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Discussion papers

Working papers on policy relevant topics

Discussion papers differ from standard working papers in that they are more broadly accessible and offer a more balanced perspective. While partly based on original research, they place the analysis in the wider context of the literature on the topic and also explicitly consider the policy perspective.

24 February 2022
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2647
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Abstract
Recent research developed under the ECB research task force on Monetary Policy, Macroprudential Policy and Financial Stability highlights the existence of trade-offs and spillovers that monetary policy and macroprudential authorities face when deciding on their policy interventions. Monetary policy measures are key to support the supply of credit to the economy, but they could also have unintended consequences on financial stability risks. Macroprudential policies are instead effective in limiting financial stability risks, but they could also reduce the length of economic expansions by preventing credit from flowing to productive economic activities. In addition, since monetary and macroprudential policies transmit to the broad economy via the financial system, they unavoidably affect each other’s effectiveness. Taking these factors into account is key for the design and implementation of both policies.
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
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Discussion papers
21 December 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2632
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Abstract
Monetary policy aims at affecting corporate borrowing by influencing the marginal costs of firms, but its potency can be conditioned by the degree of market competition. We first identify conditions under which changes in marginal costs may have different effects on credit constraints and output under different competitive environment, in a simple Cournot competition setting. We then exploit changes in monetary policy to examine whether the pass-through of borrowing costs is affected by market structure. First, we use as an experiment the announcement of the ECB Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) program in a triple-differences specification. We show that small firms (which have low market power and higher credit constraints) in "stressed" countries (which benefited more from the policy) within less concentrated sectors experienced a larger reduction in credit constraints than similar firms in more concentrated sectors. Second, we exploit continuous state-of-the-art measures of monetary policy shocks to study how market structure affects pass-through to real variables, like investment and sales growth. We find evidence that firms with more market power respond less to monetary policy shocks. These results show that the interaction of borrowing capacity and market structure matters, and that concentration may have important effects on monetary policy transmission.
JEL Code
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
E4 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
L1 : Industrial Organization→Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
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Discussion papers
1 October 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2593
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Abstract
This paper develops a simple analytical framework to study the impact of central bank policy-rate changes on banks’ credit supply and risk-taking incentives. Unobservable expost bank monitoring of loans creates an external-financing constraint, which determines bank leverage. Unobservable, costly ex-ante screening of borrowers determines the level of bank risk-taking. More risk-taking tightens the external-financing constraint. The policy rate affects the external-financing constraint because it affects both the return on outside investors’ alternative investments and loan rates. In a low rate environment, a policy-rate cut reduces bank funding costs less because of a zero lower bound (ZLB) on retail deposit rates. Bank risk-taking is a necessary but not sufficient for a policy-rate cut to become contractionary ("reversal"). Reversal can occur even though banks’ net-interest margins increase. Credit market competition plays an important role for the interplay of monetary policy and financing stability. When banks have market power, a policy-rate cut can increase lending and still lead to risk-taking. We use our analytical framework to discuss the literature on how monetary policy affects the credit supply of banks, with special emphasis on low and negative rates.
JEL Code
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
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
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Discussion papers
28 May 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2559
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Abstract
Since the global financial crises, many countries have implemented macroprudential policies with the aim to render the financial system more resilient to shocks and limit the procyclicality of the financial system. We present theoretical and empirical evidence on the effectiveness of macroprudential policy, on both, financial stability and economic growth focussing on capital measures and borrower-based measures.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
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Discussion papers
20 May 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2556
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Abstract
Macroprudential policymakers assess medium-term downside risks to the real economy arising from financial imbalances and implement policies aimed at managing those risks. In doing so, they face an inherent intertemporal trade-off between the expected growth and downside risks. This paper reviews the literature on Growth-at-Risk, embeds it in the wider literature on macroprudential policy, and proposes an empirical risk management framework that combines insights from the two literatures, by forecasting the entire real GDP growth distribution with a structural quantile vector autoregressive model. It accounts for direct and indirect interactions between financial vulnerabilities, financial stress and real GDP growth and allows for potential non-linear amplification effects. The framework provides policymakers with a macro-financial stress test to monitor downside risks to the economy and a macroprudential stance metric to quantify when interventions may be beneficial.
JEL Code
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
C33 : Mathematical and Quantitative Methods→Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models, Multiple Variables→Panel Data Models, Spatio-temporal Models
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Discussion papers
19 February 2021
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2527
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Abstract
The Global Financial Crisis fostered the design and adoption of macroprudential policies throughout the world. This raises important questions for monetary policy. What, if any, is the relationship between monetary and macroprudential policies? In particular, how does the effectiveness of macroprudential policies (or lack thereof) influence the conduct of monetary policy? This discussion paper builds on the insights of recent theoretical and empirical research to address these questions.
JEL Code
E3 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
Network
Discussion papers
21 October 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2483
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Abstract
This paper analyses money market developments since 2005, and examines factors that have affected money market functioning. We consider several metrics of activity in both secured and unsecured euro area money markets, and study interactions with new Basel III regulations and with central bank policies (liquidity provision, asset purchases and the Securities Lending Programme). Using aggregate data, we document that, prior to 2015, heightened financial market volatility coincided with worsening money market conditions, while higher central bank liquidity provision was associated with reduced money market stress. After 2015, the evidence is consistent with central bank asset purchases inducing scarcity effects in some money market segments, and with active securities lending supporting money market functioning. Using transactions-level money market data combined with supervisory data, we further document that the leverage ratio regulation impacts money markets at quarter-ends due to “window-dressing” effects, reducing money market volumes and rates. We also consider the macroeconomic impact of changing money market conditions, finding that the impact depends on whether frictions originate in secured or unsecured markets and on central bank policies in place.
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
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
Network
Discussion papers
3 July 2020
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2438
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Abstract
We study the effects of technological change on financial intermediation, distinguishing between innovations in information (data collection and processing) and communication (relationships and distribution). Both follow historic trends towards an increased use of hard information and less in-person interaction, which are accelerating rapidly. We point to more recent innovations, such as the combination of data abundance and artificial intelligence, and the rise of digital platforms. We argue that in particular the rise of new communication channels can lead to the vertical and horizontal disintegration of the traditional bank business model. Specialized providers of financial services can chip away activities that do not rely on access to balance sheets, while platforms can interject themselves between banks and customers. We discuss limitations to these challenges, and the resulting policy implications.
JEL Code
G20 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→General
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
E58 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Central Banks and Their Policies
O33 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights→Technological Change: Choices and Consequences, Diffusion Processes
Network
Discussion papers
27 May 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2287
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Abstract
The architecture of supervision – how we define the allocation of supervisory powers to different policy institutions – can have implications for policy conduct and for the economic and financial environment in which these policies are implemented. Theoretically, an integrated structure for monetary policy and supervision brings important benefits arising from better information flow and policy coordination. Aggregate supervisory information may significantly improve the conduct of monetary policy and the effectiveness of the lender of last resort function. As long as the process towards an integrated structure does not shrink the set of available tools, monetary policy and supervision are no less effective in pursuing their objectives than a separated structure. Additionally, an integrated structure does not seem to be correlated with more price and/or financial instability, as suggested by analysing a large global set of countries with different supervisory set-ups. A centralised structure for supervision entails significant benefits in terms of fewer opportunities for supervisory arbitrage by banks and less informational asymmetry. A large central supervisor can take advantage of economies of scale and scope in supervision and gain a broader perspective on the stability of the entire banking sector, which should result in improved financial stability. Potential drawbacks of a centralised supervisory structure are the possible lack of specialisation relative to local supervisors and the increased distance between the supervisor and the supervised institutions. We discuss the implications of our findings in the euro area context and in relation to the design of the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM).
JEL Code
E5 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G38 : Financial Economics→Corporate Finance and Governance→Government Policy and Regulation
Network
Discussion papers
25 March 2019
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2253
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Abstract
We examine the degree of market power in the big four countries of the euro area using macro and firm-micro data. We focus on three main indicators of market power in and across countries: namely, the concentration ratios, the markup and the degree of economic dynamism. For the macro database we use the sectoral data of KLEMs and for the micro data we use a combination of Orbis and iBACH (dating from 2006 onwards). We find that, in contrast to the situation in the US, market power metrics have been relatively stable over recent years and – in terms of the markup specifically – marginally trending down since the late 1990s, driven largely by Manufacturing. In terms of the debate as to the merits of market concentration, we find (relying on results for Manufacturing) that firms in sectors which exhibit high concentration, but are categorized as ‘high tech’ users, generally have higher TFP growth rates. By contrast, markups tend to display a bi-modal distribution when looked at through the lens of high concentration and high tech usage. These results would tend to confirm that the rise in market power documented for other economies is not obviously a euro area phenomenon and that welfare and policy analysis of market concentration is inevitably complex.
JEL Code
D2 : Microeconomics→Production and Organizations
D4 : Microeconomics→Market Structure and Pricing
N1 : Economic History→Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics, Industrial Structure, Growth, Fluctuations
O3 : Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth→Technological Change, Research and Development, Intellectual Property Rights
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Discussion papers
24 September 2018
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2177
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Abstract
This paper identifies the various channels that give rise to a “sovereign-bank nexus” whereby the financial health of banks and sovereigns is intertwined. We find that banks and sovereigns are linked by three interacting channels: banks hold large amounts of sovereign debt; banks are protected by government guarantees; and the health of banks and governments affect and is affected by economic activity. Evidence suggests that all three channels are relevant. The paper concludes with a discussion of the policy implications of these findings.
JEL Code
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
F34 : International Economics→International Finance→International Lending and Debt Problems
G01 : Financial Economics→General→Financial Crises
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
Network
Discussion papers
18 July 2018
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2170
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Abstract
This paper considers how monetary policy produces heterogeneous effects on euro area households, depending on the composition of their income and on the components of their wealth. We first review the existing evidence on how monetary policy affects income and wealth inequality. We then illustrate quantitatively how various channels of transmission — net interest rate exposure, inter-temporal substitution and indirect income channels — affect individual euro area households. We find that the indirect income channel has an overwhelming importance, especially for households holding few or no liquid assets. The indirect income channel is therefore also a substantial driver of changes in consumption at the aggregate level.
JEL Code
D14 : Microeconomics→Household Behavior and Family Economics→Household Saving; Personal Finance
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
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
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Discussion papers
13 July 2018
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2169
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Abstract
This paper investigates the costs and benefits of liquidity regulation. We find that liquidity tools are beneficial but cannot completely remove the need for Lender of Last Resort (LOLR) interventions by the central bank. Full compliance with current Liquidity Coverage Ratio (LCR) and Net Stable Funding Ratio (NSFR) rules would have reduced banks’ reliance on publicly provided liquidity during the global financial crisis without removing such assistance altogether. The paper also investigates the output costs of introducing the LCR and NSFR using two macro-financial models. We find these costs to be modest.
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
G21 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Banks, Depository Institutions, Micro Finance Institutions, Mortgages
G28 : Financial Economics→Financial Institutions and Services→Government Policy and Regulation
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Discussion papers
7 November 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2107
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Abstract
This paper examines the role of collateral in the financial system, with special emphasis on the implications for financial stability and the conduct of monetary policy. First, we review what drives the demand and supply for both real and financial collateral assets. Then we examine financial stability issues and the case for regulating the use of collateral. We discuss the role and design of market infrastructures such as central clearing counterparties (CCPs). Finally, we examine the interaction of standard and non-standard monetary policy and the functioning of private collateralised markets. We show that the use of collateral is neither a sufficient nor a necessary condition for financial stability. To ensure the stability of collateralised markets a mix of micro- and macro-prudential regulation, as well as a sufficient supply of safe public assets that can be used as collateral, are needed.
JEL Code
E59 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Monetary Policy, Central Banking, and the Supply of Money and Credit→Other
E44 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Money and Interest Rates→Financial Markets and the Macroeconomy
G18 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Government Policy and Regulation
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Discussion papers
21 June 2017
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 2080
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Abstract
Monetary policy communication is particularly important during unconventional times because high uncertainty about the economy, the introduction of new policy tools and possible limits to the central bank’s toolkit could hamper the predictability of policy actions. We study how monetary policy communication should and has worked under such circumstances. Our main results relate to announcements of asset purchase programmes and the use of forward guidance. We show that announcements of asset purchase programmes have lowered market uncertainty, particularly when accompanied by a contextual release of implementation details such as the envisaged size of the programme. We also show that forward guidance reduces uncertainty more effectively when it is state‐contingent or when it provides guidance about a long horizon than when it is open‐ended or covers only a short horizon, and that the credibility of forward guidance is strengthened if the central bank also has embarked on an asset purchase programme.
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
Network
Discussion papers
15 December 2016
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1988
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Abstract
The euro area has been experiencing a prolonged period of weak economic activity and very low inflation. This paper reviews models of business cycle stabilization with an eye to formulating lessons for policy in the euro area. According to standard models, after a large recessionary shock accommodative monetary and fiscal policy together may be necessary to stabilize economic activity and inflation. The paper describes practical ways for the euro area to be able to implement an effective monetary-fiscal policy mix.
JEL Code
E31 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles→Price Level, Inflation, Deflation
E62 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Fiscal Policy
E63 : Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics→Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook→Comparative or Joint Analysis of Fiscal and Monetary Policy, Stabilization, Treasury Policy
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Discussion papers
9 September 2016
WORKING PAPER SERIES - No. 1956
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Abstract
This paper analyses the effects of the European Central Bank's expanded asset purchase programme (APP) on yields and on the macroeconomy, and sheds some light on its transmission channels. It shows, first, that the January 2015 announcement of the programme has significantly and persistently reduced sovereign yields on long-term bonds and raised the share prices of banks that held more sovereign bonds in their portfolios. This evidence is consistent with versions of the portfolio rebalancing channel acting through the removal of duration risk and the relaxation of leverage constraints for financial intermediaries. It then presents a stylised macroeconomic model that incorporates the aforementioned transmission channels. The model suggests that the macroeconomic impact of the programme can be expected to be sizable.
JEL Code
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
G12 : Financial Economics→General Financial Markets→Asset Pricing, Trading Volume, Bond Interest Rates
Network
Discussion papers

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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the papers are published in the name of the author(s). Their views do not necessarily reflect those of the ECB.

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