonomy. It tests empirically the 'Possible Duality' hypothesis, i.e. whether countries with more flexible currency regimes are indeed able to exert more monetary policy autonomy than those with less flexible ones, and whether moving towards exchange rate flexibility allows countries to gain monetary independence. The results for a set of open emerging markets and ERM countries show no systematic link between exchange rate flexibility and monetary independence. It is also found that the Fed is still the dominant force in world capital markets, although the importance of EU monetary policy decisions has been increasing and a Euro bloc has formed in Europe.
JEL Code
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
E50 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→General
1 October 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 185
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Abstract
This paper tests for the hypothesis that institutional integration interacts with economic integration at the regional level. In particular, we ask what lessons can be drawn from the European experience with regional integration for Latin America. Several indicators of institutional and economic integration for both the EU and Latin America are presented. We find that Latin America is currently less economically integrated not only than the European Union today, but in some cases even than the EU at the beginning of its regional integration process. A cluster analysis illustrates that the link between institutional and economic integration has worked both ways throughout the whole EU experience. The more institutional integration went beyond the creation of a customs union and moved towards a common market and an economic and monetary union, the deeper economic integration turned out. Increasing economic integration in turn corroborated and sustained the process of institutional integration.
JEL Code
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
1 December 2002
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 200
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Abstract
This paper investigates whether the degree and nature of interdependence between the United States and the euro area have changed with the advent of EMU. Using real-time data, it addresses this issue from the perspective of financial markets by analysing the effects of monetary policy announcements and macroeconomic news on daily interest rates in the United States and the euro area. The paper finds that the interdependence of money markets has steadily increased over time, with the spillover effects from the United States to the euro area being somewhat stronger than in the opposite direction. Moreover, for the early stages of EMU, we find evidence that the markets were going through a learning process about the ECB monetary policy. Towards the end of our sample period, the importance attached to euro area consumer prices and M3 has reached levels that are remarkably similar to the role of German consumer prices and M3 for German interest rates prior to EMU.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
27 February 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 311
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Abstract
The paper extends the standard intertemporal model of the current account to include two important stylised facts: (1) the persistence of current account positions and (2) the relevance of the fiscal balance. Specifically, the paper derives a closed form solution for consumption in the presence of habit persistence and liquidity constraints, which allows us to obtain a dynamic model for the current account where fiscal deficits have an effect. The model is estimated for a panel of 33 countries, including the ten EU acceding countries and structural current account positions are derived. A parsimonious specification including relative income, relative investment and the fiscal balance explains well past current account developments. A key finding of the paper is that, from an intertemporal perspective, current accounts in most acceding countries are currently broadly in line with their structural current account positions.
JEL Code
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
27 April 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 342
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Abstract
This paper investigates whether the degree and the nature of economic and monetary policy interdependence between the United States and the euro area have changed with the advent of EMU. Using real-time data, it addresses this issue from the perspective of financial markets by analysing the effects of monetary policy announcements and macroeconomic news on daily interest rates in the United States and the euro area. First, the paper finds that the interdependence of money markets has increased strongly around EMU. Although spillover effects from the United States to the euro area remain stronger than in the opposite direction, we present evidence that US markets have started reacting also to euro area developments since the onset of EMU. Second, beyond these general linkages, the paper finds that certain macroeconomic news about the US economy have a large and significant effect on euro area money markets, and that these effects have become stronger in recent years. Finally, we show that US macroeconomic news have become good leading indicators for economic developments in the euro area. This indicates that the higher money market interdependence between the United States and the euro area is at least partly explained by the increased real integration of the two economies in recent years.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
Network
International research forum on monetary policy
28 April 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 348
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Abstract
No empirical evidence has yet emerged for the existence of a robust positive relationship between financial openness and economic growth. This paper argues that a key reason for the elusive evidence is the presence of a time-varying relationship between openness and growth over time: countries tend to gain in the short-term, immediately following capital account liberalisation, but may not grow faster or even experience temporary growth reversals in the medium- to long-term. The paper finds substantial empirical evidence for the existence of such an intertemporal trade-off for 45 industrialised and emerging market economies. The acceleration of growth immediately after liberalisation is found to be often driven by an investment boom and a surge in portfolio and debt inflows. By contrast, the quality of domestic institutions, the size of FDI inflows and the sequencing of the liberalisation process are found to be important driving forces for growth in the medium to longer term.
JEL Code
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F43 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Economic Growth of Open Economies
6 May 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 354
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Abstract
This paper analyses the effects of US monetary policy on stock markets. We find that, on average, a tightening of 50 basis points reduces returns by about 3%. Moreover, returns react more strongly when no change had been expected, when there is a directional change in the monetary policy stance and during periods of high market uncertainty. We show that individual stocks react in a highly heterogeneous fashion and relate this heterogeneity to financial constraints and Tobin's q. First, we show that there are strong industry-specific effects of US monetary policy. Second, we find that for the individual stocks comprising the S&P500 those with low cashflows, small size, poor credit ratings, low debt to capital ratios, high price-earnings ratios or high Tobin's q are affected significantly more. The use of propensity score matching allows us to distinguish between firmand industry-specific effects, and confirms that both play an important role.
JEL Code
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
19 May 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 363
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Abstract
This paper deals with the very short-term influence of "oral interventions" on the exchange rate of major currencies. The paper finds that official communication, as reported by wire services, are effective in influencing the US dollar-euro and yen-US dollar exchange rates in the desired direction on intervention days. Oral interventions are found to be substantially more effective if they deviate from the prevalent policy "mantra". They also tend to reduce market volatility whereas actual interventions raise volatility. A key result of the paper is that oral interventions are effective independently from the stance and direction of monetary policy as well as the occurrence of actual interventions. This suggests that oral interventions might constitute, on a short-term basis, an effective and largely autonomous policy tool.
JEL Code
E61 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Policy Objectives, Policy Designs and Consistency, Policy Coordination
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
3 June 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 365
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Abstract
This paper analyses the link between economic fundamentals and exchange rates by investigating the importance of real-time data. We find that such economic news in the United States, Germany and the euro area have indeed been a driving force behind daily US dollar - euro/DEM exchange rate developments in the period 1993-2003. The larger importance of US macroeconomic news is at least partly explained by their earlier release time compared to corresponding German and euro area news. The exchange rate is also shown to respond more strongly to news in periods of large market uncertainty and when negative or large shocks occur. Overall, the model based on real-time data is capable of explaining about 75% of the monthly directional changes of the US dollar-euro exchange rate, although it does not explain well the magnitude of the exchange rate changes.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
19 November 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 409
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Abstract
The academic literature has so far little to say about the underlying causes of the large structural asset and liability imbalances of emerging markets that frequently contributed to financial crises. The aim of the paper is to contribute to filling this gap by proposing a theoretical model that links currency and maturity mismatches with real volatility in the economy. We show that if (i) a significant share of the debt is denominated in foreign currency-creating a currency mismatch- and (ii) borrowing is constrained by solvency, then currency mismatch can create and exacerbate a maturity mismatch. An important feature of the model is that higher economic or political uncertainty tightens solvency constraints and tilts the debt profile towards short term debt, thereby increasing the volatility of output. Taking the model implications to the data, we find empirical support for the model's predictions using data for 28 emerging market economies.
JEL Code
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
16 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 452
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Abstract
The paper presents a framework for analyzing the degree of financial transmission between money, bond and equity markets and exchange rates within and between the United States and the euro area. We find that asset prices react strongest to other domestic asset price shocks, and that there are also substantial international spillovers, both within and across asset classes. The results underline the dominance of US markets as the main driver of global financial markets: US financial markets explain, on average, more than 25% of movements in euro area financial markets, whereas euro area markets account only for about 8% of US asset price changes. The international propagation of shocks is strengthened in times of recession, and has most likely changed in recent years: prior to EMU, the paper finds smaller international spillovers.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
30 March 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 457
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Abstract
This paper assesses the change in Federal Reserve policy introduced in 1999, with the publication of statements about the outlook for monetary policy (and later about the balance of risks) immediately after each FOMC meeting. We find that markets anticipated monetary policy decisions equally well under this new disclosure regime than before, but arrived at their expectations in different ways. Under the new regime, markets extract information from the statements, whereas before, they needed to revert to other types of Fed communication in the inter-meeting periods, and come to their own assessment of the implications of macroeconomic data releases. Taken together, these findings suggest that the Fed's new disclosure practice may indeed have improved transparency in the sense that information is now released to the markets at an earlier time and with clearer signals, but that the Fed can extract less information from observing market reactions to macroeconomic data releases.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
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
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
23 May 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 488
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Abstract
The paper assesses the communication strategies of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank and their effectiveness. We find that the effectiveness of communication is not independent from the decisionmaking process in the committee. The paper shows that the Federal Reserve has been pursuing a rather individualistic communication strategy amid a collegial approach to decision-making, while the Bank of England is using a collegial communication strategy and highly individualistic decision-making. The ECB has chosen a collegial approach both in its communication and in its decisionmaking. Assessing these strategies, we find that predictability of policy decisions and the responsiveness of financial markets to communication are equally good for the Federal Reserve and the ECB. This suggests that there may not be a single best approach to designing a central bank communication and decisionmaking strategy.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
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
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
12 August 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 509
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Abstract
Currently the U.S. is experiencing record budget and current account deficits, a phenomenon familiar from the "Twin Deficits" discussion of the 1980s. In contrast, during the 1990s productivity growth has been identified as the primary cause of the US current account deficit. We suggest a theoretical framework which allows to evaluate empirically the relative importance of budget deficits and productivity shocks for the determination of the current account. Using a sample of 21 OECD countries and time series data from 1960 to 2003 we find little evidence for a contemporaneous effect of budget deficits on the current account, while country-specific productivity shocks appear to play a key role.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
28 September 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 528
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Abstract
The paper analyses whether communication and actual interventions in FX markets are successful in moving exchange rates over the medium- to long-run. It compares empirical evidence based on time-series analysis with that obtained from an eventstudy approach. Both the time-series approach based on option contracts and the event-study methodology yield compelling evidence that communication and actual interventions tend to be successful in moving exchange rates in the desired direction contemporaneously as well as over the medium- to long term. This finding is consistent with recent work on microstructure models that emphasises the importance of dynamic effects of news and fundamentals on exchange rates.
JEL Code
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
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
25 November 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 557
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Abstract
The paper shows that central bank communication is a key determinant of the market's ability to anticipate monetary policy decisions and the future path of interest rates. Comparing communication policies by the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the ECB since 1999, we find that communicating the diversity of views among committee members about monetary policy lowers the market's ability to anticipate policy decisions as well as the future path of interest rates. This effect is sizeable, accounting for instance for one third to half of the prediction errors of FOMC policy decisions. By contrast, individualistic communication regarding the economic outlook is found to be beneficial for the Federal Reserve, enabling market participants to better anticipate the future path of interest rates. Thus, it is the collegiality of views on monetary policy but the diversity of views on the economic outlook that enhance the effectiveness of central bank communication.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
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
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
22 December 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 565
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Abstract
This paper explores whether there are systematic patterns as to when members of the decision-making committees of the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England and the European Central Bank communicate with the public, and under what circumstances such communication has the ability to move financial markets. The findings suggest that communication is generally seen as a tool to prepare markets for upcoming decisions, as it becomes more intense before committee meetings, and particularly so prior to interest rate changes. At the same time, markets react more strongly to communication prior to policy changes. Other instances where communication becomes more intense, or where financial markets become more responsive are also identified; even though these are more specific to the individual central banks, they are consistent with differences in the central banks' monetary policy strategies and communication policies.
JEL Code
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
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
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
16 January 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 578
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Abstract
Monetary policy in the euro area is conducted within a multi-country, multicultural, and multi-lingual context involving multiple central banking traditions. How does this heterogeneity affect the ability of economic agents to understand and to anticipate monetary policy by the ECB? Using a database of surveys of professional ECB policy forecasters in 24 countries, we find remarkable differences in forecast accuracy, and show that they are partly related to geography and clustering around informational hubs, as well as to country-specific economic conditions and traditions of independent central banking in the past. In large part this heterogeneity can be traced to differences in forecasting models. While some systematic differences between analysts have been transitional and are indicative of learning, others are more persistent.
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
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
24 February 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 590
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Abstract
Is there a pecking order of cross-border investment in that countries become financially integrated primarily through some types of investment rather than others? Using a novel database of bilateral capital stocks for all types of investment - FDI, portfolio equity securities, debt securities as well as loans - for a broad set of 77 countries, we show that such a pecking order indeed exists. Motivated by the theoretical work on the capital structure of firms, the paper focuses on two key determinants of this pecking order: information frictions and the quality of host country institutions. Overall, we find that in particular FDI, and to some extent also loans, are substantially more sensitive to information frictions than investment in portfolio equity and debt securities. We also show that the share as well as the size of FDI that a country receive are largely insensitive to institutional factors in host countries, while portfolio investment is by far the most sensitive to the quality of institutions. This provides new evidence in favor of some hypotheses but contradicts others put forward in the theoretical literature on trade in financial assets.
JEL Code
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
F21 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→International Investment, Long-Term Capital Movements
28 April 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 616
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Abstract
The paper shows that US monetary policy has been an important determinant of global equity markets. Analysing 50 equity markets worldwide, we find that returns fall on average around 3.8% in response to a 100 basis point tightening of US monetary policy, ranging from a zero response in some to a reaction of 10% or more in other countries, as well as significant cross-sector heterogeneity. Distinguishing different transmission channels, we find that in particular the transmission via US and foreign short-term interest rates and the exchange rate play an important role. As to the determinants of the strength of transmission to individual countries, we test the relevance of their macroeconomic policies and the degree of real and financial integration, thus linking the strength of asset price transmission to underlying trade and asset holdings, and find that in particular the degree of global integration of countries
JEL Code
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
29 September 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 679
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Abstract
Media coverage of monetary policy actions is a central channel of a central bank’s communication with the wider public, and thus an important factor for its credibility and policy effectiveness. This paper analyses the coverage which ECB monetary policy decisions receive in the print media, and the determinants of its extent and of its favorableness. We find that that the press critically discusses the ECB’s policy decisions in the context of prior market expectations and of the inflation environment, and that the media’s coverage of decisions is generally highly responsive to ECB communication – in particular its Press Conference on meeting days. However, the paper also finds clear limitations in this regard, thus underlining the critical monitoring role assumed by the media.
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
27 October 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 685
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Abstract
This paper focuses on the role of real exchange rate volatility as a driver of portfolio home bias, and in particular as an explanation for differences in home bias across financial assets. We present a Markowitz-type portfolio selection model in which real exchange rate volatility induces a bias towards domestic financial assets as well as a stronger home bias for assets with low local currency return volatility. We find empirical support in favour of this hypothesis for a broad set of industrialised and emerging market countries. Not only is real exchange rate volatility an important factor behind bilateral portfolio home bias, but we find that a reduction of monthly real exchange rate volatility from its sample mean to zero reduces bond home bias by up to 60 percentage points, while it reduces equity home bias by only 20 percentage points.
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
17 November 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 695
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Abstract
The paper shows that there is a substantial degree of heterogeneity in forecast accuracy among Fed watchers. Based on a novel database for 268 professional forecasters since 1999, the average forecast error of FOMC decisions varies 5 to 10 basis points between the best and worst-performers across the sample. This heterogeneity is found to be related to both the skills of analysts – such as their educational and employment backgrounds – and to geography. In particular, there is evidence that forecasters located in regions which experience more idiosyncratic economic conditions perform worse in anticipating monetary policy. Moreover, systematic forecaster heterogeneity is economically important as it leads to greater financial market volatility after FOMC meetings. Finally, Fed communication may exert an influence on forecast accuracy.
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
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
2 February 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 724
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Abstract
The paper analyses whether, and to what extent, emerging market economies (EMEs) have systemic importance for global financial markets, above and beyond their influence during crises episodes. Using a novel database of exogenous economic and political shocks for 14 systematically relevant EMEs, we find that EME shocks not only have a statistically but also economically significant impact on global equity markets. The economic significance of EME shocks is in particular underlined by their remarkably persistent effects over time. Importantly, EMEs are found to influence global equity markets about just as much in "good" times as in "bad" times, i.e. during crises or periods of financial turbulence. Finally, we detect a large degree of heterogeneity in the transmission of EME shocks to individual countries' equity markets, stressing the different degrees of financial exposure, which is relatively higher for European equity markets.
JEL Code
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
13 June 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 767
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Abstract
The question how best to communicate monetary policy decisions remains a highly topical issue among central banks. Focusing on the experience of the European Central Bank, this paper studies how explanations of monetary policy decisions at press conferences are perceived by financial markets. The empirical findings show that ECB press conferences provide substantial additional information to financial markets beyond that contained in the monetary policy decisions, and that the information content is closely linked to the characteristics of the decisions. Press conferences indeed have on average had larger effects on financial markets than even the corresponding policy decisions, and with lower effects on volatility. Moreover, the Q&A part of the press conference fulfils a clarification role about the economic outlook, in particular during periods of large macroeconomic uncertainty.
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
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
8 August 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 790
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Abstract
This paper analyses the role of asset prices in comparison to other factors, in particular exchange rates, as a driver of the US trade balance. It employs a Bayesian structural VAR model that requires imposing only a minimum of economically meaningful sign restrictions. We find that equity market shocks and housing price shocks have been major determinants of the US current account in the past, accounting for up to 32% of the movements of the US trade balance at a horizon of 20 quarters. By contrast, shocks to the real exchange rate have been much less relevant, explaining less than 7% and exerting a more temporary effect on the US trade balance. Our findings suggest that sizeable exchange rate movements may not necessarily be a key element of an adjustment of today's large current account imbalances, and that in particular relative global asset price changes could be a more potent source of adjustment.
JEL Code
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F40 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→General
C30 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→General
18 October 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 817
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Abstract
We study the convergence of European bond markets and the anchoring of inflation expectations in euro area countries using high-frequency bond yield data for France, Germany, Italy and Spain. We find that Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has led to substantial convergence in euro area sovereign bond markets in terms of interest rate levels, unconditional daily fluctuations, and conditional responses to major macroeconomic data announcements. Our findings also suggest a substantial increase in the anchoring of long-term inflation expectations since EMU, particularly for Italy and Spain, which since monetary union have seen their long-term interest rates become much lower, much less volatile, and much better anchored in response to news. Finally, the reaction of far-ahead forward interest rates to macroeconomic announcements has converged substantially across euro area countries and even been eliminated over time, thus underlining not only market integration but also the credibility that financial markets attach to monetary policy in the euro area.
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
Network
ECB Lamfalussy Fellowship Programme
23 October 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 821
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Abstract
Transparency has become an almost universal virtue among central banks. The paper tests empirically, for the case of the Federal Reserve, two hypotheses about central bank transparency derived from the debate of Morris and Shin (2002) and Svensson (2006). First, the paper finds that the precision of communication is a key determinant of the predictability of both FOMC decisions as well as the future policy path. Second, the effectiveness of communication is found to depend on the market environment. Specifically, a given statement may enhance predictability in an environment of high market uncertainty, but may reduce it when uncertainty is low. The findings underline the limits to transparency and stress the need for communication to be flexible and adjust to market conditions in order for central banks to achieve their ultimate objectives.
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
D82 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Asymmetric and Private Information, Mechanism Design
29 October 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 826
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Abstract
We show that international consumption risk sharing is significantly improved by capital flows, especially portfolio investment. Concomitantly, we show that poor institutions hamper risk sharing, but to an extent that decreases with openness. In particular, risk sharing is prevalent even among economies with poor institutions, provided they are open to international markets. This is consistent with the view that the prospect of retaliation may deter expropriation of foreign capital, even in institutional environments where it is possible. This deterrent is anticipated by investors, who act to diversify risk. By contrast, capital flows headed for closed economies with poor institutions are designed and constrained so as to limit the cost incurred in case of expropriation, and thus achieve little risk sharing. Finally, we show this non-linearity continues to be present in the determinants of international capital flows themselves. Institutions are crucial in attracting capital for closed economies, but are barely relevant in open ones.
JEL Code
F21 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→International Investment, Long-Term Capital Movements
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
30 November 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 835
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Abstract
The paper analyses the heterogeneity in the link between macroeconomic fundamentals and exchange rates. For a set of important US-specific economic shocks, it shows that such shocks have exerted a remarkably heterogeneous effect on global exchange rate configurations over the past 25 years. Despite a significant decline over time, this heterogeneity remains high as primarily currencies of a few industrialized countries provide the largest contribution to the adjustment of the effective US dollar exchange rate. The paper finds that this heterogeneity is not only due to policy choices of inflexible exchange rate regimes, but to an important extent due to market forces, in particular business cycle synchronization and the degree of financial integration - foremost in portfolio investment - but not to trade. The findings have implications for a potential unwinding of global imbalances and future exchange rate adjustment, as well as for monetary policy choices in emerging market economies.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
23 February 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 868
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Abstract
Despite substantial differences in monetary policy and communication strategies, many central banks share the practice of purdah, a self-imposed guideline of abstaining from communication around policy meetings or other important events. This practice is remarkable, as it seems to contradict the virtue of transparency by requiring central banks to withhold information precisely when it is sought after intensely. However, imposing such a limit to communication has often been justified on grounds that such communication may create excessive market volatility and unnecessary speculation. This short paper assesses the purdah for the Federal Reserve. The empirical results confirm the conjecture that financial markets are substantially more sensitive to central bank communication around policy meetings. Short-term interest rates react three to four times more strongly to statements in the purdah before FOMC meetings than during other times, and market volatility increases (compared to a volatility reduction induced by statements otherwise). The findings thus offer relevant insights about the limits to central bank transparency.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
14 May 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 898
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Abstract
Over the last two decades, communication has become an increasingly important aspect of monetary policy. These real-world developments have spawned a huge new scholarly literature on central bank communication -mostly empirical, and almost all of it written in this decade. We survey this evergrowing literature. The evidence suggests that communication can be an important and powerful part of the central bank's toolkit since it has the ability to move financial markets, to enhance the predictability of monetary policy decisions, and potentially to help achieve central banks' macroeconomic objectives. However, the large variation in communication strategies across central banks suggests that a consensus has yet to emerge on what constitutes an optimal communication strategy.
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
16 October 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 952
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Abstract
The paper assesses the extent to which the Group of Seven (G7) has been successful in its management of major currencies since the 1970s. Using an event-study approach, the paper finds evidence that the G7 has been overall effective in moving the US dollar, yen and euro in the intended direction at horizons of up to three months after G7 meetings, but not at longer horizons. While the success of the G7 is partly dependent on the market environment, it is also to a significant degree endogenous to the policy process itself. The findings indicate that the reputation and credibility of the G7, as well as its ability to form and communicate a consensus among individual G7 members, are important determinants for the G7’s ability to manage major currencies. The paper concludes by analyzing the factors that help the G7 build reputation and consensus, and by discussing the implications for global economic governance.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F50 : International Economics→International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy→General
6 November 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 956
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Abstract
Economic and Monetary Union (EMU) has transformed Europe and has created an integrated pan-European economy. Much research has focused on understanding this integration process and what benefits and costs it entails. This paper identifies a political economy channel of EMU as the monetary union implies that member states had to transfer or at least curtail their policy autonomy in several areas, such as monetary policy and fiscal policy. The paper shows that EMU has helped reduce the impact of political shocks on the domestic economy of member states but magnified the transmission of political shocks within the euro area. Equally importantly, economies with a weaker track record in terms of economic and institutional quality exhibited a significantly higher sensitivity to domestic political shocks before EMU, but not thereafter. While this may entail that EMU has brought benefits to countries with a weaker economic and institutional stability by insulating them from adverse political developments at home, a potential drawback is that it may provide weaker market discipline for domestic political stability.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
2 December 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 973
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Abstract
This paper analyses the impact of the shift away from a US dollar focus of systemically important emerging market economies (EMEs) on configurations between the US dollar, the euro and the yen. Given the difficulty that fixed or managed US dollar exchange rate regimes remain pervasive and reserve compositions mostly kept secret, the identification strategy of the paper is to analyse the market impact on major currency pairs of official statements made by EME policy-makers about their exchange rate regime and reserve composition. Developing a novel database for 18 EMEs, we find that such statements not only have a statistically but also an economically significant impact on the euro, and to a lesser extent the yen against the US dollar. The findings suggest that communication hinting at a weakening of EMEs’ US dollar focus contributed substantially to the appreciation of the euro against the US dollar in recent years. Interestingly, EME policy-makers appear to have become more cautious in their communication more recently. Overall, the results underscore the growing systemic importance of EMEs for global exchange rate configurations.
JEL Code
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F36 : International Economics→International Finance→Financial Aspects of Economic Integration
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
25 February 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1014
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Abstract
The paper analyses the effect of equity price shocks on current account positions for the G7 industrialized countries in 1974-2007. It uses a Bayesian VAR with sign restrictions for the identification of asset price shocks and to test empirically for their effect on current accounts. Such shocks are found to exert a sizeable effect, with a 10 percent equity price increase for instance in the United States relative to the rest of the world worsening the US trade balance by 0.9 percentage points after 16 quarters. However, the response of the trade balance to equity price shocks varies substantially across countries. The evidence suggests that the channels accounting for this heterogeneity function both through wealth effects on private consumption and to some extent through the real exchange rate of countries.
JEL Code
E2 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F40 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→General
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
8 June 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1060
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Abstract
A striking and unexpected feature of the financial crisis has been the sharp appreciation of the US dollar against virtually all currencies globally. The paper finds that negative US-specific macroeconomic shocks during the crisis have triggered a significant strengthening of the US dollar, rather than a weakening. Macroeconomic fundamentals and financial exposure of individual countries are found to have played a key role in the transmission process of US shocks: in particular countries with low FX reserves, weak current account positions and high direct financial exposure vis-à-vis the United States have experienced substantially larger currency depreciations during the crisis overall, and to US shocks in particular.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
17 June 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1064
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Abstract
There is a broad consensus that the quality of the political system and its institutions are fundamental for a country’s prosperity. The paper focuses on olitical events in Italy over the past 35 years and asks whether the adoption of the euro in 1999 has helped insulate Italy’s financial markets from the adverse consequences of its traditionally unstable political system. We find that important political events have exerted a statistically and economically significant effect on Italy’s financial markets throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The introduction of the euro appears to have indeed played a major role in insulating financial markets from such adverse shocks. The findings of the paper there-fore suggest another important economic dimension and channel through which Italy may have been affected by EMU. Our analysis could also be potentially interesting for other countries with weak institutions considering adopting a currency based on stronger institutions.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
9 December 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1122
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Abstract
The paper shows that monetary policy shocks exert a substantial effect on the size and composition of capital flows and the trade balance for the United States, with a 100 basis point easing raising net capital inflows and lowering the trade balance by 1% of GDP, and explaining about 20-25% of their time variation. Monetary policy easing causes positive returns to both equities and bonds. Yet such a monetary policy easing shock also induces a shift in portfolio composition out of equities and into bonds, implying a negative conditional correlation between flows in equities and bonds. Moreover, such shocks induce a negative conditional correlation between equity flows and equity returns, but a positive conditional correlation between bond flows and bond returns. The findings thus provide evidence for the presence of a portfolio rebalancing motive behind investment decisions in equities, but the dominance of what is akin to a return chasing motive for bonds, conditional on monetary policy shocks. The results also shed light on the puzzle of the strongly time-varying equity-bond return correlations found in the literature.
JEL Code
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
21 January 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1146
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Abstract
There is a broad consensus in the literature that costs of information processing and acquisition may generate costly disagreements in expectations among economic agents, and that central banks may play a central role in reducing such dispersion in expectations. This paper analyses empirically whether enhanced central bank transparency lowers dispersion among professional forecasters of key economic variables, using a large set of proxies for central bank transparency in 12 advanced economies. It finds evidence for a significant and sizeable effect of central bank transparency on forecast dispersion, be it by means of announcing a quantified inflation objective, other forms of communication, or by publishing central banks’ inflation and output forecasts. However, there also appear to be limits to central bank transparency, with decreasing marginal returns to enhancing (economic) transparency, and given our findings that disagreement among inflation expectations in the general public is not affected by the various central bank transparency measures analyzed in this paper.
JEL Code
E37 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
C53 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling→Forecasting and Prediction Methods, Simulation Methods
10 January 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1285
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Abstract
The paper analyses and compares the role that the tightening in liquidity conditions and the collapse in risk appetite played for the global transmission of the financial crisis. Dealing with identification and the large dimensionality of the empirical exercise with a Global VAR approach, the findings highlight the diversity of the transmission process. While liquidity shocks have had a more severe impact on advanced economies, it was mainly the decline in risk appetite that affected emerging market economies. The tightening of financial conditions was a key transmission channel for advanced economies, whereas for emerging markets it was mainly the real side of the economy that suffered. Moreover, there are some striking differences also within types of economies, with Europe being more adversely affected by the fall in risk appetite than other advanced economies.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
20 April 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1332
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Abstract
Central banks regularly communicate about financial stability issues, by publishing Financial Stability Reports (FSRs) and through speeches and interviews. The paper asks how such communications affect financial markets. Building a unique dataset, it provides an empirical assessment of the reactions of stock markets to more than 1000 releases of FSRs and speeches by 37 central banks over the past 14 years. The findings suggest that FSRs have a significant and potentially long-lasting effect on stock market returns, and also tend to reduce market volatility. Speeches and interviews, in contrast, have little effect on market returns and do not generate a volatility reduction during tranquil times, but have had a substantial effect during the 2007-10 financial crisis. The findings suggest that financial stability communication by central banks are perceived by markets to contain relevant information, and they underline the importance of differentiating between communication tools, their content and the environment in which they are employed.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
20 July 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1364
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Abstract
The causes of the 2008 collapse and subsequent surge in global capital flows remain an open and highly controversial issue. Employing a factor model coupled with a dataset of high-frequency portfolio capital flows to 50 economies, the paper finds that common shocks – key crisis events as well as changes to global liquidity and risk – have exerted a large effect on capital flows both in the crisis and in the recovery. However, these effects have been highly heterogeneous across countries, with a large part of this heterogeneity being explained by differences in the quality of domestic institutions, country risk and the strength of domestic macroeconomic fundamentals. Comparing and quantifying these effects shows that common factors (“push” factors) were overall the main drivers of capital flows during the crisis, while country-specific determinants (“pull” factors) have been dominant in accounting for the dynamics of global capital flows in 2009 and 2010, in particular for emerging markets.
JEL Code
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
F21 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→International Investment, Long-Term Capital Movements
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
12 September 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1381
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Abstract
Using the 2007-2009 financial crisis as a laboratory, we analyze the transmission of crises to country-industry equity portfolios in 55 countries. We use an asset pricing framework with global and local factors to predict crisis returns, defining unexplained increases in factor loadings as indicative of contagion. We find evidence of systematic contagion from US markets and from the global financial sector, but the effects are very small. By contrast, there has been systematic and substantial contagion from domestic equity markets to individual domestic equity portfolios, with its severity inversely related to the quality of countries' economic fundamentals and policies. Consequently, we reject the globalization hypothesis that links the transmission of the crisis to the extent of global exposure. Instead, we confirm the old
JEL Code
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
G14 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Information and Market Efficiency, Event Studies, Insider Trading
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
Network
Macroprudential Research Network
28 October 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1392
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Abstract
This paper assesses whether the international monetary system is already tripolar and centred around the US dollar, the euro and the Chinese renminbi (RMB). It focuses on what we call China
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
N20 : Economic History→Financial Markets and Institutions→General, International, or Comparative
1 February 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1418
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Abstract
This paper provides an empirical test of the scapegoat theory of exchange rates (Bacchetta and van Wincoop 2004, 2011), as an attempt to evaluate its potential for explaining the poor empirical performance of traditional exchange rate models. This theory suggests that market participants may at times attach significantly more weight to individual economic fundamentals to rationalize the pricing of currencies, which are partly driven by unobservable shocks. Using novel survey data which directly measure foreign exchange scapegoats for 12 currencies and a decade of proprietary data on order flow, we find empirical evidence that strongly supports the empirical implications of the scapegoat theory of exchange rates, with the resulting models explaining a large fraction of the variation and directional changes in exchange rates. The findings have implications for exchange rate modelling, suggesting that a more accurate understanding of exchange rates requires taking into account the role of scapegoat factors and their time-varying nature.
JEL Code
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
G10 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→General
1 February 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1416
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Abstract
The paper analyses the transmission of liquidity shocks and risk shocks to global financial markets. Using a Global VAR methodology, the findings reveal fundamental differences in the transmission strength and pattern between the 2007-08 financial crisis and the 2010-11 sovereign debt crisis. Unlike in the former crisis, emerging market economies have become much more resilient to adverse shocks in 2010-11. Moreover, a flight-to-safety phenomenon across asset classes has become particularly strong during the 2010-11 sovereign debt crisis, with risk shocks driving down bond yields in key advanced economies. The paper relates this evolving transmission pattern to portfolio choice decisions by investors and finds that countries' sovereign rating, quality of institutions and their financial exposure are determinants of cross-country differences in the transmission.
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
C5 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric Modeling
1 February 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1415
Details
Abstract
The empirical analysis of the paper suggests that an FX policy objective and concerns about an overheating of the domestic economy have been the two main motives for the (re-)introduction and persistence of capital controls over the past decade. Capital controls are strongly associated with countries having significantly undervalued exchange rates. Capital controls also appear to be less motivated by worries about financial market volatility or fickle capital flows per se, but rather by concerns about capital inflows triggering an overheating of the economy – in the form of high credit growth, rising inflation and output volatility. Moreover, countries with a high level of capital controls, and those actively implementing controls, tend to be those that have fixed exchange rate regimes, a non-IT monetary policy regime and shallow financial markets. This evidence is consistent with capital controls being used, at least in part, to compensate for the absence of autonomous macroeconomic and prudential policies and effective adjustment mechanisms for dealing with capital flows.
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
10 August 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1456
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Abstract
We use changes in Brazil’s tax on capital inflows from 2006 to 2011 to test for direct portfolio effects and externalities from capital controls on investor portfolios. The analysis is structured based on information from investor interviews. We find that an increase in Brazil’s tax on foreign investment in bonds causes investors to significantly decrease their portfolio allocations to Brazil in both bonds and equities. Investors simultaneously increase allocations to other countries that have substantial exposure to China and decrease allocations to countries viewed as more likely to use capital controls. Much of the effect of capital controls on portfolio flows appears to occur through signalling —i.e. changes in investor expectations about future policies— rather than the direct cost of the controls. This evidence of significant externalities from capital controls suggests that any assessment of controls should consider their effects on portfolio flows to other countries.
JEL Code
F3 : International Economics→International Finance
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
F5 : International Economics→International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy
G0 : Financial Economics→General
G1 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets
19 June 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1557
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Abstract
The paper analyses the global spillovers of the Federal Reserve’s unconventional monetary policy measures. First, we find that Fed measures in the early phase of the crisis (QE1) were highly effective in lowering sovereign yields and raising equity markets, especially in the US relative to other countries. Fed measures since 2010 (QE2) boosted equities worldwide, while they had muted impact on yields across countries. Yet Fed policies functioned in a procyclical manner for capital flows to emerging markets (EMEs) and a counter-cyclical way for the US, triggering a portfolio rebalancing across countries out of EMEs into US equity and bond funds under QE1, and in the opposite direction under QE2. Second, the impact of Fed operations, such as Treasury and MBS purchases, on portfolio allocations and asset prices dwarfed those of Fed announcements, underlining the importance of the market repair and liquidity functions of Fed policies. Third, we find no evidence that FX or capital account policies helped countries shield themselves from these US policy spillovers, but rather that responses to Fed policies are related to country risk. The results thus illustrate how US unconventional measures have contributed to portfolio reallocation as well as a re-pricing of risk in global financial markets.
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
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
19 December 2013
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1625
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Abstract
The paper analyses the drivers of sovereign risk for 31 advanced and emerging economies during the European sovereign debt crisis. It shows that a deterioration in countries
JEL Code
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
H63 : Public Economics→National Budget, Deficit, and Debt→Debt, Debt Management, Sovereign Debt
11 July 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1689
Details
Abstract
This paper takes a financial market perspective in examining the relationship between oil prices, the US dollar and asset prices, and it exploits the heteroskedasticity for the identification of causality in a multifactor model. It finds a bidirectional causality between the US dollar and oil prices since the early 2000s. Moreover, both oil prices and the US dollar are significantly affected by changes in equity market returns and risk. By contrast, oil prices did not react to changes in these financial assets before 2001. The paper provides evidence that this may be explained by the increased use of oil as a financial asset over the past decade, which intensified the link between oil and other assets. The model can account well for the strong and rising negative correlation between oil prices and the US dollar since the early 2000s, with risk shocks and the financialisation process of oil prices explaining most of the strengthening of this correlation.
JEL Code
F30 : International Economics→International Finance→General
G15 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→International Financial Markets