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Thomas Y. Mathä

1 December 2001
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 111
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Abstract
This paper investigates the transmission of monetary policy using data from a panel of Luxembourg firms. The results indicate that the sales accelerator may be at work. A very robust result is the negative effect of the user cost of capital on firms' investment ratio. Changes in user costs are significantly affected by changes in the monetary policy indicator. In addition, firm specific balance sheet characteristics, such as the lagged cash stock to capital ratio influence the investment behaviour according to the broad credit channel theory. Using various sample splits, it is shown that young firms, in particular, are more sensitive to user cost changes, sales growth and the lagged cash to capital ratio.
JEL Code
D21 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Theory
D92 : Microeconomics→Intertemporal Choice→Intertemporal Firm Choice, Investment, Capacity, and Financing
E22 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Capital, Investment, Capacity
E52 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Monetary Policy
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
24 November 2004
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 415
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Abstract
This paper analyses the degree of inflation persistence in the EU15, the euro area and each of its member states using disaggregate price indices from the Harmonised Index of Consumer Prices. Our results reveal substantial heterogeneity across countries and indices. The overall results, based on both parametric and non-parametric persistence measures, suggest a very moderate degree of median and mean inflation persistence. For most price indices we are able to reject the unit root hypothesis, as well as the notion of disaggregate inflation exhibiting a high degree of persistence. Durable goods and services tend to be relatively less persistent than other indices. Aggregation effects, both across indices and countries, tend to be present. We find structural breaks both owing to the change in the monetary regime and to the modified treatment of sales in the official HICP series. The latter tends to reduce the measured degree of inflation persistence.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
C21 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Cross-Sectional Models, Spatial Models, Treatment Effect Models, Quantile Regressions
C22 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
C14 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
8 April 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 466
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Abstract
This paper analyses the degree of price rigidity and of inflation persistence across different product categories with particular focus on regulated prices and services for the individual EU15 countries, as well as for the EU15 and the euro area aggregates. We show that services and HICP sub-indices considered being subject to price regulation exhibit larger degrees of nominal price rigidities, with less frequent but larger price index changes as well as stronger asymmetries between price index increases and decreases. With regard to what extent services and regulated prices contribute to the degree of overall inflation persistence, we find that, for most of the EU15 countries as well as for the EU15 and the euro area aggregates, excluding services from the full HICP results in a reduction in the measured degree of inflation persistence; for regulated indices such an effect is also discernible, albeit to a lesser extent.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
C22 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C43 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Index Numbers and Aggregation
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
21 October 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 535
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Abstract
This study investigates the pricing behaviour of firms in the euro area on the basis of surveys conducted by nine Eurosystem national central banks, covering more than 11,000 firms. The results, robust across countries, show that firms operate in monopolistically competitive markets, where prices are mostly set following markup rules and where price discrimination is common. Around one-third of firms follow mainly time-dependent pricing rules while two thirds allow for elements of state-dependence. The majority of firms take into account past and expected economic developments in their pricing decisions. Price stickiness is mainly driven by customer relationships
JEL Code
E30 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→General
D40 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing→General
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
11 November 2005
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 541
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Abstract
This paper uses micro-level price data and analyses the behaviour of consumer prices in Luxembourg. We find that the median duration of consumer prices is roughly 8 months. The median durations of energy and unprocessed food are about 1.5 and 5 months, while prices of services typically change fewer than once a year. For some product types, such as non-energy industrial goods and processed food, a relatively large share of the observed price changes is reverted afterwards. With the exception of services, individual prices do not show signs of downward rigidity. On average, price decreases are as large as price increases. Price changes are determined both by state- and time-dependent factors. Accumulated price and wage inflation, wage adjustment due to indexation, the cash changeover and a larger number of competitors increase the probability of a price change, while pricing at attractive pricing points and price regulation have the opposite effect.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
C23 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
C41 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Duration Analysis, Optimal Timing Strategies
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
2 May 2006
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 617
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Abstract
This paper analyses the pricing behaviour of Luxembourg firms based on survey evidence. Luxembourg firms typically have low market share, many competitors and longstanding customer relationships. Price discrimination is frequently applied. A majority of firms use price review rules that include elements of state dependency. The median firm reviews and changes prices twice a year. The results suggest an almost equal share of firms applying forwardlooking, backward-looking and rules of thumb behaviour. The adjustment speed is faster when cost goes up and demand goes down than in the opposite cases. The most relevant theories explaining price rigidity are implicit contracts, cost-based pricing and explicit contracts. Increases in labour and other costs are the most important factors leading to price increases; for price reductions it is price reductions by competitors followed by declining labour costs.
JEL Code
C21 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Cross-Sectional Models, Spatial Models, Treatment Effect Models, Quantile Regressions
C22 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Time-Series Models, Dynamic Quantile Regressions, Dynamic Treatment Effect Models &bull Diffusion Processes
C14 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General→Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
Network
Eurosystem inflation persistence network
9 January 2009
OCCASIONAL PAPER SERIES - No. 100
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Abstract
The first part of this paper provides a brief survey of the recent literature that employs survey data on household finance and consumption. Given the breadth of the topic, it focuses on issues that are particularly relevant for policy, namely: i) wealth effects on consumption, ii) housing prices and household indebtedness, iii) retirement income, consumption and pension reforms, iv) access to credit and credit constraints, v) financial innovation, consumption smoothing and portfolio selection and vi) wealth inequality. The second part uses concrete examples to summarise how results from such surveys feed into policy-making within the central banks that already conduct such surveys.
JEL Code
C42 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Survey Methods
D12 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
Network
Eurosystem Monetary Transmission Network
24 March 2009
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1036
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Abstract
We develop a search-matching model, where firms search for customers (e.g. in form of advertising). Firms use long-term contracts and bargain over prices, resulting in a price mark up above marginal cost, which is pro- cyclical and depends on firms' relative bargaining power. Product market frictions decrease the steady state equilibrium, improve the cyclical properties of the model and provide a more realistic picture of firms' business environment. This suggests that product market frictions may well be crucial in explaining business cycle fluctuations. Finally, we also show that welfare costs of price rigidities are negligible relative to welfare costs of frictions.
JEL Code
E10 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→General Aggregative Models→General
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
Network
Wage dynamics network
28 February 2011
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1302
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Abstract
This paper analyses the existence of an immigrant/native wealth gap by using household survey data for Luxembourg, Germany and Italy. The results show that, in all three countries, a sizeable wealth gap exists between natives and immigrants. Towards the upper tail of the wealth distribution the gap narrows to a small extent. This gap persists even after controlling for demographic characteristics, country of origin, cohort and age at migration although cross-country differences exist in the immigration penalty.
JEL Code
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
F22 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→International Migration
Network
Conference on household finance and consumption
31 March 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1661
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Abstract
This paper analyses empirically how cross-border consumption varies across product and services categories and across household characteristics. It focuses on the part of cross-border sales that arise due to work-related cross-border crossings; it analyses the cross-border consumption behaviour of cross-border commuter households residing in Belgium, France and Germany and working in Luxembourg. In total, it is estimated that these households spend
JEL Code
F15 : International Economics→Trade→Economic Integration
R12 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→General Regional Economics→Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity
R23 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Regional Migration, Regional Labor Markets, Population, Neighborhood Characteristics
J61 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Geographic Labor Mobility, Immigrant Workers
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
7 May 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1672
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Abstract
Crossing borders, be it international or regional, often go together with price, wage or indeed wealth discontinuities. This paper identifies substantial wealth differences between Luxembourg resident households and cross-border commuter households despite their similar incomes. The average (median) net wealth difference is estimated to be
JEL Code
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
J61 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Geographic Labor Mobility, Immigrant Workers
F22 : International Economics→International Factor Movements and International Business→International Migration
R23 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Regional Migration, Regional Labor Markets, Population, Neighborhood Characteristics
R31 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location→Housing Supply and Markets
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
11 July 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1690
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Abstract
Results from the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey reveal substantial variation in household net wealth across euro area countries that await explanation. This paper focuses on three main factors for the wealth accumulation process, i) homeownership, ii) housing value appreciation and iii) intergenerational transfers. We show that these three factors, in addition to the common household and demographic factors, are relevant for the net wealth accumulation process in all euro area countries, and moreover that, using various decomposition techniques, differences therein, in particular in homeownership rates and house price dynamics, are important for explaining wealth differences across euro area countries.
JEL Code
D31 : Microeconomics→Distribution→Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions
E21 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Consumption, Saving, Wealth
O52 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Economywide Country Studies→Europe
C42 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics→Survey Methods
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
20 August 2014
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1722
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Abstract
Using the first wave of the Eurosystem Household Finance and Consumption Survey (HFCS), a large micro-level dataset on households
JEL Code
D1 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics
D3 : Microeconomics→Distribution
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
29 June 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2083
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Abstract
We analyse the use of active labour market policy (ALMP) measures and short-time work arrangements (STWAs) by Luxembourg firms during the years of economic and financial crisis (2008-09) and the subsequent European sovereign debt crisis (2010-13). About 34% of Luxembourg firms used ALMPs between 2008 and 2013. Economy-wide, use of ALMPs increased along both the extensive margin (more firms) and the intensive margin (more measures per firm). The likelihood that a firm hired with recourse to ALMPs is greater for large, domestically oriented, multiple establishment firms, firms facing strong demand, with concerns about labour cost pressures and unavailability of skilled labour. The crisis saw a surge in firms using STWAs. The likelihood of applying for STWAs increases with demand volatility, the share of workers with permanent contracts, export orientation and the inability to shift workers between establishments. Firms reported that 20-25% of jobs in STWAs were saved by this measure.
JEL Code
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
J63 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Turnover, Vacancies, Layoffs
J68 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Public Policy
Network
Wage dynamics network
7 December 2018
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2212
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Abstract
Using firm-level data from a large-scale European survey among 20 countries, we analyse the determinants of firms using short-time work (STW). We show that firms are more likely to use STW in case of negative demand shocks. We show that STW schemes are more likely to be used by firms with high degrees of firm-specific human capital, high firing costs, and operating in countries with stringent employment protection legislation and a high degree of downward nominal wage rigidity. STW use is higher in countries with formalised schemes and in countries where these schemes were extended in response to the recent crisis. On the wider economic impact of STW, we show that firms using the schemes are significantly less likely to lay off permanent workers in response to a negative shock, with no impact for temporary workers. Relating our STW take-up measure in the micro data to aggregate data on employment and output trends, we show that sectors with a high STW take-up exhibit significantly less cyclical variation in employment.
JEL Code
C25 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Single Equation Models, Single Variables→Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models, Discrete Regressors, Proportions
E24 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Consumption, Saving, Production, Investment, Labor Markets, and Informal Economy→Employment, Unemployment, Wages, Intergenerational Income Distribution, Aggregate Human Capital
J63 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Turnover, Vacancies, Layoffs
J68 : Labor and Demographic Economics→Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers→Public Policy
Network
Wage dynamics network
18 April 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2269
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Abstract
We use firm-level survey data from 25 EU countries to analyse how firms adjust their labour costs (employment, wages and hours) in response to shocks. We develop a theoretical model to understand how firms choose between different ways to adjust their labour costs. The basic intuition is that firms choose the cheapest way to adjust labour costs. Our empirical findings are in line with the theoretical model and show that the pattern of adjustment is not much affected by the type of the shock (demand shock, access-to-finance shock, ‘availability of supplies’ shock), but differs according to the direction of the shock (positive or negative), its size and persistence. In 2010-13, firms responding to negative shocks were most likely to reduce employment, then hourly wages and then hours worked, regardless of the source of the shock. Results for the 2008-09 period indicate that the ranking might change during deep recession as the likelihood of wage cuts increases. In response to positive shocks in 2010-13, firms were more likely to increase wages, followed by increases in employment and then hours worked suggesting an asymmetric reaction to positive and negative shocks. Finally, we show that strict employment protection legislation and high centralisation or coordination of wage bargaining make it less likely that firms reduce wages when facing negative shocks.
JEL Code
D21 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Theory
D22 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Firm Behavior: Empirical Analysis
D24 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations→Production, Cost, Capital, Capital, Total Factor, and Multifactor Productivity, Capacity
Network
Wage dynamics network
16 December 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2340
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Abstract
This paper studies how peers’ financial behaviour affects individuals’ own investment choices. To identify the peer effect, we exploit the unique composition of the Luxembourg population and use the differences in stock market participation across various immigrant groups to study how they affect stock market participation of natives. We solve the reflection problem by instrumenting immigrants’ stock market participation with lagged participation rates in their countries of birth. We separate the peer effect from the contextual and correlated effects by controlling for neighbourhood and individual characteristics. We find that stock market participation of immigrant peers has sizeable effects on that of natives. We also provide evidence that social learning is one of the channels through which the peer effect is transmitted. However, social learning alone does not account for the entire effect and we conclude that social utility might also play an important role in peer effects transmission.
JEL Code
G5 : Financial Economics
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
D83 : Microeconomics→Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty→Search, Learning, Information and Knowledge, Communication, Belief
G11 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Portfolio Choice, Investment Decisions
I22 : Health, Education, and Welfare→Education and Research Institutions→Educational Finance, Financial Aid
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)
2 October 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2474
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Abstract
Using a dedicated set of questions in the 2014 Luxembourg Household Finance and Consumption Survey (LU-HFCS), we show that a substantial share of households contributes their own labour to the acquisition of their main residence. These contributions help households faced with credit constraints, since they reduce the need for external financing. We develop a simple theoretical model and show that own labour contributions decrease with the level of financial resources available, while they increase with the mortgage interest rate. These theoretical results are supported by empirical analysis, which also shows that own labour contributions vary by household characteristics (age, gender, profession) and by type of dwelling (house, apartment).
JEL Code
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
E43 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
R21 : Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics→Household Analysis→Housing Demand
Network
Household Finance and Consumption Network (HFCN)