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Roland Straub

6 April 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 328
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Abstract
We lay out an empirical and a theoretical model to analyze the effects of non-fundamental exchange rate volatility on economic activity and welfare. In the first part of the paper, the GARCH-SVARmodel is applied to measure empirically the effect of the conditional exogenous exchange rate volatility on the conditional mean of the endogenous variables in our open economy VAR. Our results for Canada, Germany and UK indicate that the effects of exchange rate uncertainty are small empirically. In the second part, we investigate the effect of non-fundamental exchange rate volatility in a stochastic open economy model. The second order approximation method of Sims [2003] is applied to the model equilibrium conditions. We show that in a model with habit persistence, even non-fundamental exchange rate volatility that generate only small variation in the unconditional mean of the variables might induce economically significant welfare changes.
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
F31 : International Economics→International Finance→Foreign Exchange
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
22 July 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 373
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Abstract
This paper provides evidence for the impact of technology, labor supply, monetary policy and aggregate spending shocks on hours worked in the Euro area. The evidence is based on a vector autoregression identified using sign restrictions that are consistent with both sticky price and real business cycle models. In contrast to most of the existing literature for the US, evidence of a positive response of hours to technology shocks is found, which is consistent with the conventional real business cycle interpretation and at odds with sticky price models. In addition, an important role for technology shocks in explaining business cycle fluctuations is found.
JEL Code
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
22 August 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 513
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Abstract
In this paper, we revisit the effects of government spending shocks on private consumption within an estimated New-Keynesian DSGE model of the euro area featuring non-Ricardian households. Employing Bayesian inference methods, we show that the presence of non-Ricardian households is in general conducive to raising the level of consumption in response to government spending shocks when compared with the benchmark specification without non-Ricardian households. However, we find that there is only a fairly small chance that government spending shocks crowd in consumption, mainly because the estimated share of non-Ricardian households is relatively low, but also due to the large negative wealth effect induced by the highly persistent nature of government spending shocks.
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
24 April 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 747
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Abstract
In this paper, we employ a calibrated two-country version of the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) currently under development at the European Central Bank to examine the potential benefits and spillovers of reducing labour-market distortions caused by euro area tax structures. Our analysis shows that lowering tax distortions to levels prevailing in the United States would result in an increase in hours worked and output by more than 10 percent. At the same time, tax reductions would have positive spillovers to the euro area's trade partners, bolstering the case for tax reforms from a global perspective. Finally, we illustrate that, in the presence of heterogeneous households, distributional effects may be of importance when gauging the impact of tax reforms.
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
21 August 2007
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 795
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Abstract
Despite intense calls for safeguarding public investment in Europe, public investment expenditure, when measured in relation to GDP, has steadily fallen in the last three decades, evoking fears that economic activity may be correspondingly negatively affected. At the same time, however, public consumption in the EU-12 countries has trended up. In this paper, we provide a macroeconomic assessment of the observed change in the composition of public spending in the euro area in a medium-scale two-country dynamic stochastic general equilibrium (DSGE) model. First, we analyze the channels through which, both temporary and permanent public investment shocks generate larger fiscal multipliers than exogenous increases in public consumption. Furthermore, we quantify the negative impact of a change in fiscal stance, characterized by a permanent rise in public consumption and a permanent fall in public investment, keeping thereby the overall level of public spending constant. The key message of the paper is that calls for reversing the observed trend in the composition of public spending are well justifed.
JEL Code
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
22 January 2008
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 78
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Abstract
In this paper, we take a systematic look at global imbalances. First, we provide a definition of the phenomenon, and relate global imbalances to widening external positions of systemically important economies that reflect distortions or entail risks for the global economy. Second, we provide an operational content to this definition by measuring trends in external imbalances over the past decade and putting these in a historical perspective. We argue that three main features set today's situation apart from past episodes of growing external imbalances: (i) the emergence of new players, in particular emerging market economies such as China and India, which are quickly catching up with the advanced economies; (ii) an unprecedented wave of financial globalisation, with more integrated global financial markets and increasing opportunities for international portfolio diversification, also characterised by considerable asymmetries in the level of market completeness across countries; and (iii) the favourable global macroeconomic and financial environment, with record high global growth rates in recent years, low financial market volatility and easy global financing conditions over a long time period of time, running at least until the summer of 2007. Finally, we provide an analytical overview of the fundamental causes and drivers of global imbalances. The central argument is that the increase in imbalances has been driven by a unique combination of structural and cyclical determinants.
JEL Code
F2 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F33 : International Economics→International Finance→International Monetary Arrangements and Institutions
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
31 January 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 858
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Abstract
We use a version of the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM) developed at the ECB in order to quantify the gains from monetary policy cooperation. The model is calibrated in order to match a set of empirical moments. We then derive the cooperative and (open-loop) Nash monetary policies, assuming that the central banks' objectives is to maximize the welfare of the households. Our results show that given the current degree of openness of the US and euro area economies, the gains from monetary policy coordination are small, amounting to 0.03 percent of steady-state consumption. Nevertheless, the gains appear to be sensitive to the degree of openness and further economic integration between the two regions could generate sizable gains from cooperation. For example, increasing the trade shares to 32 percent of GDP in both regions, the gains from cooperation rise to about 1 percent of steady-state consumption. By decomposing the sources of the gains from cooperation with respect to the various shocks, we show that mark-up shocks are the most important source for gains from international monetary policy cooperation.
JEL Code
E32 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Business Fluctuations, Cycles
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
F42 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→International Policy Coordination and Transmission
14 May 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 902
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Abstract
In this paper, we examine the macroeconomic effects of alternative fiscal consolidation policies in the New Area-Wide Model (NAWM), a two-country open-economy model of the euro area developed at the European Central Bank (cf. Coenen et al., 2007). We model fiscal consolidation as a permanent reduction in the targeted government debt-to-output ratio and analyse both expenditure and revenue-based policies that are implemented by means of simple fiscal feedback rules. We find that fiscal consolidation has positive long-run effects on key macroeconomic aggregates such as output and consumption, notably when the resulting improvement in the budgetary position is used to lower distortionary taxes. At the same time, fiscal consolidation gives rise to noticeable short-run adjustment costs in contrast to what the literature on expansionary fiscal consolidations suggests. Moreover, depending on the fiscal instrument used, fiscal consolidation may have pronounced distributional effects.
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
23 June 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 907
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Abstract
In this paper, we utilise the multi-country version of the NAWM to analyse the impact of globalisation on euro area macroeconomic aggregates. We provide alternative model-based definitions of globalisation associated with an increase in potential output in emerging Asia and its impact on total factor productivity in the euro area, and a shift in international specialisation patterns leading to changes in relative demand and import substitutions. The results indicate that globalisation has a positive impact on output, consumption, investment and real labour income in the long-run. This impact is driven by the improvement in the terms of trade and associated positive wealth effects, as well as by spillovers of higher potential output in emerging Asia on euro area total factor productivity. Additionally, we provide evidence that structural reforms in goods and labour markets would amplify the benefits associated with globalisation.
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
26 November 2008
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 959
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Abstract
We use a structural VAR with sign restrictions to jointly identify the impact of monetary policy, private absorption, technology and oil price shocks on current account fluctuations in the U.S.. We derive the sign restrictions from theoretical impulse response functions of a DSGE model with oil, ensuring that these are consistent with a broad range of parameter values. We find that a contractionary oil price shock has a negative effect on the current account which lasts for approximately 3 years. We also find that monetary policy shocks and private absorption shocks are the main drivers of historical current account deteriorations in the U.S. Furthermore, monetary policy shocks can explain approximately 60 percent at a one year forecast horizon, although this reduces to around 40 per cent at a 7 year horizon, whilst the oil price explains just under 10 percent of the forecast error variance of the U.S. current account.
JEL Code
E0 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General
F32 : International Economics→International Finance→Current Account Adjustment, Short-Term Capital Movements
F4 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
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
31 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1040
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Abstract
This paper sheds new light on the external and domestic dimension of China’s exchange rate policy. It presents an open economy model to analyse both dimensions of macroeconomic adjustment in China under both flexible and fixed exchange rate regimes. The model-based results indicate that persistent current account surpluses in China cannot be rationalized, under general circumstances, by the occurrence of permanent technology or labour supply shocks. As a result, the understanding of the macroeconomic adjustment process in China requires to mimic the effects of potential inefficiencies, which induce the subdued response of domestic absorption to permanent income shocks causing thereby the observed positive unconditional correlation of trade balance and output. The paper argues that these inefficiencies can be potentially seen as a by-product of the fixed exchange rate regime, and can be approximated by a stochastic tax on domestic consumption or time varying transaction cost technology related to money holdings. Our results indicate that a fixed exchange regime with financial market distortions, as defined above, might induce negative effects on GDP growth in the medium-term compared to a more flexible exchange rate regime.
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
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
14 April 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1172
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Abstract
The curse of dimensionality, a problem associated with analyzing the interaction of a relatively large number of endogenous macroeconomic variables, is a prevailing issue in the open economy macro literature. The most common practise to mitigate this problem is to apply the so-called Small Open Economy Framework (SOEF). In this paper, we aim to review under which conditions the SOEF is a justifiable approximation and how severe the consequences of violation of key conditions might be. Thereby, we use a multicountry general equilibrium model as a laboratory. First, we derive the conditions that ensure the existence of the equilibrium and study the properties of the equilibrium using large N asymptotics. Second, we show that the SOEF is a valid approximation only for economies (i) that have a diversified foreign trade structure and if (ii) there is no globally dominant economy in the system. Third, we illustrate that macroeconomic interdependence is primarily related to the degree of trade diversification, and not to the extent of trade openness. Furthermore, we provide some evidence on the pattern of global macroeconomic interdependence by calculating probability impulse response functions in our calibrated multicountry model using data for 153 economies.
JEL Code
F41 : International Economics→Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance→Open Economy Macroeconomics
31 May 2010
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 110
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Abstract
In this paper we take a systematic look at recent trends in global protectionism and at the potential implications of a protectionist backlash for economic growth, using results from the recent economic literature and new model simulations. We find that there has so far been a moderate increase in actual protectionist measures to restrict trade through tariff and non-tariff barriers. At the same time, evidence from surveys shows that public pressure for more economic protection has been mounting since the mid-2000s, and has possibly intensified since the start of the financial crisis. However, no World Trade Organization (WTO) member has retreated into widespread trade restrictions or protectionism to date. Our model-based simulations suggest that the impairment of the global flow of trade would hamper the recovery from the crisis, as well as the long-term growth potential of the global economy. At the same time, it is unlikely that protectionism would help to correct existing current account imbalances. Moreover, the countries implementing protectionist measures should expect a deterioration of their international competitiveness, which would further affect the potential for longer-term real GDP growth.
JEL Code
F13 : International Economics→Trade→Trade Policy, International Trade Organizations
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
F21 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→International Investment, Long-Term Capital Movements
F53 : International Economics→International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy→International Agreements and Observance, International Organizations
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
22 July 2010
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1230
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Abstract
This paper explores time variation in the dynamic effects of technology shocks on U.S. output, prices, interest rates as well as real and nominal wages. The results indicate considerable time variation in U.S. wage dynamics that can be linked to the monetary policy regime. Before and after the "Great Inflation", nominal wages moved in the same direction as the (required) adjustment of real wages, and in the opposite direction of the price response. During the "Great Inflation", technology shocks in contrast triggered wage-price spirals, moving nominal wages and prices in the same direction at longer horizons, thus counteracting the required adjustment of real wages, amplifying the ultimate repercussions on prices and hence increasing inflation volatility. Using a standard DSGE model, we show that these stylized facts, in particular the estimated magnitudes, can only be explained by assuming a high degree of wage indexation in conjunction with a weak reaction of monetary policy to inflation during the "Great Inflation", and low indexation together with aggressive inflation stabilization of monetary policy before and after this period. This means that the monetary policy regime is not only captured by the parameters of the monetary policy rule, but importantly also by the degree of wage indexation and resultant second round effects in the labor market. Accordingly, the degree of wage indexation is not structural in the sense of Lucas (1976).
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
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E42 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Monetary Systems, Standards, Regimes, Government and the Monetary System, Payment Systems
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
26 March 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1429
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Abstract
How much did fiscal policy contribute to euro area real GDP growth during the Great Recession? We estimate that discretionary fiscal measures have increased annualized quarterly real GDP growth during the crisis by up to 1.6 percentage points. We obtain our result by using an extended version of the European Central Bank’s New Area-Wide Model with a rich specification of the fiscal sector. A detailed modeling of the fiscal sector and the incorporation of as many as eight fiscal time series appear pivotal for our result.
JEL Code
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
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
25 May 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1438
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Abstract
This paper argues that limited asset market participation is crucial in explaining U.S. macroeconomic performance and monetary policy before the 1980s, and their changes thereafter. In an otherwise conventional sticky-price model, standard aggregate demand logic is inverted at low enough asset market participation: interest rate increases become expansionary; passive monetary policy ensures equilibrium determinacy and maximizes welfare. This suggests that Federal Reserve policy in the pre-Volcker era was better than conventional wisdom implies. We provide empirical evidence consistent with this hypothesis, and study the relative merits of changes in structure and shocks for reproducing the conquest of the Great Inflation and the Great Moderation.
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
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
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
5 October 2012
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1483
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Abstract
We seek to quantify the impact on euro area GDP of the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) enacted in response to the financial crisis of 2008-09. To do so, we estimate an extended version of the ECB’s New Area-Wide Model with a richly specified fiscal sector. The estimation results point to the existence of important complementarities between private and government consumption and, to a lesser extent, between private and public capital. We first examine the implied present-value multipliers for seven distinct fiscal instruments and show that the estimated complementarities result in fiscal multipliers larger than one for government consumption and investment. We highlight the importance of monetary accommodation for these findings. We then show that the EERP, if implemented as initially enacted, had a sizeable, although short-lived impact on euro area GDP. Since the EERP comprised both revenue and expenditurebased fiscal stimulus measures, the total multiplier is below unity.
JEL Code
C11 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Bayesian Analysis: General
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
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